The Still and Star, Aldgate, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1929:

After the Prospect of Whitby, I wandered the East End in search of a proper pub but, while there were plenty to be visited, I was continually one or two streets over and couldn’t spot one to save my soul.  As far as saving my soul DOES go, I also avoided one that was completely surrounded by banker wankers but opted not to take part in the Muslim prayers going on in a car park around the corner.

Eventually, I found myself at Aldgate station and was about to abandon the hunt when I noticed a bunch of drinkers in a square across the road.  And, rounding the curb there it was: the Still and Star.  Result!

 

 

Fabulous find, this one, especially on a sunny day (if you like that sort of thing…I hid away, inside, from the evil yellow disk).  It is a very small, old bar but they manage to do food — I spotted a woman bring a bunch of delicious looking nibbles out of the Private quarters and deliver them to some of my bar mates.  The beer was good, too, and, for London, reasonably priced.

It was 2:30 in the afternoon.  The ties had come off all of us wearing them.  No one who went to work this morning was going back.  Either they thought, “fuck it, Nibiru is going to kill us all tomorrow,” or I found a part of town that takes P.O.E.T.S. Day seriously.

 

 

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Posted September 23, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping, London   1 comment

 

Pub #1928:

I took Friday off but visited some labs at Queen Mary University of London in the morning, touching base with an old friend off next month to take up a Professorship at Guangzhou University.  At loose ends when I left at noon, I took a long walk down the Thames Path into Wapping and stopped at the gorgeous — and wholly incompetent — Prospect of Whitby.  There were at least 40 pensioners waving menus and placing food and complicated drinks orders to the one bartender who, to his credit, was unflappable and, to his detriment, as slow as cold treacle (which I swear was an ingredient in one of the drinks the grannies insisted on).

I decided to go up to the gents loo while the crowd thinned and inspected the stone stairwell and the three other rooms up there.  Truly a beautiful house.  A single server seemed to be serving there but had no need to hurry because of the slow progress placing the orders below.

When I returned, there seemed to be no dent in the crowd.  After 15 minutes, I realised that for every blond wig that left, another age-inappropriate blond dye-job showed up and I started pushing my way toward what appeared to be the staging ground.  Five more minutes and I ordered a pint of a Twickenham’s creation.

Naked Ladies, please.”  The giggling around me was still continuing when I moved away from the bar with my reward.

Well, I say reward…it was foul.  I think I got the first one of these of the day and the lines had not been purged from the night before.  It was impossible to get back to the bar by then and I got used to it, risking diarrhea on the morrow.

Maybe this is better outside of lunch time.

Oh, don’t forget to look out at the Thames side of the pub … the gallows and noose mark the spot of the “Execution Dock.”  I think some of the biddies in there might remember when it was still used.

 

 

Posted September 23, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The King’s Arms, Southwark, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1927:

Southwark at rush hour means the pubs are going to be packed.  That’s what I found at the King’s Arms on my way to meet Jackie after her current workday so we could scout the library she has an interview to work at across town.  With nowhere to park my glass, I squeezed through the close quarters of the saloon bar to find the public bar even more jammed but the Thai dining area in the back was relatively quiet — only 20-25% over the fire regulations.

 

I had a pint of Dark Star and realised that this was much more the sort of Grateful Dead tribute bar that the Nelson wants to be.  Bless.

 

 

Looking around, I spotted some better-than-the-rest artefacts such as the bar elephants ringing the ceiling of the restaurant area (see above).  I first and last saw these in Hull at the Dram Shop and the Inkerman Tavern, respectively.  I wanted one (or more) of these for myself, then, and I still do, now.

 

Posted September 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Lord Nelson, Southwark, London   1 comment

 

Pub #1926:

I went to the Nelson largely in the hopes that this would be the pub sign:

 

But, they didn’t have a sign at all (Lord Nelson Muntz would have worked for me, as well).

Granted, there were plenty of items around the bar that count as conspicuously and belaboured-ly (and failingly flailingly) cool; but, I didn’t really think it was ACTUALLY cool when I worked in a couple of bars very much like this more than 30 years ago.  Reverse nostalgia, and all that.

On the other hand, it made me happy to see employees, in turn, head off to take their turn through a doorway as soon as the preceding one emerged and resumed a place behind the bar.  We used to do this in Atlanta bars: off to the walk-in cooler for some pizza dough, smoke the bowl the previous guy left, repack it for the next, and return with a request for help like, “hey, Jeremy, do you mind running back there and changing the Rolling Rock keg?  For some reason, I forgot…the key is by the pizza sauce.”

I’m sure the food is good, here.  Stoners, dontchaknow….

 

Posted September 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The College Oak, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1925:

The Wednesday lunch run was scheduled as a 5 miler but the prospect of closing the ledger on Abingdon pubs was too great a draw so I extended the distance a couple of miles to the College Oak which, like the Boundary House last week, is a Greene King and therefore has a steak special Monday through Wednesday every week.  Yum, I guess…chewy but the flavour is right.

The girls behind the bar were friendly enough, even giggly.  From the looks of my dining room neighbours, I was by far the youngest customer there and perhaps that was the attraction to the staff: I’m sure I smelled a fraction less like wee than the pensioners creaking around the joint.  Or, they may just be nice.

Beer was a Timothy Taylor Landlord and spectacular.  Bus stop was an easy-to-manage (even stuffed with lunch) half mile away.  That’ll do.

 

Posted September 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Willow Walk, Belgravia, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1924:

Sunday mornings have been grand of late. Like last week, I was out on the canal path at sunrise trundling away on a 16 mile path to a Wetherspoons with nothing but rough sleepers, waterfowl, breakfasting boat denizens, and fisherman to meet along the way. Two hours of this and you can work up a thirst.

The Willow Walk is adjacent to Victoria Station but easy to miss. There is nothing outside to draw your attention at all; inside, you could be at any other ‘Spoons in the country (except for the London pricing).

I got a pint of Sambrook’s Porter and consulted my transport link’s timetable…SHIT! I could get one in 5 minutes or wait another 20 for the next one. Well, there wasn’t any reason to linger (save for the viscous, brown nectar in my rapidly draining tankard).

My legs felt fresh as I returned my glass and I slipped out past some fat pensioners and sprinted to the coach stop, another ½ mile away.

 

 

Posted September 19, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Pocket Watch, Shepherd’s Bush, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1923:

It started raining — not hard, but large drops and some sleet — as I left the 6 Bells and I made a hard dash for Shepherd’s Bush, finally taking sanctuary in the Pocket Watch.  A Brakspear pub, I settled on a Bitter, eased through the three Polish guys that had pulled their stools out into the walkway, and had a look around.

 

 

One especially nice find was this old scope.  I used one like this when I was into Ham Radio in the 70’s but it was really out of date, like most of my other equipment, even then.  I suspect some of my skin cancers can be traced back to the output of the phosphor screen on the beast:

 

 

It was also impressive to see the fine carpentry work done on the tables, here:

 

 

By the time I finished, the sun had returned.  I’ve been to worse pubs in the neighbourhood, but there are better ones, too.

 

Posted September 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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