I’m in the poshest supermarket I’ve ever been in. There’s a self-serve patisserie at the door and eight different types of pesto. It’s Spar in Walthamstow village. Who’d have thought it?
This place is full of babied people. With a constant flow of buggies into The Castle pub, I had to elbow some bint in the face, to get my nephew to the front of the crowd to watch the impromptu ukulele group. On leaving the pub, the same river of buggies leads us from the pub to Spar. I avoid the green pea pesto and seek out the booze fridge. There must be some good ones in here, I can’t imagine these folks drinking Strongbow Super or Lech. If you like those drinks, check out this blog for tramps.
I find a reasonable selection of ciders, and I’m drawn to the bottles of Charringtons. They sport very classy labels: a gilded griffin rampant, nobly holds an apple on the front of the Queen of Cox, Kent Craft Cider. The label is suggestive of royalty, while avoiding the obvious Queen of Cox innuendos. Ooh, I say.
It’s the first use of the phrase ‘craft cider’ that I’ve seen on a bottle, so I expect this is very fashionable cider. The word ‘craft’ is now often used to lure in people with large beards and forearm tattoos.
Fuck me! £5.95 a bottle?! (500ml). It had better be good!
We squeeze the booze, lingonberry tartlets, thrice-fried broccoli pesto and pram onto the bus and head back to base to play cars with the nephew.
Now the little one has gone to bed and the pesto is in the bin, it’s time for the cider to come out, well, cars and booze just don’t mix. I’m struck by how sweet the cider is, but cox is a dessert apple variety, which produces a sweeter cider. It’s quite fizzy, but has some interesting notes: herbs, violet, vegetables, elderflower: a veritable English walled garden in a bottle. However, my drinking buddy thinks it tastes like White Lightning mixed with champagne.
The 6.3% cider is made on the Charrington Cryals estate in Kent. It’s a bit sweet for me, but it’s certainly a queen of dessert apple cider, and I’m warming to it. Queen of Cox: sweet, fruity, British and ripe with innuendo– just like Barbara Windsor, you have to be royalty to afford this.