The Royal Standard pub in the Chilterns, steeped in history and ghosts.
I am totally fat this Tuesday. Having eaten a huge lunch at the Royal Standard (where the two King Charles and their spaniels were known to hang out) and just now having finished the annual Mardi Gras gumbo, I think I am twice my normal size.
No, this is not my before picture; it's a skeleton sitting in the pub, waiting for a pint. They've been brewing ale here since before William invaded England, so there's no telling how old this guy is.
Charles I hid here from the Parliamentarians, after fleeing Oxford disguised as a servant. King Charles II whored here, and in gratitude, he changed the name of The Ship to The Royal Standard of England, which no other pub can claim.
They warn you about the ghosts—one is said to haunt the ladies' room, and I did feel a cold draft while I was in there, but possibly that came from the open window. Another is of a 12 year old boy, cruelly murdered, who haunts the car park, beating a drum. Or could have been Keith Moon; who knows?
We sat by a fragrant fire, and had a pint and a mushroom risotto. (My friend tells me I'm a "risottotarian".) And since I consider myself a connoisseur of sticky toffee pudding, I had to give theirs a go. (Very authentic; actually steamed, imagine that!)
After all this eating today, I am ready for Lent. Bring. It. On.