Buy us a beer!

Skating at Winchester Cathedral after a pint at the Black Boy

On Tuesday, we went down to Winchester for some post-Christmas shopping (a new jacket ’tis all) and some family ice skating. Before going to the rink, though, we walked along the river path to get to what has got to be the area’s best pub, the Black Boy.

Rumour has it that the pub is named after the kids who were sent up (or down) chimneys to clean them centuries ago. The odd artefacts hanging from the ceiling alone makes it worth the visit; The real ale – I had Goddard’s Scrumdiggity – on tap makes you want to while away the entire afternoon there…And thanks to the many people who have bought us a pint, we could have. However, off we had to go.

You just cannot beat the atmosphere at Winchester Cathedral for outdoor ice skating. The architecture and sense of history all around is stunning, and the friendly people enjoying time out with their families make you feel all good inside.

It was Tosha’s first go at ice skating, and my did he do well! It was just the second time for Tolii – and he was already showing off by doing 360 degree turns (mostly on purpose, other times when getting acquainted with how cold ice is on you bum).

Okay, so there is a fair bit of cheating going on: the rink sits on top of a huge air conditioning unit that keeps the ice solid in air temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees centigrade. That probably accounts for the £30 family ticket price for just an hour of ice time, but that did include skate rental. Cheaper than a ticket to Canada; and skating inside the Basingstoke hockey arena just doesn’t compare.

A superb evening out. Tosha immediately asked, “When can we do that again?”

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