What a journey to get there ! we headed to Loch Lomond, through Arrocher, along the Rest and be thankful and finally turned left and headed along the 9 miles of single track road and finally reached our destination. The journey is well worth it as the area is stunning ! and there are a few good pubs with great atmosphere and great local ale.
We made a slight detour on the way and headed up to loch Fyne and stopped at the loch Fyne brewery. I met the head brewer, he's a really nice guy who is both passionate and very knowledgeable about brewing. He agreed to give me a tour of the brewery and we had talked for far too long as my wife and kids were complaining !!
The photo's below are of the Loch Fyne Brewery and Lochgoilhead - at my friends, Kenny & Yvonne's holiday house
We headed south and stopped for a night in York, where we went to Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant. The food was great, if a little expensive, and I tried one of the local lagers, Leodis, which is from the Leeds Brewery. It was crisp with a slightly bitter aftertaste - very enjoyable !
We traveled around the area and most of the pubs and Inn's we went to we bumped into a jazz band called "The Water Rats". They were touring for a week on a river boat and playing in the afternoon then moving onto the next pub and playing at night. They were great ! and their average age is about 65 !
One day we went on a river boat cruise along some of the broads. Can you imagine my delight as I saw the boat had a fully stocked bar with local real ales !!! It was great gliding along the sun drenched broads sampling the ales and hearing the captain tell us about the local history. Later that day we climbed up a local land mark, (a church steeple), and saw some breathtaking views of the broads.
We were lucky enough to have tickets for the Hockey. We went to Olympic Park, the riverside arena. It was great to feel part of the Olympics, cheer on the athletes and feel the whole positive vibe surrounding the event. We also saw some of the other venues, the BBC doing interviews and a part of the athletes village. One thing I saw at the arena was people walking around selling beer, what a great idea !!!
When in London we stayed with my wife's cousin, Jamie and his family. Jamie has just finished writing his first novel, "Rounder's People" www.RoundersPeople.com check it out ! If you are lucky enough to meet him don't let him play you at pool, he has his own pool room and knows how to knock those balls around !!
Most people will have heard of Buxton water, it rains a lot there so the water is very clean and clear. They also have a town well where people drink and fill water bottles to take back home. The local brewery also takes advantage of the great water and produces some beautiful ales.
We also went to a town called Bakewell and caught the local agricultural show. There are a few farmers there who now produce their own beers, one being called Farmers Brewery. I sampled a golden ale from them and it was divine, smooth and pleasant with a slightly sweet aftertaste. I also met a man who no runs a company called Direct Beers, I sampled a few and they were OK, but the names of the beers were better than the beer itself.
It was good to get back but I look forward to going away again and finding new beers and drinks to enjoy - then telling you about them, cheers !!!