Last Saturday, I met up with some friends for a day out (aka pub crawl) in Salisbury.
Jamie and I arrived at the train station first. Rather than wait for everyone else there, we decided to head for our first pub.
We had a little bit of time to kill because it wasn’t quite opening time. Instead of heading into the city centre we went looking for the Village Freehouse pub, which is in the opposite direction. To get there from the station, you go down the hill towards the city centre and then take a left under the railway bridge and then another left at the roundabout. It’s a short walk – so short that the pub still hadn’t opened when we arrived. Rather than hang around, we wandered up the street for a while – nobody wants to be banging on the door of a pub at opening time, right?
We returned a few minutes later, and it was no surprise that we were the first customers of the day. We were greeted by the barman and a row of five beer pumps each serving local beers. Jamie and I went for a Downton “Quadhop” – a light summery ale.
Then we settled down at a table in front of a big TV to watch the first few overs of the second day of the England v New Zealand test match while we waited for the others to arrive.
As I drank my beer, I had a browse at some of the railway memorabilia on the walls, including signs and pictures. There was also a whiteboard detailing all the upcoming ales – regulars can make requests – as well as a healthily stocked bookcase, the day’s papers and a jukebox. There were also rolls for sale on the bar in addition to the welcome “bring your own food policy. In all, it’s the type of place you can spend the whole day drinking beer, watching some sport, and putting some tunes on the jukebox.
The rest of the lads turned up as we were two-thirds through our pints. so we supped up and joined them at the bar for another as the barman poured out some tasters to help us choose what to go for next. This time, I went for another Downton ale, the “Kazbek Zest”. This was another light one with a refreshing hint of lemon, which was surprisingly nice.
We finished our drinks just as New Zealand lost their last first innings wicket and decided to make a move to our next pub. However, I’d have quite happily stayed for a few more hours and I’d definitely recommend a visit to this pub if you’re ever in the area and want a decent beer in a clean, interesting pub.