If there’s one thing life has taught me as we wend our way through this vale of tears, it is that – all things considered – it’s better down the pub. The very same thought occurred, not surprisingly really, to the pub industry who’ve used this title for their new campaign to support  local pubs.  The six lead campaigners are not the megabrewers – rather it’s people such as SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) and our very own Leicestershire brewers and pubco Everards, who deserve credit for teaming up to protect the pub.

You might like to take a look at this promotional film they’ve done – which features a few East Midlands pubs I recognised http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jheaCcSSaZ0&feature=youtu.be (big shout out to the Cholmeley Arms in Burton Coggles) – or visit the campaign website www.itsbetterdownthepub.com which has lots of stories about the positive side of pub culture.I’m going to the local launch of the campaign next week – if I learn anything, I’ll be sure to share it.

A couple of other bits of parish news. Fans of  Yves and Elizabeth Ogrodzki’s restaurant La Table d’Yves, which enlivened life in Thorpe Satchville until last year, will be pleased to know they’ve opened a new restaurant featuring Yves’ gutsy French cooking.  Trouble is, it’s in Cheltenham. Worth a detour maybe when zooming back up the M5 though. It’s called L’Artisan and the website I’m told  – though it doesn’t appear to be up and running yet – www.lartisan-restaurant.com

A new lunch option for those in Leicester city centre is Chilacas, promising Mexican street-food. It’s where Urban Pie was, and I believe it’s the same owners, feeling burritos are more of  a year-round option than pie and mash. Can’t see it exciting someone who’s just blown in from Oaxaca, but we’ll see.

And finally, my friends will be fed up of this message, but those curious to see who I am may be interested to watch the ITV quiz show The Chase on Tuesday 4th June at 5pm. I’ll be the one in seat number four trying my luck against Paul “The Sinnerman” Sinha.

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