Royal Oak, Chingford, London   Leave a comment

 

The day’s run included a typical, unexpected route change (maps and explicit directions only help if you are any good at using them, I’m beginning to realise).  The additional mileage and the lack of any nourishment — save for 4 beers at other pubs and an experimental algal soup at the Greyhound a few miles back — left me famished as I climbed the hill toward Chingford spotting the 3-dimensional pub sign at the Royal Oak.   For once, the siren song sung by the pub sign was voiced by the ‘GRILL,’ not the “PUB &.”

I hobbled my way to the door expecting to be shown back to the street.  Instead, I was greeted as a long-lost relative.  “You look hungry, sir.  Are you dining?”

“As a matter of fact, yes.  But, let me grab one of these, first,” I said moving toward the bar.

“No need, we’ll bring it over to you.”  Christ.  Good service and I’m welcome here in my sad state of decay and dishevelment.  What is WRONG with these freaks?

 

 

 

The choices that interested me were beef steaks and at the lower price range I had to vote between rump (generally to tough for shoe leather) and sirloin.  “How would you like your sirloin cooked?”  I said as rare as legal and she returned in a moment saying, “you can have grey, pink, or blue,” this last option being where the steak is shown the grill as a threat and to bring it to room temperature.  I went for pink with a jacket potato.

I would have inhaled the plate in less than a minute once it arrived but the first bite was so succulent and perfect that I lingered a bit.  There’s nothing special about the menu, here, but a good kitchen makes a world of difference.  And, had I just hit the bar I would have thought (and probably written) that this was a typical, family style restaurant with a pub theme.  It’s not at all typical…and I bet it was packed an hour or so later (in more traditional dining hours) as it had already started to fill by the time I used the potato skin to mop up the last of the dish residue and washed it down with the last of my pint of AK.

Posted May 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Greyhound, Enfield Lock, London   1 comment

 

“Are you here to take our picture?” the wit on the porch intoned.  Wow, these guys are brilliant, I thought.  I’ve NEVER heard THAT one before.  I stopped under the sign, lifted the camera, lowered it, frowned, lifted my glasses and squinted at each one in turn for an uncomfortably long time,

“Don’t think so,” I said as I disappeared through the Greyhound‘s door.

Inside, I waited 5 minutes for a bartender and when she arrived she seemed determined to be unfriendly.  I ordered an AK, McMullen’s flagship brew that I’ve taken quite a liking to since finding this stable of pubs (mostly in Northeast London, Hertfordshire, and Essex as far as I can tell with a few further afield).  It looked okay and tasted first like metal then a bit like mould.  I thought maybe it was just me so I went to buy some crisps to wipe the taste palette clean but couldn’t get any attention — almost as if the staff knew that the real ale lines were only half rinsed of the cleaning solvents (if indeed they have ever BEEN cleaned).

By the time I gave up, I had finished about half of this atrocity and left the rest on the bar.  In an uncharacteristic act of grace, I also left it in the glass.

As I walked back to the tow path to continue my run, I paused and glanced over at the Algonquin ‘Tard Tables, closed my eyes and shuddered, then ran off to the south.

 

 

Posted May 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Prince Albert, Enfield, London   Leave a comment

 

The Prince Albert just appeared as I was running to get back on trail and I figured, “I’ve tried the White House and the Sun & Woolpack…maybe this is like some hybrid of the two.”  It was.

I asked if there was a garden.  “Out there,” someone said and four people pointed without looking up from either the racing form or a smart phone.  This was the garden:

 

 

Posted May 20, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Sun and Woolpack, Enfield, London   1 comment

The Sun and Woolpack was incredibly friendly and very local.  I think everyone in there was retired (unlike the other pubs you might find packed with middle-aged people early on a Tuesday Afternoon) and boisterous after the White House.

70s rock was the music which makes sense.  The bar stools had large cushions.  The children (you know, those in their 20s) were mostly outdoors.  Theme bar, of a sort.

 

 

Posted May 20, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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White House, Enfield, London   2 comments

 

I’m not sure what a “Regular Customer” is but I got served at the White House.  The other Regular Customers seemed to be waiting for something to happen (that kind of “something” that it’s probably best not to ask about).  It’s an interesting place to hang out (if you use interesting in the way “may you live in interesting times” is purported to be a curse).

 

 

But, the bartender was lovely, friendly and funny.  Everyone that came in acknowledged this stranger before going on with their secretive chats.  I’m kind of interested in how long it would take to have a conversation but not at all sure that I want the conversation that would come.

Probably worth a visit on a football Sunday.

 

Posted May 20, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Rose and Crown, Enfield, London   Leave a comment

 

The Rose and Crown was the first pub I got to on the day’s run about 6 miles over hills and in knackering humidity the day after what would have been thought of as too-long-of-a-run just a week ago.  So, it didn’t have to be this good.

 

 

The original pub is seen above, with one of the connecting houses below.

 

 

And, it looks like the palm at the edge of the car park is bearing fruit:

 

 

I think there is food but there was only the manager and a bartender working as far as I could tell, and the steady flow of customers were all drinking.  I think everyone came from the walking trails nearby, which I would momentarily return to.

 

Posted May 20, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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London Outer Orbital Path (Sections 17-18)   4 comments

 

 

Tuesday was hard.  After Monday’s screw up that turned the 16 mile run into 22, I was sore and lazy and it took ages to get motivated to leave for Cockfosters to start sections 17 and 18 of the LOOP.  The weather looked awful and I just didn’t want to go.  However, when the Tube emerged from underground the sun had emerged and it looked a splendid day.

 

 

I diverted a bit to cross the defunct Middlesex University campus for which planning permission is sought to raze the place and put up cheap housing.  The first point of interest for me was spotting a Thomasson (above, and a better explanation of what this means is here).

 

 

It seems a great waste.  There’s nothing obviously wrong with these buildings except that the land they sit on is so expensive.  Fucking capitalists, price of everything/value of fuck all, grumble grumble grumble.

 

 

Not far from Middx Uni, I ran up on some glass houses which are all that is left of hundreds of hectares of these that used to produce most of the tomatoes and a variety of other fresh veg for the country.  With Brexit, these may come back into vogue, soon.

 

 

I took this photo in Barnet after three pubs in rapid succession in order to make a joke of some sort (which I’ll use later with another graffito…it’s a lame joke and inoffensive, but this is actually some serious paint):

 

 

I don’t speak Turkish, but as near as I can make out this is memorializing Sila Abalay, a leader of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in Turkey, who was killed in a shoot out a couple of weeks ago having (it is said) killed a police officer.  I can’t get anything precise for ‘hesabini soracagiz’ but I think it is something like ‘we will hold them to account’ in this context.  Heady stuff for a jackass like me.

 

 

The Enfield lock and its canal were welcome since that put me only a few miles from my finish, I thought.  Across from the Greyhound pub, this yellow submarine caught my attention:

 

 

Especially the warning that “38 MAXIMUM PERSONS” were allowed.  Maybe if you chop them up into small pieces, first.

 

 

Along the way, I got some sage advice:

 

 

And, realised that I had not seen a LOOP way marker for ages.

 

 

I suspected that this was the bridge that would take me to the other side of the canal where the trail should be but, as it turned out, the canal I wanted was on the other side of the reservoir.  Shit.

 

 

Making the most of the situation, I found some public sculpture:

 

 

And, eventually found my way to the Royal Oak for some supper and a beer.  This was nice, as I was coming into Chingford Station from the south instead of the north so I won’t be doubling back over a lot of the trail.  This route also took me past this grand mosaic on the Assembly Hall:

 

 

And, as it was the afternoon rush hour, no one was going into London from out here so I would have a train car all to myself:

 

 

Here’s a map of how the day fell out.  The pub write-ups will come as soon as I get a bite to eat and some exercise.