Between a hock and a hard place

Between a hock and a hard place

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Monday, January 7 2013

Imagine the pain – the pain of writing about so many lovely pubs, knowing that they are forbidden territory.

In this week’s What’s On, we gave you the definitive list of Kent's winter-warming ale houses.

You know the type: beamed ceilings; hops hanging around the bar; four or five real ales on tap; a range of single malt whiskeys; landlord’s cuddly dog snoozing in the corner.

When the idea popped in our heads to round up the county’s 20 finest drinking holes, it was a brief I could not wait to get started on. All the best pubs we have visited in Kent – truly one of the nation’s best county’s for the quaint, traditional tavern – all described in their glory.

Yet with every word typed, a little knife stabbed me in the heart. Pubs are not the sort of place one visits when refusing alcohol for a month.

I only have myself to blame. Excess over Christmas and New Year made me think it was a cracking idea to kick start a more sensible, healthy new year.

Yet as we went to press and colleagues decided to rediscover their local boozer, so my self-imposed abstinence felt all the more bitter a pint to refuse to swallow.

Before you all scoff and say “can’t you just have a coke,” I know myself. I know I cannot resist a thirst quenching Late Red at the Joiner’s Arms in West Malling or a “session ale” like the Charles Dickens Ale at the Leather Bottle in Cobham.

It feels like a travesty to take a pew in such homely surroundings and taint the rustic flavour with a glass of Fanta.

It feels like more of a travesty to break my vow of alcoholic chastity over an article I’ve written in the paper.

So for now I’ll resist, with my heart set on a new me. Surely the free house exile will make the first pint of 2013 taste all the more divine.

There is nothing stopping you though. So have one on me.


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The What's On blog, with Chris Price

Want to know what’s on in the music industry in Kent? Want to know what’s on in your local theatres? Want to know what’s really going on with the stars coming to the county who speak to the KM Group’s What’s On supplement every week? This is the place to find out. From last minute shows to views on all the entertainment stuff going on in the county, this is the place to find out the real picture with exclusive images, reviews and all the juicy bits of A-list gossip that didn’t make it into the paper. Follow Chris on Twitter: @thechrisprice.

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