Colchester CAMRA’s Ale Trail 2015 has got me and my drinking companion/designated driver/crisp eater/SWMBO to some pubs that have been on the radar for a little while (The Dog Inn in Halstead, some pubs which were quite a ways off the radar (The Prettygate), and some which we just haven’t yet got round to visiting.
Yesterday was a good example of this latter category. We can walk to Rowhedge in half an hour, cycle in ten minutes, drive in five, but we’ve never been in Ye Olde Albion. Back in the day when my dad used to get the coach down from Hartlepool to come and visit, we’d go with him and the children to The Anchor on Rowhedge. Festooned with sailing, yachting and nautical ‘stuff’, we told the boys it was an old pirate pub and and have many fond memories of sitting out the back overlooking the river and the yachts sailing by, as the boys and their grandad tucked into their food with gusto (eating out was a feature of his visits).
Well, the Anchor had a big makeover a few years back, and going into it now feels a bit like some form of desecration to those memories. But yesterday we finally made it into Ye Olde Albion, which sits the other side of the road to the river, but still has views of it, and has a fair bit of a nautical feel to it due to it’s decoration, eclectic a bit like The Anchor back in the day. There was also a table arcade game with the likes of Galaxians, which took me way back to my mis-spent youth in the late 70s.
Not the greatest selection of beers – a blonde, a pale ale and a bitter. Being a bit of a devil I tried the blonde, a Greyhawk Brewery Skipton Blonde all the way from, erm Skipton. Nice enough but not a dark beer.
Mind you, you can drink your beers over the road on the greensward and watch the world go by :
Next stop : The Fox Inn on West Mersea. It’s on East Road, the very east of East Road, and very close to East Mersea. One we’ve cycled past, but not stopped at.
Plenty of room inside, with food clearly a major feature, and Result! Two of the beers on the bar could be eschewed by the serious ale drinker, but the other two : Mighty Oak’s ‘Captain Bob’ and Colchester Brewery’s Double Drop Mild, who I had met earlier this year at The Live and Let Live Sausage and Beer Festival, and whose acquaintance I was very pleased to renew : an excellent beer.