you can sit in Robbie Burns’s chair (if you buy a round for the whole pub)

you can sit in Robbie Burns's chair (if you buy a round for the whole pub)

The Globe Inn is the most prominent of all the pubs associated with Robert Burns, Bard of Ayrshire and hard drinker, born 260 years ago. Sitting along a narrow wynd, the Globe is a shrine to Burns’s life and times – but no Disneyesque creation this. Ancient timber panellings cover three tiny rooms – all of them museum pieces – with varnish upon varnish upon scuffed, knocked-about, well-worn surfaces.

The elongated building, from courtyard to lounge bar, snug, Burns room and “howff” (another snug, sort of), drips with Burnsanalia including poetry, portraits, poignant handwritten letters and a bronze bust. Verses to Polly Stewart are etched on a windowpane. (Robbie was also having an affair with Anna Park, niece of the Globe’s landlady. After all, he did compose “Should auld acquaintance be forgot…”)

Burns’s favoured chair sits by a magnificent fireplace. The deal is, if you sit in it you must treat the pub to a round, then recite something from his vast canon. I’m ashamed to say I did and I didn’t. My parsimony now haunts me.

Two hand-pulled ales occupy a corner of the lounge bar and Tennent’s Lager, Guinness and Belhaven Best stretch along the counter.

A line of whiskies is a standing invitation to a tour of Scotland. My first pint of The Grace (4.3 ABV) from local Sulwath Brewery was downed in minutes. The beer celebrates the Selkirk Grace delivered at Burns Suppers: “Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, And sae let the Lord be thankit.”

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