I had never seen the Raven although I have passed it dozens of times on visits to town. From the outside, it looks like a very posh shop perhaps dealing in corsets or lavender scented bath items, but inside it is a regular boozer with wood floors and a grand landlord with a spectacular West-country accent.
I was in town to ‘do’ a G-Had trail over and in addition to the North Wilts Hash House Harriers scheduled trail purportedly starting as soon as their train arrived. It was to finish at the Raven so I made concentric and criss-crossing paths seeking the prelay before time and the live trail after the appointed start, yet to no avail. Giving one last try from the far side of the river at opening time (12:30) I gave up when the Raven once more appeared before me.
I sat near a British family in for a lunch of pies (the house speciality). It was a mum and dad roughly my age and a son roughly 25-30 years old. The fourth member of the party was the son’s girlfriend who was the only one that seemed comfortable in her own skin. I could have sat and watched the unease with which the stilted conversation progressed for hours, but I wanted some lunch myself before the train back home and pies were not going to do it for me.