Sunday, 6 December 2009

West Kent CAMRA Christmas Meal

This year's West Kent CAMRA Christmas meal, held as in previous years at the award-winning Rose & Crown, Halstead was as good as ever, despite a slightly lower turnout than usual. This may have had something to do with a certain South-East London football team playing at home, (attendance was probably in double figures at the Valley!), but those of us who made the journey to Halstead enjoyed a huge turkey dinner, washed down with some fine local beers.

Representing local Kentish breweries were Larkins Traditional, Westerham British Bulldog and Whitstable East India Pale Ale. From further afield there was Moorhouse's excellent Black Cat mild, plus a seasonal offering from Lees, Christmas Cracker. The latter was the only beer I wasn't keen on, but then you can't win them all. Thanks once again to Bob and his team for looking after us so well.

ps. Having arrived in Hatstead by bus, we decided to call in at the village's other pub first. This was my first visit to the Cock, and I have to say I was quite impressed. There are two bars, with a collection of old jugs hanging from the beamed ceiling in the main one. The furthermost bar was hosting a group of cyclists (despite the steep hills, or perhaps because of them, this part of Kent seems popular with cycling clubs), but the main attraction (apart from the attractive barmaid), was the guest beer. Camerons Fireside was an unusual beer to find alongside the ubiquitous London Pride, and my only complaint was it was served a trifle too cold. Still, we only had time for the one pint, as there was a dinner waiting for us at the Rose & Crown.

All in all, another excellent day out, and a good start to the festive season.

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