WHEN a town presents more than 570 arts offerings – and some outdoor jols like performance artist Anthea Moys amazingly taking on an entire soccer team at its own game – you can expect pit stops to be full.
One of the terrific things about the timing of Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival is that you are forced to seek shelter in a cozy sluk-den between shows or risk hypothermia or serious frostbite to an already numb bum and possibly other body parts.
The first night of the fest this year was positively Arctic.
While there is no shortage of warm quaffing stations, close proximity to performance spaces counts a lot while (bonus upon beer bonus!) some venues even have their own bar and you are invited to take your sluk in with you.
Like the Scout Hall, which also serves up a mean curry and rice (you can sniff in the spicy aromas a mile away!)
When it comes to value at the main pubs, however, the central Rat and Parrot in New Street – while popular for its munchies – is pricey at R21 for a 500ml Castle draught.
A much better deal is to be had at Champs close by – just off High Street – where you can get the same sluk on tap for R17.
And more or less across the road is the historic Albany Club where value is to be had on both the meal and sluk fronts. This pozzie of course has the big plus of a roaring fire every night. You often have to queue up to get anywhere near it!
CS enjoyed one of their hearty daily specials – roast pork, apple sauce, veggies and perfectly done crackling for R58 – while a 750ml local quart is a nice round figure of 20 bucks.
Talking of fireside sluks and chats, back in the Bay one of the most laid-back rustic sluk-dens in winter is the Glendore Arms on the corner of Victoria Drive and Glendore Road, where there are not only two fireplaces inside, but also a really social bonfire area outside for large gatherings.
CS and the Slukkertary-General have visited a couple of times in the past few months and have been impressed with the spruced-up atmosphere, ultra-quick service and reasonable prices on beers and other sluks.
The spot has a nice old-world feel, with its different inter-leading rooms giving it something of an English country inn ambience (with a whole bunch of regulars to complete that picture!)
The pub and grub also has a good reputation for value-for- money munchies – some of CS’s mates have rated the ribs excellent – and there’s a happy hour from Mondays to Thursdays between 6pm and 7pm.
So, if you’re looking for that elusive pub with some comforting burning logs one of these frosty nights, you’ll find this fits the chill.
Glendore Arms contact number: 079-077-1515