It's not every day you can say you've had a meal in Henry VIII's old boozer. Twenty eight British Naturism members in the Eastern Region enjoyed a great evening at the Olde King's Arms in Hemel Hempstead in March. It was the day Donald Trump banned UK travellers from the USA , Spain had just gone into total lock down and our supermarket shelves were being emptied as if shops were about to be closed for ever. There was an apocalyptic feel to the day, made worse for me as our much looked forward trip to Russia had just been cancelled and our first rental at our Spanish apartment had cancelled. At the same time flights to Spain were returning to the UK mid flight. On entering this historic pub it had the feeling of the Last Supper and we wondered if anyone else would turn up. As it happened, there was only one non arrival.
The pub is an old coaching inn and reputed to be a regular haunt of Henry who seemed to love the Hemel Hempstead pub scene. There are reputed to be two ghosts that haunt the pub and one is “the Jolly Man'. He's a large, happy man who some think is Henry's ghost.
Inside we had a large warm room to ourselves and landlord Ben was extremely welcoming. His staff were friendly and quick to smile. It's so nice when we go to new venues and staff are totally relaxed - apart from the young waitress who had a bowl of very hot soup hovering over my lap at one point! Actually, thinking back, it was me who was nervous and she was very relaxed!
This was another successful meal organised by Richard and was accompanied by a fiendishly tough quiz. It was worth winning though as the prize was a bar of gold each (soap that is). Richard had contemplated toilet rolls as prizes but didn't want things to get too competitive. Once again it was good to meet old friends and make new acquaintances. It's such a shame that the format of a sit down meal prevents you meeting more people on the night, though we did circulate a little towards the end.
I'm sure we will visit this venue again, so it's worth mentioning to those thinking of coming that many members stayed overnight at the inn and the rooms were of a high standard.