Travelling to Embankment on the Circle Line I cursed quietly at every tourist blocking me with a wheely bag, saving much scorn for the German school trip who thought it wise to block an entire platform jostling each other beyond the yellow line. I am not you may have guessed a tolerant traveller. Reaching the booking hall and navigating a group of Spanish pensioners I indicate in signs to another that you cannot scan your paper ticket against the Oyster Reader. At this point I wonder if the Ship and Shovell was such a wise choice for a meet with Meister and Captain English.
Approaching the pub through Craven Passage the first question with the Ship and Shovell isn't what shall I have to drink but which pub should I drink in. Its a curious choice but the Passage intersects the two halves of the pub. One loosely could be called the big pub, albeit it only relative to the small one on the other side of the passage. Run as one pub and linked beneath the passage by the cellar it must delight the tourists. My worries of a horde was unfounded. Thankfully they were most likely in the Sherlock Holmes.... a fate I wouldn't wish on the most obnoxious tourist.
Entering the big pub, Meister was already well into a Tanglefoot, which for the uninitiated is a smooth, hoppy ale, not a bygone dance craze. The standard fare of brand lagers and the like were available but tonight I fancied the further choice of a Hopping Hare or a pint of Badger. Before the night was up all will have been consumed and I would have had the satisfaction of saying "3 pints of Badger" I don't know why that's satisfying but it just is.
Captain English arrived late after feeding his Fopp addiction (a growing epidemic in men over 30) and we started to work our way through the choices (simply as a matter of research of course). Moving onto the Passage we stood outdoors and passed the time without the aid of umbrella or snow shoes for the first time this year. Looking into the small pub the wooden booths were full and whereas the larger pub was more lone drinkers savouring a Badger the smaller was more lager and a debate.
As the evening drew on English made his excuses and made his way home, no doubt to sample his latest hit of Fopp. Meister and I moved into the small pub and as we drained the dregs from our glasses I asked "One more no more?". The answer was a firm no though never being one to pass up the chance of one more on leaving the pub I chanced one more throw of the dice. "One more over the road?" A long pause. Smile. "Why not" was the reply. Crossing the Passage again we were faced with the last drink of the night. "Two pints of Badger please".... What else could it be..