As deathly silent as the Crown and Anchor was, the Bell, just down the hill a few hundred steps, was lively. It may have just been the time of day but I think that the Ikea-esque decor appeals more to the new breed of Ramsbury residents more so than the traditional carpet and coal fire of the C&A. Maybe it is different at night (there’s music at the Crown); I hope so.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the Bell. Far from it, it does a smashing job with the local ales and has a compelling wine list and food that tempts you to just cut the run short and tuck in. I was brave in the face of such stunning victuals, though, and got all my nourishment from a pint of stout (which seemed a bit on the cold side and tasted a bit more like a spicy porter , but hey-ho!).
Oh, right. I noticed the hydrant plaques on my way in, one with the metric units and another, painted over, with the Imperial measures. I really like when I find the older ones and wish to chastise the painter for covering the thing. On a related note, I saw “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” on DVD a few weeks ago and in the first few minutes Smiley goes to a phone box and on the wall behind him is a metric labeled hydrant sign — tsk, they were barely into decimal money at the time the story is set and there’s no way the signage would be so European. Pheh.