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I love my local
2:03pm Saturday 31st March 2012 in Pints of View
Gavin Aitchison is resting his liver this week so beer blogger and all round nice guy Gavin Frost steps into his shoes again.
Imagine not being able to go to your local boozer because you're just too famous, world famous. I'm not talking about me of course, I was just thinking about the Queen's visit to York this coming Thursday.
I wonder if they've ever had a local that they frequent at Sandringham or Balmoral. I love my local and it would be horrific to think that I couldn't pop down for a pint on a Friday night for fear of being mobbed.
Maybe they have a local haunt, just off The Mall near Buckingham Palace, where 'Lizzy' chats with friends about the price of fish, as 'Phil' sits playing dominoes, putting the world to rights.
Perhaps not, but wouldn't that be fab?
Well before my imagination runs wild and putting up this union flag bunting tires me out I decide to have a beer, appropriately in The Royal Oak on Goodramgate.
I like this place, it's charming, cosy and has a lot of character. I'm enjoying a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, £3.20, and there are six ales on tap - and you can buy three thirds too, so you can try them all without getting too squiffy. As an added bonus CAMRA members get ten per cent discount too. Bargain!
I could sit here all afternoon, but it's onwards to a place with another royal connection to its name.
I'm given a very friendly welcome at the Victoria Hotel, located on the corner of Heslington Road and Cemetery Road behind the Barbican Centre.
It's an Old Mill Traditional Bitter this time and very reasonably priced too at £2.62 a pint. There's plenty of space in the roomy Victoria so I chill and chat with the bar staff for a bit and watch the footy results come in.
Back into town I head to the King's Arms down by the river on Kings Staith which is a Samuel Smith's pub.
I don't usually frequent this place as its keg only, I presume owing to the number of times it gets flooded. There's a chart on the wall be the door that marks the water level of each flooding.
This is a great building though that’s been a pub since 1783 and it's generally packed out on a hot summer day as folks watch the river traffic go by, so I do the same with a stout priced at just over two quid a pint.
I’m sure there’ll be a few regal special brews for the jubilee, though it was a bit of a shame that beer wasn't allowed at the official palace celebrations for Will and Kate's wedding last year, favouring French champagne instead.
Quite odd really as I can think of nothing more British than a pint of ale; it seemed a bit of a snub to loyal British breweries. I still can't understand why there was such a 'ban' and I hope this is reconsidered for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I know there'll be more ale than Champagne consumed in York!
Talking of celebrations, it's worth mentioning that tradition decrees that all royalty must pass through the city walls when they visit and so Queen Elizabeth will be traveling down Micklegate on her visit to the city.
Someone should let her know that Brigantes are taking full advantage of the road closure and staging their very own beer festival with at least four one-off brews by local breweries just for the occasion.
It'll be a right royal do I'm sure!