I have always been impressed by Chaucer’s pilgrims to Canterbury. They knew how to tell a good story and they knew how to enjoy themselves. Southwark, of course, was where the Way to Canterbury began and the revelling that took place in the inns off Borough High Street as Chaucer’s Prologue records.
In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay
Ready to start upon my pilgrimage
To Canterbury, full of devout homage,
There came at nightfall to that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all
That toward Canterbury town would ride.
Our journey, coming to its end, we went this evening for the final pilgrimage dinner at a restaurant in the old city.
The food was terrific, We started with some local specialities including Pulpo and clams, moved on to beautiful Hake or beef and finished with something akin to a syllabub. But what we were waiting for was the Quiemada drink ceremony.
They prepared the Quiemada before us, the blue flames licking up from the bowl which contained not just the sprit but fruit and coffee beans.
When it was ready another lashing of alcohol finished it off. It was delicious and what a great way to end the final evening.
So we are all off to bed before we begin the journey home.