Archive for the ‘Pubs’ Category

Mabel’s Tavern, King’s Cross, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2136:

After a plate of hors d’oeuves at the lunch break of the mini-conference at the Crick Institute, the need to rinse the pasty nibbles from between one’s teeth was irresistible and a pub was sought out.  On the trip to the Rocket — the most obvious choice — Mabel’s appeared one street out-of-the-way and looked a bit quieter.  It was.  Mind, it was full of suits but my collared shirt served as enough camouflage to blend in.

It is relatively small and dark and, dare I say, classy and the lunch crowd all seemed there for lunch.  Perhaps as recently as a year ago the lunch crowd would ingest mostly fluids but the world has gone mad; so much so that Kim Jong-Un commented on it to Donald Trump earlier in the day (and, I hope this, on its own merit, never ceases to sound insane, either).

 

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Posted June 13, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Loco’s, Brunel University Student Union, Uxbridge, Middlesex and the Visa Debacle of 1st June 2018   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2135:

Glossing over my reasons for being on campus, the mere fact that Brunel University HAS a campus (even an extremely small and modern one) made me long for something besides Oxford or Cambridge.  It lives up to the “Plate Glass University” category but that plate glass looks out on green neighbourhoods surrounding it.  It got its start as a Technical College and eventually got a Royal Charter as a University in 1966 (so, I’m about the same age as the Brunel College of Advanced Technology that preceded this version).  Finished with my visit, I decided to walk home and sought out pre-stroll fortification in the Student Union.

The bar there is called Loco’s and they were packed with right-around-19-to-21-year-olds, enjoying Friday evening with £1.50 pints.  It is a bit loud and very young, but the cricket was on a projector screen and some Ought-ies music videos playing on the tele: stuff their parents listened to while conceiving these engineers (and whatever else is taught here).  The bar food looks like what you might imagine: tempting with the cheap beer, but not to make a meal out of.

Cool, I guess.  Nerd University cool, not party school cool but I’ve got degrees from both types.  While in school, it seemed like any bar would do and it was only years later I even began to notice how they reflect a targeted demographic within their host institutions.  Guess I’m just slow.

Added Saturday morning regarding the Visa payments crash: So, I got to the bar and was told the transaction had to be “cash only.”  Fine, I had two rounds in coins at £1.50 a pop and really only planned to stay for one.  I asked if the interwebs were down but the bargirl said it was just the card reader.  I didn’t think about it again and headed home after my short stay in the nursery.

On the way, I stopped at Waitrose in Ruislip and got some fixings for a fish pie and picked up a nice bottle of wine and, as they were on sale, a bottle each of bourbon and better-quality-than-normal gin.  Everything rang up at about 50 quid and I put in my card to pay only for it to be rejected.  “Is that Visa?” asked the cashier.  I said yes and a floor walker appeared and took me, the unpaid receipt, and my packed shopping to the front desk where the chaos I now noticed at the tills was distilled into a concentrated form.

“Do you have another card type?” one of the beleaguered staff asked while waving a card reader at me. I told them “no” and asked if the cash machine was affected.
“It works, but this has been going on all afternoon and it is out of cash.” She then looked at the packed bag, me, the receipt, and me again then whispered, “oh, just go with your groceries.”
“Are you sure?”
“Just be quiet about it,” and she handed me the receipt. I wish I had bought more stuff, now.

 

 

Posted June 1, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Mudlark, Borough, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2134:

The tide rolled in and the Thames Foreshore sank.  I left my mudlarking idyll for the Jubilee Line at London Bridge and was almost there when a pub called The Mudlark emerged.  Acknowledging serendipity, I stopped for a birthday beer — okay, I already had that at the Market Porter before the mudlarking, but this is “one to grow on.”  And, the beer has a bunny on a Space Hopper on the label … signs and symbolism are everywhere, today.

I was finished by 15 minutes past noon, and left as the first table of tourists showed up.  Lovely.

 

 

Posted May 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Market Porter, Borough, London   1 comment

 

“I woke up this morning and got myself a beer.”  (sung by some dead American in Paris; and, technically the bartender got me a beer)

Pub #2133:

I had the day off and, with my tenure in London growing shorter by the minute, I decided to indulge in one of the many distinct pleasures that Borough Market has to offer.  In this instance, it was the early doors at the Market Porter, a pub that opens at 6 am for the market traders to be able to get in a pint before the day begins.

 

 

Not that there were many market traders crowded in (about half the stalls are vendors of one sort or another of street- or ready-to-eat-food and, as such, would arrive with the tourists to whom they cater).  There was a large table of drunken Brummies apparently still in town from the Bank Holiday and who I believe had not been back to their hotel rooms at all last night.  Well done!

 

 

Time moves on and last call for the early beer is at 8:30 (drink up by 9).  I was under a little more pressure as the low tide was at 9:30 and, therefore, my window of opportunity for beach-combing along the Thames opened around 7:30 …

“No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.”  (that dead Yank, again).

 

Posted May 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Oyster Rooms, Fulham, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2132:

Sunday morning run took me through Hammersmith too early for a beverage there so I continued to Fulham Broadway, arriving in the Oyster Rooms at 08:58 am.  “Is the bar open?”

“In two minutes,” and I put in my order.  The beer was placed before me and the waitron stood poised before the register for the next 15 seconds before we could make our exchange.

 

 

I had beaten the rains and slipped past a bunch of singing football fans in front of the building.  The fack are they DOING here, I wondered.  The season is completed, surely.  Oh, well, at least they weren’t aware of the Wetherspoons upstairs; quite a civilised refuge this visit.

 

 

Posted May 29, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Hootananny, Brixton, London   Leave a comment

Pub #2131:

“Where you at?”
The Hoot.”
“I didn’t think they opened until 5.”
“Summer hours…3 on Friday from first of May. Come get a beverage on me, man.”

 

 

 

Eventually, my friend/root doctor showed up and we took up residence at an observation post I’d scouted out earlier, not too directly in the line of sight of the surveillance cameras. Not to be out-paranoid-ed, he took a long draw on the lager and popped his head toward another guy sitting outside; “he’s SOME kind of cop, I bet you.” We changed topics to crack heads (several of whom dropped by to chat in a crack-head-sort-of-way) and holiday destinations in the Med and North Africa.

A plumber friend showed up, not at all discretely smoking some herbal mixture you can readily find in the neighbourhood. “What’s up with the policeman down there? He looks lonely.” I still didn’t see what it was that they saw in him. A couple of rounds later and he was still nursing the half pint and I began to believe they were right but it was past time to head home for the night.

 

 

 

Posted May 29, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Bull, Gerrard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2130:

I found my way through the ancient lobby of the Bull and carefully weaved a path past taffeta dresses and mourning suits with lapel carnations. I was now another 1/2 mile farther along on the run from Hillingdon than I was during my pint stop at the now-much-more-modest-seeming Apple Tree.

“Wedding?” I asked without response. I tried again, “funeral?”

“What do you mean?” The bartender asked. I took my beer out to the far end of the expansive garden to minimise my offense to the celebrants/mourners.

 

 

Posted May 22, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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