Mac Rutherford, Julian Dunn, Bernie O'Brien, David Munro and yours truly set sail for the coast at the hottest time of the year. The first stop was the Victoria at Earl Soham where copious quantities of their fabulous Victoria bitter were consumed, and in my case soaked up by a great beef stroganoff. Next stop was the house of a friend of ours who had allowed us to stay over, (bang next to the brewery) where we had to break in having been given the wrong key!

Real ale men make good burglars, we found, having enlisted the help of a couple of friends from Cambridge who were doing up a house nearby. They lent us putty knives and putty to refit the pane of glass we had to remove to get in.

Next stop was the Lord Nelson where we had a couple of pints of Adnams bitter, very good too. We then went to the Red Lion for another couple of the same, though Mac thought the Broadside was in better form. The Kings Head has just been done up, and I am really disappointed in the way they have followed Greene King's example in renovating, and giving this pub a "Bistro" feel to it, so only one was required in there.

One of my favourite pubs used to be the Sole Bay Inn, bang next to the brewery but again it has been totally bastardised and none of us would dream of drinking in such a blatant piece of vandalism masquerading as a pub. A pint in the back bar in the Crown settled the nerves, and this was followed by a fabulous dinner in the Crown, expensive but high quality, followed by an end to the evening back at the Nelson.

The following day we had an unmemorable breakfast on the pier, then went down to the quay and a short boat trip to Walberswick. The Bell, normally a great place for food and drink, served us a poor pint of Adnams, but Mr Munro with his "Skipper" hat on did not complain - we reckoned it was the end of the barrel. No matter, we were soon back in the Harbour Inn for another pint of Madmans and fish and chips before leaving for home.

A stop back at the Victoria on the way home ended a fabulous couple of fine days for 5 great friends. Special thanks to David for doing the driving, and when behind the wheel, drinking coffee!

A great time had by all.

Jerry Brown - Hic!