Monday, 24 December 2007
On the House
I think I can count the free drinks I have had in pubs in Blighty over 30 years of unequivocal and sustained boozing on the fingers of one hand. Just for example, in the second and third years of my period of academic excellence at the City of Leicester Polytechnic I managed to divide my student grant between William Hill and the Huntsman, possibly the least attractive pub in Western Europe. It is almost certainly now a pole dancing joint called Sexx!! with a lot of bedraggled plastic banners hanging outside offering a full Sunday roast for £2.99. I used to drink pints of M&B mild like it was going out of fashion (which it did, shortly afterwards). The poisoned, spavined dwarf who ran the place never once said "this one's on me, Christmas an' all that". The place pictured above is the Cavallino Bianco, the Little White Horse, a local bar. In one memorable evening, with the sainted Doctor Munro, we managed to drink €50 of gin and tonic between us. The problem was that the owner, Enrico, matched us round for round with a free one. And as a G&T (Italian-style, ginned up to the brim) cost €1.50, you can imagine the mayhem. I found the Doctor the next morning upside down in a holly bush. The Little White Horse closed about a year ago and is still up for sale.