Havelock Tavern, Shepherd’s Bush, London   3 comments


A half block away from the Bird in Hand, the Havelock Tavern was my last hope for a place that would have — with no prompting from me — some Dylan on the piped in music (I had this ill-advised idea that I could bar-hop and listen to the new Nobel Laureate’s back catalog). The bar looked spare and busy and a bit more eclectic than the others but I was glared at almost immediately by a bartender I’ll call Beardy McOneSleeveTats (shit, more fucking hipsters).

There were also way too many Americans stinking up the joint but the menu looked fantastic — if I was eating there that evening I would definitely have killed the roasted 1/2 pheasant with cauliflower and cabbage (only £13, about the same as 3 pints of the Hell’s Pilsner I was enjoying).

Then, the most marvelous sequence of events took place.

At the opposite side of the bar there was a table of a bunch of Russian kids, six of them about 20-25 years old. They had been pounding drinks and twice I saw tequila rounds executed. It looked the place to be if you were that age and they seemed to be having a great time and would be violently ill in the morning (and probably later this evening). I had to pass by them to get to the loo and a verrrry drunk Brit coming out at the same time hit one of their chairs with the door.

He started apologising in a very Ealing Comedies kind of way, more of a drunk from the 1950s than 2016; none of them seemed to know what he was on about and he felt it his duty to explain that they should be offended for him hitting them with the door. Pointing at me, one of them said, “our friend here is going to hit you with door, soon.”

I went in and drained my bladder then decided to head home when the door crashed open and one of the Russians sort of fell forward into the urinal. His buddy behind him in the tight alcove said, in a great cartoon-Soviet accent, “apologies, sir, but my friend he has been too much drinking.”

At this time, the door to the ladies’ opened into him and I said to the startled woman in as close to the same accent as I could, “don’t mind them… they have been too much drinking.” I looked at the kid standing there and as his eyes refocussed, said, “you’ve got a lot of nerve.”

Without missing a beat, his buddy who was still trying to stand up in the loo sang, “to say you are my friend.” Just outside the loos at the table, the others instantly joined in with,

“When I was down you just stood there grinnin’.
“You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend.
“You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’.”

Sometimes, you get lucky.



Posted October 14, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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