If you spend most of the afternoon outdoors watching rugby on a cold February day with freezing hail falling intermittently from black clouds overhead then, after the match, you will want to find a place where you can convert cold into comfort.
There are four of us today, I’m leading the line while Rock, Brian & Liz make up a formidable front row. Bath have lost the top of the table clash with Northampton and now we need warmth and food….and maybe even a beer. We are heading to The Raven, famous locally for its wide variety of pies – comfort food for those who have lost most of the feeling in their fingers and toes. It’s busy inside and after a minor scrum and a bit of a ruck, we finally manage to get a table.
There is a pie to suit everyone in the pack: I tackle the Deer Stalker – venison, bacon, lentils and port; Rock makes a pitch for the Free Ranger – free range chicken, ham and west country cheese; Brian tries the Raven Ale pie – beef, carrots, Raven Ale and thyme; and Liz intercepts a Fungi Chicken – free-range chicken, mushroom and mustard. All pies are served with chips or mash and gravy.
The Raven was named Bath’s Real Ale Pub of the Year in 2013 and there is a full line out of ales to choose from. We start with a fine Butts organic Le Butts but, after a while turnover to Raven’s Gold Ale. Both are excellent props but, after a number of phases, we will probably pay some form of penalty in the morning.