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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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The Six Bells, Acton, London   1 comment


Pub #1922:

It’s a little inconvenient but our butcher shop, a family run Irish place, is in Shepherd’s Bush.  We used to go to this guy in the neighbourhood (in Ruislip Manor), but he sold out to some hipsters that gouge you on prices and only feature trendy cuts (and fuck a bunch of hipsters, anyway).  The potato heads do an awesome job and there’s never really need for an excuse to go to Shepherd’s Bush, anyway.  Saturday morning, my non-excuse was a wee run from Greenford that ended up at the butcher after a couple of pub stops.

The first of these was at the Six Bells in Acton, about halfway through the trot.  A grand building outside, it seems to be more of a sport bar within.  The bartender seemed fairly disinterested in pouring drinks and only an old couple spoke to one another with everyone else staring at something a thousand miles away at an angle about 10 degrees below horizontal.  Bleak.

Noticed something strange on the football match.  It was a British Premier League game but the electronic crawler surrounding the field at the foot of the stands only had adverts in Chinese.  I also noted this in the Pocket Watch (write-up soon), further down the road.  Cultural Imperialism turning against those who — if not invented it — made it High Art.  Well played, Beijing, well played.


Posted September 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Home, Ickenham, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1921:

…and then 2 come along at once.

Home Bar and Kitchen in Ickenham didn’t really call my name when it opened a few months ago.  It looked like it might just be an even more yuppified version of the Fox and Geese it replaced (note that the sign incorporates the old logo, above).  But, running home past it seemed like a nice way to get a few more miles in and, to be fair, I had just gone in for a lunch tipple at another place called Home at noon.  It would almost be irresponsible NOT to go.



Yes, it is very yuppified but in a way understatedly elegant, too.  Nice job on the new bar and the floors are marvelous.

I had a pint of the house “Home-made Lager,” which had no body or flavour.  THERE it is, I thought…THAT’S my metaphor.  It was then that I heard the awful, piped in Muzak.  The beer garden would have been a better choice.

Still, best of luck to them.  The menu looks divine, but I doubt I will ever return.


Posted September 15, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Home, Oxford, Oxfordshire   1 comment

Pub #1920:

By the time I got around to trying the Berkshire House it had changed to the Crooked Pot which I then tried on three occasions, finding it closed for the afternoon once (in between published hours) and not open two other times (that is, supposed to be open but locked with no sign of anyone there). It then re-rebranded as the Berkshire and I couldn’t get the fatty behind the bar to acknowledge my existence long enough to pour a beer or take my money. When she eventually left for a well-earned cigarette break, I left for more friendly — or competent — climes.

Now it is called “Home,” and specialises in locally sourced food…never a good sign for a pub.

Jackie hates bunting. She would not like this beer garden.


But, the house is lovely and my host helpful and proud of his beer selection.  I ordered the first Hoppelganger of the day and he pulled a wine glass full, sniffed, poured it out, pulled another, etc, until the portion left in the lines overnight had cleared a path for the better contents in the barrel.

And, it was good.

Clouds gathered and I made my way out for the run back to the labs via Donnington Bridge (and only getting caught in rain the last half mile or so…result).


Posted September 15, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Boundary House, Abingdon, Oxfordshire   1 comment


Pub #1919:

I did a lunch run to Abingdon and, with a wrong turn, wound up with a little over 8 miles to log before arriving at the Boundary House as the rain started to fall.  Already soaked with sweat, I stopped by the children’s play area to change to a dry shirt before entering.

“Was that you doing the strip tease just now?” asked the old man at the bar as I approached.
“That was meant to be PRIVATE, sir. Get an eye full, did we?”
“Is there a problem?” asked the bartender.
“Nothing a rare piece of rump won’t fix,” then to the sage of the bar, “am I right, sir?”  He grinned and took a sip of his stout.  Turning back to the tender, I pointed to a steak on the menu and added, “I’ll have the 8 ounce special please.”


“I’m 94-years-old,” non-sequitured my admirer. This statement stopped me and the help, cold.

After what felt longer than the couple of seconds it actually was, the bartender said to him, “you’re never…I would have put you at 70, certainly, but that is amazing. Where are you sitting?” I realised he had returned to me so I pointed to a table without taking my eyes off the ancient one. “And, to drink?”

Pointing to something on the ale pump line called, ‘Starry Night,’ I added, to the old man, “he’s right. It must be the tonic qualities of the Guinness, sir.” A conversation ensued about the health claims of the Black Stuff and how expecting mothers are once again being advised to, maybe, have the occasional one for the iron.
“Having the occasional one,” I noted with a waist-high forearm thrust, “is probably how they got into this predicament.”

The barman winced a bit and discretely shook his head at me. I grinned and the oldie pointed at me and said, “you know, he’s right.”

My steak was perfect but the prolonged stop at the bar meant I had to wolf it down to catch the hourly bus back to Oxford.


Posted September 14, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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