This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Holly Hepburn
The first thing you need to know about my new novella series is that the bar is the star. Seriously, I am in love with The Star and Sixpence, with its oak-beamed ceiling and vast central fireplace. It's the kind of place I would love to discover, although I would probably never leave if I did. So I thought I would take you on a whistle-stop tour of the premises, to let you in on all its secrets…
We'll start with its location, nestled at the top of the Little Monkham village green. Little Monkham strives to be the perfect Cotswolds village and The Star and Sixpence has always been one of the jewels in its crown. Inside the front door, you'll find a roaring fire and a warm welcome behind the bar from sisters Sam and Nessie. The pub is well known for its beers – Joss the cellarman knows his stuff – but Sam is determined to bring some London glamour to the country and has the Prosecco flowing on tap too. Once you've got your drink, you can choose your seat – a comfy armchair next to the fire or a secluded nook tucked away from the rest of the pub. Maybe a table seat, especially if you're planning to join in the quiz nights Sam has organised, complete with celebrity quiz masters.
The cellar is Joss's domain (the spider who lived there at the start of Snowdrops at The Star and Sixpence was immediately made homeless, mostly because my editor told me off for spending too long fretting about where it was). It's home to his precious award-winning beers. Up the narrow stairs to the first floor, there's a kitchen that's a work in progress, a living room and two bedrooms. And above that, there are the attic rooms, unused for decades. Rumour has it that the ghost of a highwayman roams the corridors of The Star and Sixpence, a whisper of its history as a coaching inn. There's definitely an unexplained chill in the corner of the first floor landing…
In years gone by, the pub would really come to life at Christmas. Imagine a building overflowing with warmth and festive spirit, the scent of pine from the tree mingling with the faint aroma of malt from the pumps and a hint of chestnuts roasting in a pan above the fire. There'd be a good crowd at the bar, friends and neighbours, laughing and enjoying themselves. It was everything a local should be.Sam and Nessie are doing their best to restore The Star and Sixpence to its former glory but like creating the perfect cocktail, it's not as easy as it looks. And what's a pub without any customers? So on that note, I hope you've enjoyed your tour. I hope to see you at the bar really soon.
Snowdrops at The Star and Sixpence is out now.