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A USA adventure (via Iceland)

Here in the world of Burgess & Hall we often find ourselves on what can be known as a ‘busman’s holiday’*.  We don’t find this a problem when your business is also your driving passion in life – in fact, it makes it a very easy prospect.

(*a holiday or form of recreation that involves doing the same thing that one does at work.)

I’ve (Hall) found myself on a little journey, which will take me to some fairly interesting boozy places, and I thought it would be great to share them with you.

Part 2: 13-and-a-half hours in Seattle

Much like Elvis’ fleeting appearances I found myself in Seattle for one night only… it’s a daunting challenge trying to take in this fabulous and eclectic city when you have less than 14 hours there (some of which definitely had to be spent sleeping). So, I didn’t see the tower (it was too rainy anyway), Pike market etc… instead I headed straight for cocktails at the city’s best bar, Liberty. Tended to by the talented bar-keep Andrew, I was furnished with libations and delights that soon took the edge off the 7 and half hour flight. Creative, imaginative, simply one of the best bars I’ve ever seen, I was happy. Better still, Andrew packed me off with a $20 bill to be spent at his favourite bar in Oregon – how nice is that!! On asking if there’s much rivalry between Seattle and Portland he simply said [on Portland] “Only I’m allowed beat up my kid-brother”, no criticism from me here.

11909954_503080086527490_455855065_nGreat value bite to eat: Smith (plus a late night happy hour, an old fashioned for $5!)
Fantastic coffee from Caffe Vita (it’s definitely not Starbucks)
Good, tasty breakfast from Oddfellows

Part 1: Reykjavik: The land of banned beer (until 1989)

Yes, that’s right, beer was illegal in Iceland up until 1989 – an incredible fact that as I type I still find hard to believe, especially as there is a booming beer scene in Iceland and in its small, but perfectly formed, capital Reykjavik, it seems to be the tipple of choice. The reason for this late prohibition? Patriotism and the Danes… I shalln’t provide you with a detailed breakdown of the issue of colony and colonised, but it is the main reason why. In a brief stopover in Iceland I was particularly impressed by the beers of Kaldi (meaning, handily, cold) owned by couple Agnes and Olafur Trostar – their goal was to create a beer free from added sugar and preservatives that is rich and full bodied in taste. They’ve certainly succeeded and their deliciousness can be tried, unfiltered, at their tap bar in Reykjavik (they do a great happy hour too) Kaldi

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Great coffee:  Rejkyavik Roasters
Good for dinner: Kex, Smjorkygrill, Fiskmarkadurinn
Great for breakfast: Bergsson
Useful website for events in Reykjavik