"It doesn't look too busy" I say as we pass the window, a female voice drifting out into the early evening sky. The beer garden too is deserted. This has to be a good sign.
We turn into the doorway, through the brick entrance, a couple of lonely smokers in the way and I realise instantly that I have made a mistake.
There is, as I'd seen, only a few people seated around the windows. Around what is the makeshift stage where a girl with a Kate Nash haircut is singing, however, there is the entire population of a small town. Say Bath, or Hastings, or Stratford. During the tourist season. A predominantly female tourist season small town. But a small town nonetheless.
More worryingly the spread of people is blocking the route to the bar. Suddenly abseiling the walls looks like a very real possibility.
Val looks at me. "Shall we try?"
Full of the spirit of adventure (and, erm, Champange) there is only one decision: "Let's go".
It is slow work, breathing in, pulling your limbs along, trying not to end up with a pint over your head. I realise that I am sharing the kind of proximity with these people that normally I reserve for floppy haired boys who can talk about Shakespeare.
"Don't they know" - I remove an elbow from my ear - "there's an expensive bag coming through!"
I hear the man in front of me laugh; he turns round.
"Are you paying with it?"
I make some sort of noise and continue with the hike.
When I eventually reach the bar they try to give me a malibu and coke. I do not begin to elaborate on how wrong they are.
Later, when I have drunk and bounced and Griffin has sung the abridged version of my record collection, one of the bar staff attempts the hike.
"Pregnant woman coming through!" he exclaims.
Mildly disgruntled I turn to Val -
"I think mine was more original".