From Russia With Pubs
When it comes to football, I’m not the type of person that has to watch every match played in the Premier League. However, when the World Cup rolls around every four years, I like to watch as much of it as I can. Now, this isn’t a post about the World Cup, or any of the events that have taken part, but it does involve a game that was being played at the time.
For many years, my brother, and two of our friends embarked on something called ‘Food of the World.’ It entailed picking a letter of the alphabet and choosing a restaurant with food from a country with that letter. We have sampled many different countries cuisine including the odd day trip to Italy and Dublin, and this week it was my turn to choose a country. It was also the first time we had set it at my home city of Canterbury, Kent.
The letter I chose was ‘T’ and I thought a perfect place would be a nice Turkish restaurant called A la Turka in the city center. Unfortunately, one of our friends died a couple of years ago, but the three of us that remain still keep the tradition and bring a photo of him with us when we meet.
Another of our traditions is to watch a movie before we eat, so we all met at The Curzon cinema and comfortably sat through Oceans 8. We then walked down to the first of our pubs that day and had a drink until our table was ready at the restaurant next door. The meal was lovely, and there was authentic beer and chillies that were authentically very hot (apparently).
After the meal, we descended on the high street in Canterbury and spotted Houdini’s Magic Bar. Unfortunately there was no magic at that time, but the venue was covered with posters and magic paraphernalia. We then wandered through the historic buildings until we hit the square in front of the Cathedral. We decided to have a drink in the Old Buttermarket pub and as we were near kick off of the France verses Belgium World Cup game, we decided to stay there and watch it.
It was at this point that I saw the wonderful diversity that Canterbury has to offer. There were French students looking to come in (though they were too young), and two Belgian visitors that sat next to us. Unfortunately for the gentleman, the lady wasn’t keen on the game, so they left and were replaced by two American visitors. The lady told us that ‘I don’t really care for the game, but I love seeing peoples reactions and excitement.’
After the game, we walked to a last pub, then went our separate ways. When our next meeting will be is soon, but the location and the reason, very different.