With thanks to Therese Keating for the words and Christian Doyle for the pictures
“I could wish you good luck, but I won’t“: this gracious parting shot from an acquaintance who shall remain nameless should give you an idea of the tense competitive atmosphere that hung over the King’s Arms last Tuesday as fourteen teams prepared to take on the 3rd annual Food Festival Pub Quiz. I had long been regaled with stories of the quiz’s famously tricksy and esoteric nature, and it certainly didn’t disappoint – not least with the challenge of coming up with a suitably hilarious team name (my suggestion of The Great British Fake Off was rejected, I felt unfairly, by my team mates).
After a bit of a false start in which one punter inexplicably took issue with the first question (the missing ingredient from the listed parts of Chinese five-spice mix, as you ask), things settled down and an air of intense concentration prevailed, punctuated only by wailing and gnashing of teeth when a particularly brutal question came up. Five-spice stumped a lot of teams, while a surprising number were aware that the jam in Battenburg cake is apricot flavoured. We were even treated to a couple of musical interludes, most notably in the alcohol themed odd-one-out round, when a challenge to pick out the missing words ‘Napoleon Brandy’ from Pete Sarstedt’s hit ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely‘ quickly degenerated into a pub-wide singalong that went on probably longer than was decent. I can honestly say I have never heard that song, or Jimmy Webb’s ‘Macarther Park‘, featuring later due to its cake connection, performed in quite such a unique way.
And then, via prog rock, West Ham, and AA Milne, we came to the end. Full credit must go to the quizmaster and the staff of the King’s Arms for a great night, made even better by the appearance of sandwiches before the results were announced. In the end, the wonderfully named Baby Cheeses and Quattro Formaggi came in third and second respectively, with the equally punny Exquizite the well-deserved champions. We also raised £66 for the Food Festival charity, FareShare.
And in case you were wondering, Chinese five-spice is made up of star anise, clove, Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, and… fennel seed.
The Kings Arms is believed to be the oldest pub in Arundel and is hugely popular for its well-kept real ales, traditional pub games and well-stocked jukebox, as well as regular events including quizzes, real ale and crib nights. Ring 01903 882312 for opening times.