Friday 29th November 2019
London November 2019
On arrival in Haywards Heath, as we had a little while to wait before The Royal Oak opened we had a first drink in, oddly enough, the Waitrose next to the station. They have a wine bar and Nyetimber was on special offer.
On arrival at the Royal Oak, we'd taken a taxi from Haywards Heath to here.
I'd booked a table for four, alas Jim couldn't make it this evening so it ended up just three of us.
I was rather touched by the fact Corrie had tweeded up a bit for the occasion, with a waistcoast she'd bought in a charity shop.
Outside the Royal Oak, the passageway leading to the gents.
More exterior shots of the Royal Oak.
Andrew and Corrie through the window of the pub.
Although the Royal Oak is a very traditional pubby sort of a pub, they did have some local wines on offer, and having bumped into winemaker Dermot Sugrue in Waitrose earlier it seemed appropriate to have a bottle of his handiwork from Wiston Estate.
A bit of an in joke here - every year Andrew and I have a "quaint" pub outing in the run up to Christmas, and every year I search for an ever more perfect and idyllic pub only to have it receive a decidedly middling rating (typically 4/10) from Andrew because of some minor flaw. Here the achilles heel in this otherwise beautiful and unspoilt pub was this bright LED light (disguised as a lantern) above our table.
Another exterior shot of the Royal Oak.
I remembered my new phone had an astrophotography mode, so I had a go at taking a picture of the stars, but discovered it only really kicks in properly if it detects the phone is on a tripod. So this is just black with a few white dots.
Corrie and I testing the idea that you could actually sit inside the inglenook fireplace.
...although the appeal of it soon wore off.