Archive for the ‘Ealing’ Tag

Ealing Blues Fest 2018   Leave a comment


Ealing’s Walpole Park hosts a lot of music and arts events and they are dirt cheap for what they offer.  This weekend was the annual Ealing Blues Festival and we each dropped £5 for Sunday tickets.  Three stages, two drinks tents*, and an awful lot of rock & roll bands to kill off a hot, sunny, Summer afternoon.  Sublime.

*I opted for this terminology instead of “two bars” because, at a blues fest you shouldn’t expect anything less than 12-bar.



Only one of the 12 acts we witnessed seem to know what the blues actually is.  Our disappointment was tempered by the passable rock all around.  Most of the acts with women leading the band sounded like Vinegar Joe (blues influenced, not blues), and the others leaned heavily on the Animals, the Who, and the Stones (blues influenced, not blues).



About half the crowd was older than me, the other half almost exclusively families with children.  CHILDREN, for fuck’s sake, and yet they were pretty cool kids.

Next week is the Jazz Festival (same price) and in August there is a Mela (free) nearby in Southall.  If you are visiting London in the summer and just happen to be at loose ends, you could do worse than one of these.

Pro tip: you can each bring in 4 cans of alcoholic beverages or a box of wine into the Walpole Park fests.  Bring a towel or a folding chair…the venue is pretty dusty.



Posted July 24, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in music, Tourism

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Castle Bar, Ealing, London   2 comments

Pub #2035:

I’d never noticed the place before, but the Castle Bar was the only thing open and I had six bottles of wine I need to set down for a rest ahead of the remaining bits of the day’s run.  I was greeted by a cheery Frenchman (I’ll assume he’s Basque, as his accent is vaguely Spanish and French and, as noted, he was cheery).

I got my beer and went to the loo to change shirts.  “You shouldn’t leave your bag, sir,” he warned.  I looked around to see a couple of decrepit middle-class pensioners sitting there; neither of them likely thieves or, in the case of this backpack, weightlifters.  “It’ll be fine,” I assured my host.  On my return, I got sucked into a conversation about Christmas puddings with the Frog, Waldorf, and Statler before wishing them Merry Whatever, donning my bag of joy, and heading off to the North.  Ho ho ho.


Posted December 24, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Shanakee, Ealing, London   Leave a comment


Pub #1930:

Jackie had an appointment in Ealing at 2, Saturday, so I left the house at 1:30 and hoofed it down there to meet her.  Arriving just before 2:30, I reckoned I had ¼ hour to kill so I stripped to my dry clothing and grabbed a Fosters in the Shanakee.

Busy house, this one, with a constant turnover.  The more permanent denizens seemed friendly but it is hard to tell because they were very, very drunk and would slip into Irish mid-sentence.

After I took the photo of the old woman and returned to my pint, one old guy pointed at her then at me and said something completely unintelligible.  I stepped under the statue and feigned looking up her dress; he started laughing and slapped some coins on the bar and said something else whilst pointing at the interwebs juke box on the wall.  I hesitantly picked up the cash and went over and played some Tom Petty which, I think, he seemed to like.  A group of young women came to the rail and I was able to slip away to a seat near the window to keep an eye out for my woman should she finish her business early.  Nice pit stop.



Posted September 25, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Village Inn, Ealing, London   Leave a comment


The guy standing at the bar in the Village Inn pontificated on A Fool And His Money on holiday. “Some of them book a six thousand pound per week villa online: the works — chauffeur, house servants, all of that. Pay by bank transfer and then they are surprised when they arrive at Lanzarote and there’s no one there to pick them up.” His partner, trapped, nodded and sipped his beer. “Bank Transfer…that’s why I always pay with a credit card, so they cover you if it goes tits up. If it sounds too good to be true, I always say.”

A kid walked behind a Mercedes convertible out front of the pub and the lights started flashing. Mr Wisdom Of The Ages observed, “will you look at that…a silent alarm.”

“It will stop in a minute,” chimed in a guy sitting by the window. “It’s mine.”
“Very nice. Very nice, indeed. Are you a doctor?” he inquired (you don’t get this clever without a healthy curiosity).
“No, he’s a travel agent specializing in posh villas in the Canary Islands,” I interrupted whilst returning my glass.
“20% discount if you pay by Bank Transfer,” Mercedes man added, as I was leaving.


Posted August 12, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Draper’s Arms, Ealing, London   1 comment


The overpriced beer at the Draper’s Arms wasn’t a problem.

There were five tables to the side with clipboards bearing notes that read:

This table reserved from 7:30 PM,

But, it is yours until then.

Grand.  I sat down at the empty one at 5:15 and settled in to read a few work documents.


At 5:30, a woman arrived alone and told the bartender that she was there as part of the 7:30 group whereupon the bartender told us all that we had to leave.  I pointed at the “7:30 PM” on the note in front of me and he said, “I told her she was 2 hours early but she was having none of it.”

“Okay.  Where’s your bathroom?”  See the entry for the Red Lion in Chesham to discern what happened next.

As I walked past the windows where a dozen of us recently socialized or relaxed, I immaturely (as is my modus and in keeping with the theme) shot the bitch — who was sitting alone at one and surrounded by four other empty tables, mind — a bird.  Fuck her and fuck this place.


Map linked here.

Posted February 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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King’s Arms, Ealing, London   Leave a comment



On my way to the Ealing High Street, I wandered into the King’s Arms hidden away a few corners down a side street.

Gorgeous pub, great beer selection, cute little dogs trotting around, friendly customers and staff, and absolute shit taste in music.

Here’s a map if you want to see if they play something less Radio 1-ish.  At least it’s better than the Draper’s Arms.





Posted February 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Lavin’s Bar, Hanwell, London   1 comment


Walking back to my bus stop from the Dodo I decided to pop into Lavin’s because it looked like a real bar. It WAS a real bar, complete with a raging drunk dancing (well, let’s call it that, anyway) by sort of squatting repeatedly out of synch with the music (some surprisingly good choices considering they came from a digital jukebox so that any variety of aural horrors COULD have been chosen). As Green Onions was winding down he did the sweeping-arm point to the crowd (there were three of us besides the bartender), and a buddy of his emerged from the back hallway with bog paper stuffed in his ears.

About halfway through my beer and a couple of more songs into his performance, he went off toward the loo. On his return, he stopped to have a quiet chat.

“I LOVE LIVING IN LONDON!” he shouted.
I frowned and tucked a finger behind my ear. “Sorry, what was that?”
“IFUCKINGLOVELIVININLONDON, MATE!” He shoved a hand my way and I wondered what pestilence sheltered itself in the rough crags of this hale fellow’s meathooks especially since I was certain he wasn’t even the rudimentary-wash-after-pissing sort. I needn’t have worried, though, as his hands were as smooth and soft as a baby’s bottom (something that creeps me out in an adult of either sex, but this guy looked like a brickie and should have had palms like armor).



I tried to hide my disgust at his work-shy mitts and just smiled and nodded back. “Yeah, London rules.”
“NO. YOU DON’T UNNERSTAND! I GOT…” he looked around an imaginary sphere encapsulating him then mimed pushing his sleeves up and pointing at his back with his thumb; “…TATTOOS OF LONDON ALL OVER. I CANNY SHOW YOU HERE,” he said in a grand display of restraint, then burped and added, “but out back I can.”

“That’s alright, just describe ’em. I’ve seen a lot of ink; I can probably make it out.”
With that, his restraint evaporated and he slid one sleeve up to show some very old Chelsea FC design. I politely nodded and figured, ‘in for a penny,’ and did a little twirl of my finger and pointed over his shoulder. He started pulling his jumper over his head exposing far too much of his buttocks exposed above his belt line; above it, a crudely etched St George flag with script stating, “English by Birth, London by the Grace of God.”

He then pirouetted, smiling, and flipped me a Nazi salute before falling back to the bar stool nearest his beer. I don’t know WHAT that was all about but I suspect — no, hope — it was some commentary on the state of US politics now.

At the end of the bar, another guy had entered and drawn Mr Soft Hands’ attention. It was the guy from the Dodo that looks like Trigger from Only Fools and Horses. I drank up and left out past the nearby cemetery (which really looks worthy of a return trip).



I think it is always like that in there.  You should go.  Here’s a map.

Posted February 6, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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