Reasons To Be Cheerful Part II
#3 - The Brewery Tap
I don't feel anywhere near settled in a new place until I've found a drinking establishment I like. In Abingdon, it's the Brewery Tap.
Situated on Ock Street on the way into the town centre (an aside: Jenni commented that you can tell it's a posh area by the fact that no-one's thought to add a 'c' to the street sign...), the Brewery Tap is so called because it was the place to sample beers from the Morland brewery, which used to occupy the buildings immediately behind the pub. They're now flats, home to the friend who introduced me to the Brewery Tap's charms.
That ale-making legacy lives on; unusually - for a pub in Abingdon, at least - it always has a range of good beers on, one of which bearing the Morland name. Tribute is a current favourite. At £2.90 for a pint of bitter, it's not cheap, and probably enough to make any Northerners who might come to visit recoil with horror - but that's the going rate in Abingdon and it's certainly preferable to the standard big-brand lagers served up elsewhere.
Despite looking a bit dubious from the street, it's a splendid pub inside, all cosy rooms, stone floors and wood panelling, though with a smart modern feel that reminds me most of Mike's favourite the Cock & Hoop in Nottingham.
One thing it does lack is a good pub menu - food is only available on a Sunday, and only then a choice of roasts, though the ingredients are generally locally grown. I'm yet to try them out, being a far more regular visitor on Tuesday nights for the quiz, for which assorted regulars and staff take it in turns to set the questions for teams rejoicing under such names as The Robert Kilroy-Silk Appreciation Society and Fat People Are Harder To Kidnap. As for us, we're steadily improving, with a third place finish last time we competed - Barflies, watch your backs...