Tuesday, 3 February 2009

And So We Gather...

Superstition got the better of me when choosing a venue for the traditional Saturday morning breakfast.

When we last played at Dagenham, Tony and I tried the Rossi Restaurant and it was a fine carnivorous start to what turned out to be a great day.

Although on my lonesome this morning, I ventured out to Spitalfields once more and wasn't disappointed with my choice - egg, bacon, sausage, lamb chop, liver and chips - magnificent!

Spitalfields is a fascinating place - this area close to Brick Lane has been home to immigrant communities for the past two centuries and some of the streets are very run-down and almost slum-like. Others though, like Wilkes Street where Gilbert & George first set up their studio, still look as they must have done when they were first built - all very Dickensian. And pricey too I'd guess.

It is here that the expansion of the City of London abuts with urban decay and artist-chic and it's quite an odd combination. Most people know the place simply for Brick Lane being a street full of curry houses but it's more than that. A great place to wander round but not today as it's time to head off to the pub.

I'm the first to arrive at the Black Lion - four beers on tap including the regular Courage Best, the ubiquitous Sharp's Doombar and two from the Mighty Oak brewery - Maldon Gold and English Oak.

Unlike my last visit earlier in the season, there's no chance of me venturing out into the beer garden today - far too chilly despite the extra shirt and long johns.

As the lunchtime session progresses, various DAFTS roll up - first is John from Chester who has dragged along his mate Rod - Rod has has not seen us win! Oh good.

(right) DAFTS a-supping in the Black Lion

Next to arrive are the Wilsons along with Ely Steve who is making his first appearance of the season. He has a good record of late so may offset Rod's record.

We then have an influx from south of the river - Paul, Iain and Howard. The last to join us is Tony who has travelled down from Durham.

Argyle fan and friend of DAFTS Geoff Luke is also with us today - he has forsaken the chance to see his boys at Ipswich.

The Maldon Gold at 3.8% proves to be the popular choice with most of us - light, hoppy, very sessionable, perfect for a lunchtime - as usual Bev would prefer something darker.

I try the 4.8% English Oak after a while - slightly deeper in colour, it's quite fruity but still retains a hoppy edge. Very nice. So far, so good.

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