Archive for the ‘Essex’ Tag

Monkham’s, Buckhurst Hill, Essex   1 comment


Pub #2021:

I might joke that I get all my fluids on a run from the beer, but generally I go through a liter of water every 10-12 miles.  I neither brought nor bought a bottle, today, instead living down to my reputation.  Parched from the fish and chips break as I left Chigwell, I was glad to see the Monkhams appear on the final, downhill mile-and-a-half.  I got an ice-cold, fat-dissolving Fosters and sat back to enjoy a bit of afternoon snooker on the telly for as long as the glass was wet.



It looks a bit rough from the outside but a fairly standard family restaurant/pub lies within.  They’re friendly enough even to strangers (but it seems more so to familiar faces).  Just, don’t mention the door:




Posted December 6, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Chigwell Fish Bar, Chigwell, Essex   1 comment

The Chigwell Fish Bar was the third one I’d asked, “how long for a piece of cod?” over the course of the previous 10 miles but, while 7 minutes was the shortest answer so far, I wasn’t prepared to wait (especially for a £7 slice of fish).  I thanked him, anyway, and started to leave.  He waved a fryer utensil toward the display case.

“5 pieces of cod bites and chips for £5, ready now.”  Sold.  These pieces, on aggregate, were as big as a medium piece and quite delicious.  And, the chips were marvelous.  This was everything I would need for the final few miles.  Well, these and a beer….



Posted December 6, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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The Victoria, Barking, Essex   1 comment


Pub #2010:

It wasn’t the first thing I noticed, but check out the fantastic carpet in the Victoria.  Almost a fractal pattern, the interlocking circles and Byzantine ovate shapes.  Pub carpets were the first thing I noticed a few years ago … go on, say it: “you’ve changed, dude.”



About 2/3 through the day’s run, this was pub #4 and one or both of those facts left me the worse for wear.  I reckon that is why, more so than being a stranger down in this secluded Barking buurt, that the other denizens were eyeing me with suspicion.  Mind, I did wind up in a conversation about Christmas shopping with a couple of fellows at the bar about halfway through the visit but both of them were gone when I returned from the loo; it could have been any of the surreality I’d interjected, but I have the feeling it was more to do with the relatively harmless, “I’m off to talk to a man about a reindeer.”



The fruit machine in the toilets here are especially insulting.  “You can’t get it up, you can’t satisfy a woman, and fucking your girlfriend is like tossing a straw into the Grand Canyon.”



Lovely crowd, decent beer (there is ale, and Brakspear is a good brewery), and convenient to the station the Vic should be on your Barking Pub Crawl.




Posted December 4, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Black Lion, Epping, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #1997:

Still hungry, I had reached the end of town and nothing really grabbed me so I doubled back to hit a chippy and head home.  A menu outside the Black Lion changed my mind and I headed in for Fish and Chips in the oldest pub in town.

I sat at the bar and waited and waited.  “Is there anyone here?” I asked another guy at the bar and he reached over and rang a bell (there was one in front of me, too).  The bartender appeared from the larger side of the house and yelled over that she’d be right there.  Anticipation of the meal was growing.



Another guy came in and grabbed yet another bell and gave it a vigorous shake.  She returned and told him, without his asking, that there was no food on tonight.  I winced.  “Are you sure?”


“Large Jamesons and a glass of water on the side, please.”

A blind guy came in and sat nearby and we wound up talking about the States a bit.  The bartender overheard this and seemed incredulous.  “Are you really an American?”

“Yes, or I used to be, anyway. That’s why I have this ridiculous accent.”

“What are you doing…here?”

“Having some fish and chips.  Oh, hang on…”  I said whilst pointing around the barren stretch of bar where my platter should be.  She agreed that I had assimilated pretty well.



Posted November 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Duke of Wellington, Epping, Essex   1 comment


Pub #1996:

Perfect, I thought as I ran into Epping.  The Duke of Wellington appeared to my right, a large Tesco was across the street so I could buy some supper ingredients before crossing back over to the Tube Station and riding home.  Awesome.  I got a cider inside and parked at the bar, inadvertently joining a conversation about Christmas trees.


“We need one that doesn’t shed too much,” suggested one-half of the couple.  The bartender said something like “Norwegian Blue,” although I think that is an element of the Dead Parrot sketch.  “They’re expensive but they don’t drop.”

“Do you have a cat?” I asked.  Puzzled, they nodded, so I continued, “get a can of spray tack and cover him with it…he’ll pick up all the dropped needles then you just need to shave him.”

There was a short pause then they all (the couple and the bartender) started laughing.  The wife said, “are you suggesting I shave my pussy?”

“Well, yes. Yes I am, but only after you use it to clean up the pine needles.”

It was after 4 on Sunday and I forgot that the trading laws force the shops to close at 4 on Sunday.  I excused myself to go find a takeaway.



Posted November 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Bull, Theydon Bois, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #1995:

I topped a hill and spotted the green in Theydon Bois and tried to short-cut across to the Bull but soon realised I got lost.  In a flat, nearly treeless park. That’s only about 50 meters across.  I asked a young mum for directions to the Theydon Bois Station which is almost right next to the pub and she gave much more complicated instructions than were necessary (“you’re going the wrong way, turn around and it is just over there,” would have sufficed).  But, I got there all the same, which I would not have if I followed her route and not looked up to see the pub sign.



I got a stout and settled in, knowing I could linger up to a half hour and still make it to Epping (directional incidents notwithstanding) before twilight.

It was another packed pub (the mum, earlier, had vouched for their food) and people kept stopping to chat because a) I was covered in sweat and carrying a heavily packed (change of clothes) backpack and a map, b) they heard my accent, c) they never see strangers in here at dusk on Sunday, or d) all of the above.

The half hour passed too quickly and I had to beg off an offer of a refill, then ordered a half pint to finish re-explaining the TfL Run Project to another guy that seemed perplexed.  Then, out to dash to Epping at a faster-than-planned pace.



Posted November 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Three Colts, Buckhurst Hill, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #1994:

It was cold out and I was really hungry when I arrived (but still with miles to go).  Inside the Three Colts, I smelled the large platters of fish before I saw them and it was pure torture.  I ordered a beer (which was very good, too) near what I reckoned to be a couple and another that was probably one of the first one’s parents.  They called in for a table before travelling to the pub and now, at 2:30, they were getting in a round of drinks before their seating at 3:30.

That’s right.  Even people who book tables here come an hour early for this food.  Well after lunchtime, well before suppertime.  That must be a better endorsement than mine as a hungry glutton halfway through his fourth daily high-mileage run in a row.



It’s a family run place, so much so that the bartender was talking to her daughter (also tending bar) about school details.  Later, the younger woman was talking to her nana about what time she knocked off from tending bar the night before.  The customers all seem to adore them.  This place is just too good to be true.



Posted November 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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