I was absolutely soaked as I entered the previous pub, but the run from there to the Stallards was even wetter, windier, and colder (although the temperature nearly hit double digits). It had just opened for the day (third time as first customer today), but there was already a brazier of coal started in the hearth so I knew the run was over — I had considered a loop around the outskirts of Trowbridge to pick up another pub but the thought of returning to the damp in soaked vestments was a non-starter, so the backpack was unloaded and the dry kit set on a chair to warm up.
That’s right, I didn’t change out of the wet stuff straightaway. I was hot from the exertion despite feeling outwardly chilled. I needed some time to let the internal and external temperatures equilibrate and I needed to grab a pint of nourishment, this time in the form of West Country Gold, a cider just sweet enough to appeal to the candied-cider crowd and dry enough (for a fizzy, industrial cider) not to offend the effete.
The bar seems like it might be a bit of a party shack for the young but not for youths. I get the feel of college or university educated folk or journeymen crafts people but not anyone over 40 years old. Hard to tell mid-day as the only punter in the place, but I don’t think I’m the target audience. Nice enough, but it has an atmosphere that doesn’t speak to me either as a traditional pub nor as a real dive. Perhaps a bit too tidy, or maybe the sensation that the well whisky is actually good or that brightly coloured shooters are on the menu.