Ye Olde Six Bells

We left the plane and made our way through Gatwick airport.  Having found our luggage without loss of any items we then found ourselves in an all but non-existent customs line-up.  What a pleasant surprise!  No time lost making our way through there and now in front of an information booth to get directions to where we would catch our bus to the Marriott Courtyard in Gatwick.

The weather is great, actually.  It’s a wonderful 19c, slightly cloudy, no wind and no rain.  The wait for our bus was about 10 minutes and another 10 to our hotel.  Although we have now arrived just before noon, our room is ready and waiting.  No line up at the reception desk either.  This is a bit unnerving. 🙂  Despite the fact that my plans for a better seating solution on the plane had gone awry, the rest of this day is more than satisfactory.

Our room is quite nice, the bed is indeed king sized, and the WiFi is free.  This holiday is off to a very good start. 🙂

We did a little net-surfing, prior to our departure, in particular looking for quaint pubs in the area.  One piqued our interest quite a bit. Ye Olde Six Bells pub in the little nearby town of Horley.  It’s been around for about five hundred years and looks almost all of it.  So we thought we would drop in to have a look around.  Stayed for dinner and drinks which turned out to be a good decision.  Not quite ready for beer (in any of its many varieties) but a G and T could be a gratifying choice. Ordered an Aperol Spritz for my dear wife, and my G and T with Bombay Sapphire gin.  Both were much more tasty than should be allowed.  With that in mind, I thought it would be prudent to stop at one.

Dinner is Marie Rose crabcakes with baby shrimp and lettuce…and a sticky platter.  Chicken wings, prawn with chorizo, lamb koftas, pita bread crisps and calamari.   A second time around I wouldn’t revisit the Marie Rose crabcakes.  Marie Rose is a ‘seafood sauce’ mixture that, in this rendition, did not fare well.  However the sticky platter is a completely different story.  The Calamari was probably the most tender I’ve had in a long long time.  The prawns, done with garlic butter so no surprise there, were also mixed with pieces of chorizo which made the surprise.  Chicken wings had nothing over-the-top exciting, but were done with an excellent overall flavor and a wonderful crunch.  Finally, the lamb koftas were exemplary – tender, flavor galore and the perfect size.  And the overall ambiance couldn’t be beat.  The ceiling is very low and there are constant reminders to ‘Duck or Grouse’.  Duck your head, or grouse about banging it…hard.

Right next door is a very, very old church.  After dinner (or late lunch depending on how you want to look at it) we went outside and strolled through the church grounds and cemetery.  True enough a bit of an odd thing to do but unique in its own right given the ages of things there.  Unfortunately, weathering does terrible things to tombstones.  Most of them were completely illegible although on the majority you could still see where the writing was engraved.

A lazy walk down a over-hanging tree and vine covered foot path led us to a massive soccer pitch.  Actually I think there was about three of them given the number of goal posts I saw.

The long day is taking its toll especially as we did not really get any sleep on the plane.  Back to the pub to wait for a taxi for a return to the hotel seemed a good idea.  It won’t be a real early day tomorrow as we don’t catch the train to Southampton until 11 AM but we’re going to do our best to get on track with UK time.

Tomorrow the day should be relatively easy.  After we board the ship the hardest thing we’ll need to do is decide where to have supper. 🙂  And take some pics for you to have a peek as well.  Those should show up on the ship page…providing I remember how to do it. 😉

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