As the year drives inexorably to a close we approach the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions: have you started thinking about yours yet? If not, let me make a suggestion to you.
Last year I made a resolution – though to be fair, it was not a New Year’s resolution as I didn’t start until April, but it was a resolution nonetheless. My resolution was to visit every pub in Gloucester before the end of the year.
I undertook this resolution through a series of seven pub crawls, the last of which took place toward the end of November. As I have progressed through my mission I have published my experiences in the form of Citizen articles and here on my blog.
I couldn’t incorporate all of the 50 pubs currently open in Gloucester city centre into a sensible pub crawl route, so some had to be visited separately and, I am sad to say, I haven’t fully achieved my goal as there are still five pubs that I haven’t managed to visit. Some because they are too far off the beaten track, some because they have opened or re-opened since I did my tour around the area and one (Zest) because they wouldn’t let me in! I will seek to visit four of the five early in the New Year to complete my mission.
In carrying out this resolution I have introduced myself and my friends to many pubs that we would not normally go to and had a good deal of fun (and an awful lot of alcohol!) along the way.
Many of the pubs are old favourites that we know well and visit regularly anyway, such as Cafe Rene, The Pelican, The Fountain and Dick Whittington. We also discovered the newly opened Portivo Lounge, which has since become a favourite, and there were a couple of other pubs that stood out to me as a pleasant surprise: I would highlight the Queen’s Head in Kingsholm and Chambers in St Aldate Street here.
There are too many for me to name check all of the pubs I liked, but most were an enjoyable experience, even those that are unlikely to become firm favourites of the future. Even discovering that you are actually barred from a pub is an enlightening experience.
And so to my suggested resolution: even if you think that a mission to visit all of Gloucester’s fine pubs is going too far, I would urge you to resolve to seek out some of those that you wouldn’t normally go to and give them a try. Some you will like, some you may not, but they say a change is as good as a rest and you never know, you may find some new favourites.
Happy New Year!