Great pubs can be like the friend you haven't seen in years but as soon as you meet up you pick up where you left off.For me that's the The Peasant. Having had a week at work to be quickly forgotten I headed to the Peasant for the first time in 6 months. Even the sight of it on the corner of St John Street and Percival Street was enough to make me smile. Friday night as usual saw the bar busy with a mix of drinkers and diners, the noise of chatter clattering around the high ceilings. When this was my local I rarely ventured in on Friday nights which were firmly the preserve of workers whereas weekends belonged to the locals.
Once in I by reflex fought through the crowd and headed for my spot at the bar. On this spot I have drunk more pints of Guinness than is probably healthy, I've had nights of indepth conversation, I've had Sundays of pouring over the papers, I've had dates which have caused much amusement among friends and other more significant moments which for now at least I will keep to myself.
The Peasant has a reputation for its great food. The bar food rivaling many restaurants which sometimes make venturing upstairs to the restaraunt uneccesary, such is the quality. The beer selection is wide to say the least with changing specialities chalked up on the board (Westmalle, Grimergen, Liefmans Kriek on my visit). The Brooklyn Brewery beer mats put a smile on my face as I recalled a drunken Brooklyn Sunday afternoon with Captain English. With all this choice I go for the Guinness, part out of habit and partly because I know that I've never had a bad pint of it there. Certainty is comfort.
Having called to say she was running late Lou arrived visibly flustered. I will explain that the lateness is a regular occurance that I've grown to cope with. But then as Lou could also be termed "er indoors" its a cross I have to bear. This pub is great on so many levels but the staff are what clinch the deal for me. Sensing a flustered woman the barman asks first "are you ok" and when the answer is "no" offers a drink which immediately gets a smile. Even in the bustle of a Friday night and not having been in for so long I get a smile from staff, shake hands and have a brief chat. Its basic human touches like this that so many pubs (and businesses in general) just don't get right. For this reason I will be back to see my old friend The Peasant many times again and hopefully it won't be another 6 months.