The Boy and I have taken ourselves off for a quintessentially English mini break.
We are hiding out in deepest, darkest Surrey (where they filmed The Holiday and Bridget Jones 2, chick flick fans).
We have indulged in big cooked breakfasts followed by long country walks and mountain biking (I do not remember saddle soreness being this, well, sore, as an adolescent, which is probably the last time i rode a bike).
Needless to say there has also been the odd pint or five of country scrumpy on the days when we have been physically able to drag ourselves to the pubs for booze rather than chickening out and taking the car down narrow tracks and hairpin bends between the ancient, picturesque villages in the pitch black (streetlamps are a luxury here for some reason).
There is one pub that we have been saving as a treat all week. It's really near where we are staying. It's a 14th century converted farmhouse packed to its wooden rafters with olde worlde charm.
Except it has the worst reviews either of us have ever seen online. Everybody screams about the terrible service, the appalling "ping and fling" (ie microwave) food and the leary clientele.
Surely, we thought, the place is too beautiful for this to be true. So tonight we ventured in, past the antique darken wooden furniture and (unlit) sculpted hearth, towards an old oak bar.
Where we were ignored for about 10 minutes by a bored and distinctly 21st century barmaid.
We just wanted a nightcap so settled on Baileys, much to the openly snide amusement of the 2 oiks propping up the bar beside us. At least we distracted them from their drunken quarrel as to who had purchased their last round of wifebeater.
Desperately channelling Jude Law (The Holiday again, sorry, I was desperate) I chose us a cosy corner table with comfy cushions on an old settle. Unfortunately it was right by a large group who all seemed to be related, not to mention extremely pissed.
They cackled endlessly about various nights out and drunken exploits while we sat sipping our Baileys feeling like the 2 tourist twats we so obviously resembled.
Feel so cheated. Where was our crackling open fire, friendly staff and goblets of mulled wine?
Surely this is against the Trade Descriptions Act - a chain pub of the very lowest level masquerading as a country inn. I would sue, if I had the guts to go back.