Archive for the ‘August 2016 Pub Per Day Challenge’ Tag

Case is Altered, Eastcote, Middlesex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 63)   1 comment

The Case Is Altered Eastcote sign

 

At The Case Is Altered, I ordered an Oakham Citra and while the kid behind the bar was pumping it I caught a glimpse of the waitress off my left shoulder wrinkling her nose. “Mustn’t sneer. It’ll be good, I’m sure;” I was sure and I was right: the citra hops impart a grapefruit like bitterness that is just grand on a late summer’s evening. Still, she ran away and I paid up and explored the house a bit.

 

The Case Is Altered Eastcote beer

 

It’s a smaller pub on the inside than it looks from without…sort of a reverse TARDIS. The small, dark, and ancient dining hall looks a spectacular place for a winter lunch since the dreariest January afternoon will be bright as Summer on the Riviera afterwards. Atmospheric, to be sure.

 

The Case Is Altered Eastcote dining room

 

It is adjacent to a cricket ground and I wondered if that had anything to do with the weird name but couldn’t reconcile it with the pub signage and as the rains came I forgot to ask before dashing back to my evening run. I looked it up and found many references to a comedy ostensibly by Ben Jonson (which would jibe with the age of this grand house) but I found this other reference that I so WANT to be true. In this story, soldiers fighting Napoleon had been billeted in the ‘house on a hill’ in Spain (or ‘La Casa Alta’) and, accents and misunderstandings being what they are around here, this got butchered to ‘The Case Is Altered.’

 

The Case Is Altered Eastcote

 

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Queen’s Head, Pinner, Middlesex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 62)   1 comment

Queen's Head Pinner sign

 

From Rayner’s Lane Tube Station, the Queen’s Head is about a mile and a half, but it’s still a quarter-mile from Pinner Station so running was probably quicker than changing to the other line of the Metropolitan at Harrow-on-the-Hill. The pub is in a conservation area so all those Tudor buildings are the real thing; they are so well-preserved that you might think ‘mock-Tudor,’ and there are repairs using modern masonry here and there but the central street of Pinner leading up to the church is stunning.

 

 

Queen's Head Pinner beer

 

I got a Rebellion Mutiny, the darkest beer they had on the pumps. The barman had to set it aside to settle for a moment before finishing the pour (which is usually a good sign). The ale was quite bitter but with an underlying molasses flavour — not the sweetness of molasses but the wood oils and aromatics — and mouthy without being too viscous. Yum.

 

 

Queen's Head Pinner plaque

 

The bit of the pub I saw consists of a long bar stretching along much of the interior behind the façade, low beams that could support a cathedral, and uneven footing. According to The Interwebs, some of the house dates to 1540. There is a bit of seating out front that was good for watching the early evening footfall.

 

Queen's Head Pinner 2

pinner-map

 

 

August Runs and the Pub Per Day Challenge Review   Leave a comment

The August 2016 Pub Per Day Challenge turned into a Pub EVERYday event and ended with 63 total pubs averaging 2.03 pubs per day with a spread of 1 Low, 6 High, and a standard deviation of 1.20.  All were inside the M25 and I put together some simple gif animations to show the results on the EBPC map (followed by stills of first and last frame if the gif doesn’t work for you).

First, the map kind of centered on the house:

Ruislip EBPC growth May-Aug 2016

Ruislip 500m map May-Aug 2016

 

The start at 21 May 2016 was the day we went up to scout neighbourhoods just before Jackie started work in the city.  At that point, I had been to the Queen’s Head in Uxbridge 6 years before; the Three Horseshoes (Southall) and  JJ Moon’s and the Black Bull (both Ruislip) last September, and the Bell in Ruislip on our house hunting trip.  Things have filled in nicely, but far from completely.

The map of London (overall) definitely shows some blank areas that need attention the coming months and years:

London EBPC growth May-Aug 2016

London 2km map May-Aug 2016

 

The full list follows, but I also want to point out the running component of the Challenge which, until now, I only vaguely alluded to.  My plan was to couple the pub exploration with a real exploration of the new environs similar to — but not as exhaustive as — the Every Path in Old Town effort a few years ago.  My goal was to run at least 3 miles on weekdays and 5 each on Saturday and Sunday.  I went a bit low once or twice but easily made up for these with longer ones across the board.  These looked like the chart, below. The purple trace is from my annual spreadsheet and shows the target mileage for the previous 7 days; the black trace is my actual 7-day boxcar sum (I started with a post-marathon slacking off period, hence the dip in both target and actual at the month’s start).

August 2016 run chart

 

The run stats in their simplest form were

5.7 miles per day (overall average, 3.5 if I stuck strictly to schedule)
2.8 standard deviation
2.5 – 14.0 spread

5.0 per weekday (M-F, 3 per day planned)
2.0 standard deviation
2.5 – 10.6 spread

8.0 per weekend day (SS, 5 per day planned)
3.7 standard deviation
3.1 – 14.0 spread

2016-08-28 Grants Atlanta Fish Bar Hayes

 

Oh, right…the Fish and Chips tally continues with a wonderful London addition of some jellied eels, a disappointing portion in Hayes, and a better chippy visit in Barking.  I haven’t gone to Grants Atlanta, yet, but it caught me off guard on one of the runs and is shortlisted just to find out if there’s a story behind the name.

2016-08-30 White Butts Road

Here’s that pub listing, as well:

Name Date Pub #
The Swallow 01 August 2016 1513
The Coach and Horses 02 August 2016 1514
The White Bear 02 August 2016 1515
The Horseshoe 03 August 2016 1516
The Central Bar 04 August 2016 1517
The Beer House 04 August 2016 1518
The Kingsfield Arms 05 August 2016 1519
The Star 05 August 2016 1520
The Black Horse 06 August 2016 1521
The Breakspear’s Arms 06 August 2016 1522
Hennessy’s 07 August 2016 1523
Captain Morgan’s Freehouse 08 August 2016 1524
The Ascott 09 August 2016 1525
The Pinner Arms 09 August 2016 1526
The Fox and Geese 10 August 2016 1527
The Soldier’s Return 10 August 2016 1528
The George 10 August 2016 1529
St George’s Tavern 11 August 2016 1530
The Orchard 12 August 2016 1531
The Liquor Station 12 August 2016 1532
The Ship Tavern 12 August 2016 1533
The Village Inn 13 August 2016 1534
The Sir Michael Balcon 14 August 2016 1535
The Red Lion and Pineapple 14 August 2016 1536
The Red Lion 15 August 2016 1537
The Gardeners Arms 15 August 2016 1538
Ward’s 16 August 2016 1539
The Royal Oak 16 August 2016 1540
The Lillie Langtry 17 August 2016 1541
The Black Lion 17 August 2016 1542
The North London Tavern 17 August 2016 1543
The Black Horse 18 August 2016 1544
The Rising Sun 18 August 2016 1545
The Yard 18 August 2016 1546
The Ballot Box 18 August 2016 1547
The Bridge Hotel 18 August 2016 1548
The Railway 18 August 2016 1549
The Britannia 19 August 2016 1550
The Rockingham Arms 19 August 2016 1551
The Fox and Goose 19 August 2016 1552
The Tichenham Inn 20 August 2016 1553
The Greenwood Hotel 21 August 2016 1554
The Metropolitan 22 August 2016 1555
The Crown 23 August 2016 1556
The Hut 23 August 2016 1557
The Crown and Treaty 24 August 2016 1558
The Fat Cow 24 August 2016 1559
The Carpenter’s Arms 25 August 2016 1560
Ye Olde Crowne 25 August 2016 1561
The Brookhouse 25 August 2016 1562
The Union Tavern 26 August 2016 1563
The Mason’s Arms 26 August 2016 1564
The Pavillion 26 August 2016 1565
The William Jolle 27 August 2016 1566
The Moon on the Hill 28 August 2016 1567
The Last Post 29 August 2016 1568
The Old Maypole 29 August 2016 1569
The Great Spoon of Ilford 29 August 2016 1570
The Papermaker’s Arms 29 August 2016 1571
The Spotted Dog 29 August 2016 1572
The White Horse 30 August 2016 1573
The Queen’s Head 31 August 2016 1574
The Case Is Altered 31 August 2016 1575

White Horse, Harrow, Middlesex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 61)   1 comment

White Horse Harrow sign

 

On a run from Harrow to the house, I was looking for another pub to add to the August 2016 Pub Per Day Challenge and thought I spotted a doozy in the form of the Half Moon not just for the sign but also the half-moon iron work on the roof. But, its transformation to ‘the Salt Bar’ put me off and I decided to delay the visit at least until I decided there was nothing better in the vicinity.

 

 

Half Moon Salt Bar Harrow

 

A 100 meters up the road, there was something probably better (but at the very least not too bad) in the form of the White Horse. I ordered a Chiswick and moved through the grand interior out to the equally grand garden.

There was a middle age couple and a lad of about 18 or 19 at the next picnic table over. They all seemed to know some of the same people — like a guy that married a New Yorker and is now unlikely to return from the States — but not much about each other (granted, this could be close family, too).  I eavesdropped for a while and took them to be mentors (maybe old teachers or former employers) or at least distant family members of the young fellow who was heading off to University possibly in the States or Canada.

 

White Horse Harrow garden

 

It’s that time of year, eh? Transformations, good or bad, are afoot and time marches on. The Half Moon may be waxing or waning, the kid may get shot in the head or suffer extreme frostbite and boredom. My beer may be empty or just pre-filled. One thing for certain: if you came here looking for deep, philosophical truths then you were a fool and no number of seasons passing are likely to change that. Shine on.

White Horse Harrow

 

Spotted Dog, Barking, Essex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 60)   1 comment

Spotted Dog Barking

The Spotted Dog is an old and beautiful pub in an old but not so charming — although I find it beautiful — part of Barking. Close enough to piss on from the front door, Wetherspoons opened a dreadful place called the Barking Dog. Tsk, tsk, ‘Spoons: the predatory location is bad enough but couple that with lack of imagination in the pub name and you should have been denied the license.

 

Spotted Dog Barking beer (2)

 

I got a very nice Czech yellow beer and headed out to what I immediately dubbed the 420 Garden because of the strong skunky whiffs emanating, I thought, from the two Polish guys off to the side. They seemed especially blatant about it, as well, but I soon realised the direction and speed of the winds helping me get the contact buzz wouldn’t have done so across the open expanse of the garden and into the little tree protected alcove I was holed up in.

 

Spotted Dog Barking garden

 

Turned out it was some native freaks in the little gazebo right next to me. How rude. No one offered any.

 

Spotted Dog Barking pot heads

 

Posted August 31, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Papermakers Arms, Ilford, Essex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 59)   1 comment

Papermakers Arms Ilford sign

 

Continuing my run to Barking, I decided to get off the main road and see a bit of the quieter side of Ilford.  Not far at all from the Great Spoon, a grand old back street boozer called the Papermaker’s Arms emerged.

 

Papermakers Arms Ilford bar

 

This was the shit…the good shit: a real pub, one like you imagine when you come over from the States for the first visit.  Bunch of blokes sitting around, talking coded business (I felt a bit guilty about calling it the Paper Hanger’s Arms in my notes), watching a bit of the cricket on telly or shooting a rack of billiards.

 

Papermakers Arms Ilford view

 

The view across the way was bleak: industrial hording on a vast, vacant lot adjacent to some Stalinist office buildings.  Sinatra was crooning, “Come Fly With Me,” and I noticed some very good, old metal columns that make me think the house is probably Edwardian at the latest but not much earlier than the late Victorian era.  I also was discombobulated by this framed photo (is that Hugh Laurie?) :

 

Papermakers Arms Ilford Hugh Laurie

 

Then, it was over.  My Carling drained (NOT a euphemism), I returned to the run.  The neighbourhood had a real familiar feel to it — a lot like home, the dying industrial sections of Atlanta where Jackie and I lived in the 1980s because that’s what we could afford … until the yuppies saw white people (or safe looking white people) living there and ‘gentrified’ the place out of the native price range.  I thought, we could probably afford to live over here, too.  I wonder how long it would remain charming to us before the middle class scum would start making it theirs.  We could probably make a tidy profit if we could live with ourselves taking their filthy lucre.

 

Papermakers Arms Ilford

papermakers-map

 

 

Great Spoon of Ilford, Ilford, Essex ( #August2016PubPerDay number 58)   2 comments

Great Spoon of Ilford sign

 

I ran past the Great Spoon of Ilford dodging first pedestrians then the derelicts parked out front on the pavement.  While I was taking the photo, I got the distinct impression that these were actually a group of junkies (collective noun, A Fix of Smackheads).  At least they were in front of the Great Spoon.

 

Great Spoon of Ilford beer

 

Oh, a “great spoon” is a double pint.  A lot of the customers seemed familiar with this concept.  And, those that don’t have that excuse seemed to be a bit — erm — off.  Like the guy next to me that spent the entire wait in the queue counting and recounting his change because he needed to get the optimum combination of change and to keep the shiniest of the coins that would do that job.  Addicts and obsessives.

 

Great Spoon of Ilford