While wandering the corridors of obscurity, I occasionally walk into a lamppost of relevance. This is today's lamppost;
"Protocol was at a minimum when Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Braiton, the manager and his wife of The Anchor, Bankside, received a very distinguished guest for aperitifs and lunch one morning in January. Mingling quite unceremoniously with the throng of lunchtime customers were Comrade Vladimir Promyslov, Moscow's burly mayor, with other members of his staff and officials of the L.C.C., with whom the mayor had been spending a few days on an official visit.The Cold War. I blame that for the total ignorance of Russian drinking habits. My money would have been on whisky. Nice Russian Stout joke, though.
Comrade Promyslov was impressed by The Anchor. "I can see I have been missing something very special", he said, through his two diligent interpreters. Unfortunately, we do not know what he thought of English beer: he drank whisky — not even Russian Stout! But two of his staff seemed to be enjoying the bitter, and they all did excellent justice to a real English meal of asparagus soup, whitebait, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and apple pie."
"The Golden Cockerel Vol.3 No.7 Spring 1964", page 19.
I should explain. The Anchor Bankside is the Barclay Perkins brewery tap. (I know "was the Barclay Perkins brewery tap" is more accurate, as the brewery is long gone. In my head, they live on.) Hence the Russian Stout reference.
The barman is rather nattily dressed. They're such scruffs behind the bar nowadays. All jeans, T-shirts and stubble. But it's what behind him that harpooned my eyes: wooden barrels on stillage. Barclay Perkins beers, gravity-served. Maybe Comrade Promyslov was a bit of a Philistine.
Those barrels reminded me of my last time in the Anchor. Late November last year. There were barrels on stillage then.
Asparagus soup: is that typically English? I've been perfecting my Yorkshire puddings. They're tricky little devils to make. Worryingly satisfying when it goes well.
Don't the windows in both pictures look similar?
More misshapen veg from the Golden Cockerel's garden soon.