More Looking Back

I travelled quite a bit in 2009, although as ever, not as much as I would have missed. I made some fests – GBBF, Zythos, GABF (sort of) – and missed others, but overall had a blast on the road, also as ever. Through it all, however, one memory rings true as my Beer Travel Moment of the Year, and it is…

Rooming at the Fox & Anchor (115 Charterhouse Street, EC1; 020 7250 1300)!

This Smithfield Market pub in central London has it all: spacious, comfortable and quiet rooms, an excellent pub downstairs, reasonable rates and easy proximity to any number of tremendous pubs and restaurants. If I hadn’t had an agenda while I was in town, I might have just stayed within walking distance of the place the entire time.

Non-Beer Travel Moment: Staying at the Grand Velas Resort on the Riviera Maya. If you think all-inclusives mean bad food and wristbands, you owe it to yourself to experience this place.

Hall of Shame: Sure, it was no fun getting shellfish poisoning at the GABF, but that was just one of those things. Far different was the positively disdainful service Jay Brooks and I received at the otherwise terrific St. JOHN Bar & Restaurant (26 St John Street, EC1; 020 7251 0848) in London, after we had decided to order beer rather than wine with our food. I really thought those days and those attitudes were behind us, and they should be!

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