Saturday, 16 June 2012
The Borough, Dalton Square, Lancaster
Society is riddled with baseless advice about things which seem appealing but should be avoided at all costs.
We should never, apparently, meet our heroes because they will be a horrible let-down.
Footballers must never re-sign for a club where they have previously played because it will send their careers into terminal decline.
And I was always told (though I forget by who) that you cannot contrive to recreate a happy experience and expect it to be as good as you remembered.
No, the majority of my happiest moments involve good pubs and real ale.
So I find I am regularly able to create my perfect sunrise without too much fear of disappointment.
But after a great night in Lancaster last week, I was a little reticent about going back, in case I could not stumble upon another beery coup.
But thankfully, as soon as I came upon the splendid Dalton Square and slapped eyes on The Borough, my concerns melted away.
Unlike most pubs, where the bar is the most dominant eye catching feature, in The Borough it is hidden away to the side, an almost forgotten afterthought.
Instead you step into a lavish parlour with chandeliers, sumptuous leather settees and, to Miss Chardonnay Sidekick's delight, a rocking chair which kept her entertained for the duration.
Her only regret was having forgotten to bring her knitting!
The restaurant area was also popular and seemed to be doing a roaring trade but I was less interested in this than the gem which was concealed behind the bustling diners.
I picked my way through the restaurant, pushed open the back doors and slipped into a dream.
Under large canopies among great big trees and twinkling lights, sat serene drinkers, as a barbecue sizzled in one corner and music bounded from another.
It was perfect. I stood motionless and confused.
'Am I asleep? Or is the restaurant door some strange portal into another beer dimension, the likes of which I could never have imagined?'
I stepped back into the restaurant to test it again but it was still there.
'Ben in Beer Wonderland. That's what I will call this', I proclaimed as I dashed back into the pub, to tell Miss Chardonnay Sidekick of my revelation.
'I'm not moving, I like this rocking chair', she growled..
'It's out of this world I replied, 'You'll love it. And where did you get that knitting from anyway?'
Engrossed in someone else's cross stitch, I left Miss Chardonnay Sidekick and floated back into Ben in Beer Wonderland, knowing I can recreate the most perfect epiphany, whenever I like.
*You can follow me on Twitter @RobinsonBee