After nearly three months without a blog post , I am giving live blogging a go using the blogger mobile app. Please forgive the punctuation and spelling and any Illustration and links will have to wait. I am not even sure it will work properly. As I am using an ipad, I will be relying on any wifi connections on my travels.
I am just about to embark on my fourth Podge Beer Tour and a few people have asked recently whether the trips are good. Short answer : yes. Long answer follows over the next five days.
Best of Belgian is a five day trip, four nights. The cost is £420 plus a single supplement of £120 if you have no companion and prefer not to share.
The biggest logistical problem (for me at least) is that the tours leave at 6.15am from Chelmsford. (there are collection points at Colchester, Ipswich and Folkestone but if you are not an Essex Boy it necessitates a stop over . Luckily there is a £19 a night Travelodge five minutes from the departure place (and a twenty minute walk from the station). ( I generally take another night at the end of the trip too. Although the intended time back into Chelmsford is about 9.30pm in good time for a train back to London, an extra Travelodge night gives a leisurely journey home the next morning).
It is only £13 return (with a network card discount)from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford but this off peak ticket does not allow travel between 4.30 and 6.30pm. I prefer to travel early, get a few pints in and a bite, and an early night in anticipation of the early start.
I am writing this post from the Queens Head, Crouch Vale Brewery's only pub and about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. Great beers (3 CV and 3 guests), the crackle of a real fire and a warm welcome. The 3.6% Essex Boys Bitter is a great start to the weekend but I feel that twice CBOB winner, Brewers Gold, is calling. (no evening food here).
On the night before the trip, it is important to acquaint myself again with the Woolpack as this Greene King pub (with guest ales) is tomorrow's 6.15am departure point but only a five minute walk from the Travelodge.