Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Pure gold

The bubbles settled to form a precise, quarter-inch head. The rest of the pint was a pale gold with the sparkling clarity of a Highland stream.

I gazed at it for a few seconds, revelling in the anticipation of the drink to come. It was a thing of beauty.

The pig farmer had settled himself down in Edinburgh's Oxford Bar and, it being mid-afternoon, he was one of three customers in the place and the only one sat on a stool in the front bar.

The Oxford is five minutes from Princes Street and has become relatively famous thanks to Ian Rankin's crime novels. It's the favoured watering hole of both Rankin and his fictional DI John Rebus, but trades solely on its excellence as a traditional pub.

I swopped smalltalk on the snow, the absence of tourists (pig farmer excepted) and Hibs' chances of winning their first Scottish Cup in 108 years with the barman before turning back to the pint.

Cool, but not cold, fresh, slightly malty. Deuchars IPA is an ordinary pint made extraordinary when it is served properly.

I love the Oxford Bar.


Arabella said...

A good pint in a good pub....ah yes.

Rog said...

Weren't you tempted to suddenly say "Morddderrr?!!!" in a loud voice?

I treat myself to a Pint of Shepherd Neame once a year otherwise I get silly.

I, Like The View said...

and there was I thinking you'd taken up panning to earn a little extra cash. . .

Anonymous said...

I miss the Oxford too, its been waay too long!!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Is The Oxford Bar still a gay bar - as people told me it was in the early seventies? Did you chat with the two other guys?

Richard said...

Deuchars IPA is indeed a very good pint. Travels well too, as it should being an IPA.

Malc said...


One of life's joys.


Just the once? Go on, live a little, make it twice.


I'd only spend it on more beer.


Treat yourself to a trip, why not?


If the Ox is a gay bar it hides it pretty well. There's a gay real ale pub at the top of Easter Road - as I found out AFTER I'd popped in for a pint.


All the way to India, in fact.