Otter and Otter

In celebration of my son’s return from Uni and to wish my daughter good luck in her forthcoming exams, we had Sunday lunch at our pub, the Dolphin.


What a lovely lunch it was, traditional roast beef or roast pork, with all the trimmings and beautifully cooked vegetables and scrummy gravy. An agreeable atmosphere, our friends and other locals bantering and conversing with the usual mixture of wit and pithy observation… washed down by fine wine and good beer… particularly the rather lovely Otter.


For those of you who don’t know, a yard of ale is exactly that. The yard is a glass vessel as beautifully illustrated by the otter above, which is filled with beer and the challenge is to drink it down in one. Sounds easy but a yard of ale which is about 2 1/2 pints is quite heavy, and as you drink, lifting the glass you sometimes get a tidal wave of beer… or, as you get to the crucial point when you have drunk as far as the bowl, as you tip it further, air rushes in and sends the beer cascading down to cover you. A skillful drinker needs a strong arm, exquisite judgement, and the capacity to consume that amount of beer in one go!

Thank you Dolphin for a lovely lunch! See you Tuesday night for the quiz!



  1. 4amWriter

    My dad is from England. He was born in Pettswood, my grandmother was born in Wimbledon. My dad owned a yard, just as depicted with the otter 🙂 I can still see it today in my mind’s eye, sitting in the corner of his study in its wooden holder. I don’t recall him ever actually using it (although he could have late-night, lol), but I remember it more as a knick-knack. Thanks for bringing back an old, sweet memory.


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