The Black Swan

It’s getting dark and is already wet, as we set off toward the unknown York suburbs. Feeling a bit thirsty and chilled we enter the first inviting door we see – the Black Swan’s.  We are immediately confused by it’s layout and spend several minutes wandering in the halls before we choose the room with a fire and two empty seats.
Stat Sheet 8: The Black Swan –
Events: Quiz Night
Notes: Local

Kat: It’s Saturday night and Ron and I are on our way to a house party with people from work. This party is, let’s be honest, in the middle of nowhere, so on the way there we decide to duck into some place called Black Swan. In the society of traditional English pubs, this one chairs the meetings. Walking in, Ron and I are slightly confused. On our left is a small, dark room with tables, it’s pretty empty except for one semi-surly looking fellow. We decide to walk deeper into the pub. Down the hall we see another similar room but with a visible bar and more people. This room looks a little full but now that we’ve at least spotted the bar we feel confident going deeper still. We see a sign directing us to the patio, we go. There is one man outside smoking. It’s dark and wet; we decide not to sit outside. The solitary man starts talking at us in the thickest, most unintelligible English accent I’ve ever heard. We smile and say something ending with “…but thanks!” and hurry back into the pub. We find a tiny table in the corner of the room with the bar. We each get a pint and end up sharing a bench with a lovely older couple. They tell us about the history of the pub, apparently they’ve been coming here for years. They’ve even outlasted a landlord or two. There is a massive (and gorgeous) fireplace alone one wall of the pub. The couple tells us there used to be a table practically in the fire that they used to sit at every time they visited. After getting advice on all the good pubs in York, we say goodnight, thank you, and continue with our awaiting party plans.

Ron: For the first time in months I feel freshly foreign.  The layouts of some pubs still baffle me – different rooms for different patrons, staircases that ascend to places that may or may not be off limits, locals who only offer sneers of assistance to the confused traveller.  Once we get settled with our pints however, I feel at home here.  Everyone seems to be having a good time, and there is even one man in a feathered hat who we are told leads a ghost walk through the city.  The smell and warmth of the fire, and the voices of happy conversation send me back to my parents kitchen.  A local couple struck up a conversation with us, and recommended a few more stops on our tour.

We didn’t want to leave when we took the last swig of our pints.  We had settled nicely into the comfortable atmosphere of this pub, and gleaned a glimmer of understanding why the Brits love their locals.  We decided we would some day attend the ghost walk of our friend in period dress, and reluctantly re-entered the rain.
Cheers x x

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One Response to “The Black Swan”

  1. Darrell Says:

    I’m loving the posts, and equally as important at the moment, loving the snow. Keep up the good work guys. x

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