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Friday, 15 November 2019 17:45

The oldest Freehouse in England

THE ROYAL STANDARD OF ENGLAND at Forty Green in Beaconsfield, UK a countrified freehouse culture surrounded by a generous splash of glorious British countryside.  

It lived its changing times through history, when the Romans during the Iron Age granted land to tribes and settlers mostly German, Saxons, Angles and Jutes. Ale was brewed here as there was a good supply of water from the garden well. 

 ‘...the Saxon alewife (the brewer was nearly always a woman) would put a green bush on a pole as a sign that the ale was ready. ‘ 



The brewer’s cottage became the ale house because it was used as a meeting house to resolve disputes and make a toast to the goddess of barley. 

The alehouse survived the Dark Age’s raids and the Vikings’ invasions, at the beginning of 1000, because of its secluded location. Its history refers to the various kings of England, and has had an important role as a meeting place for troops leaders, a place where many legends survived, even a legend of a ghost still in the freehouse, a place where the then illegally strong ale – Owx Roger was brewed in Victorian times, sold to Marston brewery but can still be bought at the freehouse today. 



Although it has had dramatic restorations today it boasts a unique atmosphere featuring low and high wooden beams, nooks and crannies, gnarled timbers, worn flagstones, carved oak panels old art crafts and animal heads on the walls, and the golden Dragon as its main emblem which was used as a war banner of the royal house of Wessex. 

“The first mention of the inn, originally known as ’Se Scip’ (The Ship), was made in 1213, although it is likely that an alehouse existed on the site prior to this date.  However, it was not until after Charles II’s restoration to the throne in 1663 that the inn changed its name to the Royal Standard of England, the only inn in the country with the honour of this full title.  It is said that the new king bestowed the honour in recognition of the loyalty and support given to the Royalists and to his executed father by the landlord. It may also have been the case that Charles II felt obliged to do so as a reward for being able to meet his mistresses in rooms above the inn!” Source – www.



The bar was exceptionally interesting for us thirsty beer travelers we have enjoyed a few refreshing pints from the Cask ales! 

Chiltern pale ale brewed in Buckinghamshire by gentlemen of the Chiltern brewery -light, refreshing with hints of grapes and honey. 

Olde drip from Greene King Suffolk- a rich toffee flavoured beer with fruity character but bitter and dry 

Conqueror black Ipa from Windsor and Eton Brewery- rich and complex ale, a blend of 5 malts to give an intense roasted flavour and a fresh pine aroma 

We also had the Belhaven Black Stout from Scotland – a rich black stout with rich coffee aroma and lingering hints of dark chocolate and the Twisted Thistle again from Scotland - copper sparkling Ipa with a zesty grapefruit aroma and finishing with a refreshing bitter bite. 

On the food side, The Royal Standard of England offers a traditional Sunday roast fare but we chose to go more traditional as in fish and chips followed but the delicious bread and butter pudding and the Sticky toffee pudding to soak all that beer intake! 


Published in Where to go

‘It is all about your inner world, I want people to come, relax and find themselves,… to come to a balance with their inner world and bring out their best self. I want people to become one with nature and feel its energy, away from everyday life’s pressures, to experience other emotions, to discover themselves. I want people to come and make love, this place is all about love!’ 



In the beautiful countryside of Kent, just outside London, there is a discovery to be made, the Clements Cottage, hosting the Samsara Retreat and Yoga. It offers a magical journey to serenity, a place to unwind and nourish yourselves, relax, breathe, meditate and practice yoga or just be lazy and lose yourself in the surrounding nature. It is not like any other retreat, this one is uniquely special.  




The yoga is offered daily indoors at a traditional oast house or outdoors in the spectacular garden at sunrise and sunset. Dipu, the yoga master, delivers a person-centered holistic experience with authentic confidence.  


The retreat features a main, where people can stay in the romantic motive that Loraine and Dipu designed for a definite comfort and detailed luxury. We, as speakeasyhackers, alternatively stayed at the shepherd’s hut at the corner of the gardens overlooking a spectacular green field resembling one of the Braveheart or The Vikings battle fields! 



The views, the clean air and the moon emerging through the clouds at night kept us on the sofa outdoors and in silence enjoying the mesmerizing sounds of the leaves on the trees and becoming one with nature. The hut in a comfortable simplicity featured a log fire and a very luxurious raised bed, in line with the window and overlooking the fields and the sky when lying down. 


The retreat offers country breakfast and meals but certainly request for the special curries that Dipu prepares with a smile. The Samsara retreat and yoga is all about love, an experience that needs to be discovered! 



Samsara Retreat and Yoga 
Clements cottage 
West Peckham, Kent ME18 5jp 


Published in Where to go

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