The Roebuck (This Is England)
We arrive at the Roebuck from Richmond Park, hot and very thirsty. It's early evening and a smell of gravy laden Sunday lunches hits the nostrils as we enter. The interior is reassuringly unspectacular. It's a solid pub and has been since the 1700s, the smell confirming it hasn't been gastroed, which is surprising in these parts.
With a choice of London Pride, 330, Ascot Anastasia Stout, I start with the 330 and make my way onto the Stout. Heading outside to take advantage of the remaining sun we cross the road and step down onto the wide public terrace running parallel with the road. On a spring evening in Richmond there is no better place to enjoy views of Richmond Park and down across the Thames, an idylic English scene of people simply messing about in boats.
Groups congregate on the benches and the railings either side of the terrace in a scene which is positively European. Through in a game of boules and it may not be England. Deciding to sit on the hedge that drops into the park a fellow drinker is swallowed whole. As we watch the sunset we watch as his legs flap and his girlfriend tries desperately to pull him out. Inevitably the crowd claps, cheers and laughs at this moment of pure slapstick before some eventually heave him out. He holds his hands up to the sky in appreciation of his public before checking his scratches. Spots of blood forming on his white Ralph Lauren polo he heads to where else but the bar. It could only be England.