A brilliant old tradition maintained.

Broadstairs Travel Blog

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Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.

The 23rd was a Saturday and again it was a day of what will be undoubtedly limited interest to the reader but I submit it here to illustrate a point.

People will accuse me of being old-fashioned and I make no apology for that as I am old-fashioned and I constantly lament the loss of the things of my youth (most notably common sense) and this journal entry deals with a great old British tradition that has all but gone now.

I remember when I first arrived in London from Northern Ireland in early 1988.  Within literally days some of my new friends invited me out for a drink on Sunday lunchtime.  Sure, that is my kind of gig and off we went.  We repaired to the Thomas Neale pub in the historical Watney Market (where a certain Mr.

Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.
Sainsbury had started his now multi-national empire from a single market stall) and I was amazed by what I saw.

When I ordered the round of beers for the lads the poor barmaid had hardly room to set them down on the counter as there was so much food on the bar.  This was an East End Sunday afternoon.  There were sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, small sandwiches, rollmops (rolled pickled herring), salt beef (a throwback to the long-standing Jewish heritage of the area), prawns (shell-on and fresh as you like), cheese and biscuits with pickled onions, just about everything you could possibly imagine, indeed some things the more delicate of you would probably not wish to imagine.  There was always a bit of live entertainment and it really was a proper old "East End knees-up".

Nowadays, with pubs closing down hand over fist and those that survive basically having to serve food to survive the practice of the "bar snacks" is all but a forgotten art but it is still very much alive in the odd outpost.
The Abi Caldwell Band playing the George.
  My local in Broadstairs, the Prince Albert, puts on a tremendous spread on a Saturday lunchtime with a lot of it coming from Nick, the excellent butcher next door.  I had never even heard of a Bombay sausage roll before but I am a convert now.

An afternoon of drinking with friends, watching the sports results come in and then I thought an early night might be in order.  Wrong!  As I was walking home I heard a very decent sound coming out of the George pub which featured not one but two excellent female vocalists backed by a much better than competent drummer, guitarist and keysman.  Well, I couldn't pass it up and, apart from an excellent night's entertainment, I also bumped into another couple of friends I had inexplicably not met in all the time I had now been in this great little town.  

It was yet again a very contented and chilled out planxty that took off home for a bite of supper and bed.

Stay tuned.

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Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.
Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.
Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.
Bar snacks at the Ptince Albert.
The Abi Caldwell Band playing the …
The Abi Caldwell Band playing the…
photo by: planxty