We’d walked past the rough-looking pub in New Cross hundreds of times, heading back and forth to the tube, to the shops, to the Taste of Raj, but it had never even crossed our mind to go in. We’d never seen anyone go in.
It had nicotine-yellow net curtains, fly-blown windows, peeling paintwork and, late at night, what looked like the light from two 40 watt bulbs was the only sign of occupation.
For some reason or other, though, Bailey’s parents liked the look of it. They’d driven a long way from Somerset , arriving late in the evening, and wanted more than one pint, despite the approach of last orders. Having run a pub, they looked at this place and smelled a lock in.
Sure enough, Bailey’s Dad sent the signals: two pints and two whiskies down in double quick time to indicate serious intent. The curtains were drawn, the landlady winked, and we were away. The beer was… actually, the beer wasn’t memorable at all. If it tasted of anything, it was late night, transgression, cigarettes and hushed conversation.