Archive for the ‘Pubs’ Category

The Gallery, West Hampstead, London   1 comment

Pub #2175:

Meeting Jackie at West Hampstead Station on our way to Borehamwood for the HIGNFY taping, I had 20 minutes to burn and wandered down to The Gallery, a local watering hole.  Watering hole?  Does that sound like something a hipster would say?  I should have asked one while I enjoyed my stout but I didn’t want to hear anyone else speak since one of the bartenders, the two lesbians on an afternoon date, and the drunk at the bar all sported the most grating American accents I’ve ever heard…not charming, like mine.

 

 

Most of the beardsters and the other bartender were British — or spake as though they were — but ALL appeared to be Trust Fund Cockneys.  The beer is good but pricy.  The upper windows are probably the best thing about this place:

 

…becasuse they are over the door back out to the street.

Posted October 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Ogmore Suite, Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales   Leave a comment

Pub #2174:

We first went to the Seabank Hotel for a drink at the Smuggler’s Bar before a concert a couple of years ago and really liked the building so we booked a room there for a brief getaway.  The last night of our stay there was supposed to be a comedian in the bar at 8:30 so we headed down for cocktails only to find the Smuggler’s closed.  “The Ogmore is open,” an employee helpfully noted and we headed over to the other bar.

I’ve been joking about the advanced age of the citizenry of Porthcawl (funny because it’s true); but, we were the youngest hotel guests by at least a couple of decades (a fact that drew attention and, I believe, more generous portions).

So there we were, no shit, in the Ogmore (which I suspect is Welsh for “God’s Waiting Room”) waiting with the ghosts for a comedian who would not arrive (so, maybe “Godot’s Waiting Room”).  They were having Bingo in there, instead, and we finished up the last round to the mellifluous accent of the caller.

We were each fighting a cold when we travelled but it got steadily worse during our stay.  I came to be convinced that we were being milked of our vitality by the building for this hive of ancients.  One case in point came the first evening when an old man drunkenly emerged in front of me and creakily bent to pick up some debris on the carpet.  I cleared my throat, hoping to pass, but he slowly stood not-quite-upright, considered his treasure, then discarded it in a plant pot.  He then turned to me and I realised he was no more than 45 years old…crikey, is this a pensioner’s version of Get Out, or what?

The next morning, I was surveying the coast from our room and realised there were coach trip people milling around a couple of buses.  Oh, I thought, this is a holiday destination for people who have been coming here since the War.  Down at breakfast, they were everywhere.  Our table was near the one set aside for their drivers and some of the old women (identifying themselves as “The Golden Girls,” even though the youngest could have been Bea Arthur’s granny) came over to try to seduce the gents.

We left with full-blown cases of flu, weakened in direct proportion to these women’s increase in libido and vitality.  While possibly unrelated, I’m feeling much better and younger now a few days after leaving.

Oh, the drinks in the Ogmore are dirt cheap and not at all bad.

 

Brentwood Hotel, Porthcawl, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2173:

An old man (in Porthcawl? you must be mistaken!) staggered toward me and asked if this was Mary Street.  “I don’t know, sir, I’m not from here.  But, if I were to guess I would say it is probably Lonely Street.”  He looked puzzled and I pointed to the sign on the Brentwood declaring it “Heartbreak Hotel” (the annual Porthcawl Elvis Festival just ended over the weekend).

 

 

A couple of days later, I decided to drop in for a cry there in the gloom or a cider.  A group of what I suspected to be local hoodlums (or, perhaps the cutest jailbirds you ever did see) eyed me suspiciously.  Each of them came out to the garden where I wound up and assessed me while finishing a quick ciggy.

 

 

I spotted a dozen copies of the above sign scattered about the pub and its gents room.  Thinking this to be an example of protesting too much, I decided to finish up and go back to the hotel because…y’know…we can’t go on together with suspicious minds.

 

Posted October 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Rock Inn, Porthcawl, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2172:

There were three of them at the Rock Inn bar eating massive platters of baked beans and toast.  The bartender rose from his trough and poured me a cider and I joined them watching one of the teles that was showing a true crime show about the murders done by a Swindon taxi driver (one of which occurred about the time we moved there).

 

 

The picture of the guy standing there, above, was taken about ten minutes after he took up that position.  I am sure he didn’t so much as blink between commercial breaks and I’m not entirely sure he was breathing.  I’d heard the conclusion of this story years earlier, so I bid everyone adieu and moved on with my day.

 

Posted October 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Saltwater Inn, Porthcawl, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2171:

It is a long trip to Porthcawl and we were sorely peckish.  We also had an hour until we could claim our room, so we tried to find a place with an open kitchen at 3pm.  Unsurprisingly, there were slim pickings: it’s October, fer gawd’s sake, and we are the only tourists under 80 who they’ll see for the next 6 months.  We lucked out, eventually, and had some decent plates of better than average seafood and pub grub in the Saltwater Inn.  The wine was good, too.

 

 

If you can’t picture it, it might be because the name changes fairly regularly.  Here’s a Google Streetview of the building (from today as of this edit) in one of its recent incarnations:

 

 

With our choice of seats (the bar was busy but we seemed the only diners) we watched the receding tide — a metaphor for the rest of the trip.

 

Posted October 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Coach and Horses, Clapham, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2170:

Sunday afternoon, the walk from Brixton Market to Clapham Common revealed the Coach & Horses, shrouded with vapers’ vapours and infested with hipsters.  Depressing, but I like beer.

 

Posted October 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Drayton Court Hotel, Ealing, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2169:

We’ve been planning a trip to the Drayton Court Hotel for lunch, dinner, a drink, or maybe a gig ever since we arrived in northwest London but never really got on the same timeline to do it together.  Dubbed by me the “Ho Cheem Inn,” we wanted to soak up some of the ambiance of Uncle Ho (pivotal in our youth for his famous jungle infrastructure efforts while our friends, family, and neighbours tried to kill as many of his labourers as possible) who washed dishes here for a year or two starting in 1913 before moving up to pastry chef further in the city.

 

 

A vintage market drew us to Ealing Saturday and, aged and decrepit, we both needed a piss with the Drayton our only option.  It would have been churlish not to buy something so I got us a couple of ciders and we lounged on the back porch watching a wedding reception being set up and sucking in some secondhand cigar smoke from a derelict drinker who shouldn’t be able to afford such a nice stogie.

 

 

Obviously, we weren’t the only ones in the pub on a sort of pilgrimage.  Several Southeast Asian families and groups passed through as we drank in the atmosphere and cider.

 

Posted September 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs, Tourism

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The Anchor, City of London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2168:

We chose not to linger at the pub where we had the horrible meal so we had time to watch the sun set on St Paul’s before the lecture/theatre at the Wanamaker.  Not far beyond the Southwark Bridge, the Anchor seemed fit for purpose and we soon were leaning against the smokers’ wall out front people watching and talking about how much we will miss the City when we move away in December.

To a passerby but only loud enough for me to hear, Jackie commented, “Oooh, Love…you don’t have the ass for leather trousers.”  I glanced up to see the atrocity she had spotted walking away with flabby cheeks a bit lower than the hips, indeed a disappointing view.  A chill from the river was settling in so we called an end to the fashion walk and took our bevvies inside.

 

 

We found a seat under a staircase.  “So, the offence against leather, just now…” I started.

“What was she thinking?” Jackie interrupted.

“Probably, and I’m just guessing here, she was thinking she looked like,” I pointed at the well-fit woman at the end of the bar in the leather skirt, “her.”

Jackie turned slightly to have a peek.  “Oh. Yeah.  Why do people lie to themselves, so?”  She gave another indiscreet glance.  We don’t have precisely the same taste, but similar enough.

 

Posted September 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Prince William Henry, Southwark, London   1 comment

 

Pub #2167:

With an early curtain at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Jackie (print shirt in the lower left of the bar photo) and I struggled to find a decent place to eat.  Knowing the water front only has chain restaurants as barely affordable options, we drifted around and finally settled on the Prince William Henry for some pizza, the featured item on the menu.

Verdict: soggy.  We both worked the pizza business before and both recognised, immediately, that the pizza oven was not hot enough.  The dough should sear to crispness immediately, insulating itself against further burning while the top bakes a few minutes longer.  If there are a lot of vegetables (such as on Jackie’s), the exuded liquids should be drained by tilting the pie about 30° while holding the disk on the peel.  Tsk.

In a rush and disgusted by the food (too much cheese and bland sauce, as well — inexcusable), we finished our bottle of wine and fucked off to the theatre…forgetting to photograph the exterior.  It looks like the Google Maps streetview, below, except it has been rebranded “the PWH,” which I can only imagine means “Pizza Will Horrify.”

 

Posted September 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Pubs

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The Sun Inn, Barnes, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2166:

As I mentioned before, it was a glorious day out Friday.  I decided to cut across a peninsula to make short work of the bike ride to Kew Gardens Station to catch the Tube back to our bleak suburb; just out of the London Wetlands park and across a quiet neighbourhood into Barnes-proper, I was dazzled by the Sun and, ten miles into the bike-tuning ride, decided to take a wee break for refreshment.

 

 

Quite lovely, here, with a large selection of drink.  Quiet, though, and I drank largely alone save for the last drops when a couple of other middle-aged fellows joined me.  I asked if the best way to the Tube was along the river then left at the Archives but one of them reminded me of the Piccadilly Line strike by RMT workers and suggested Hammersmith, instead (Hammersmith & City to Wood Lane and change to the Circle Line at the White City Station).  It sounded sensible and, since it got me home with an hour to spare for getting pretty before heading back out to the theatre, it appeared to be.

 

 

Posted September 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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