Archive for the ‘Essex’ Tag

The Olde Trout, Southend, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #2126:

A visit to a seaside town just-out-of-season allows you to inspect the town’s permanent populace before the tourists settle in.  I had noticed this in each of the previous stops but only now, at the Old Trout, mention that there is an inordinately high number of Southeast Asian T-Girls lurking the pubs of Southend.  There’s one under a Staropraman sign, now:



I checked closely that I was using the right loo, but was reassured by the saucy postcards on the toilet walls.



Combining these two observances, I am reminded of a one-liner a hasher once told me.  “My date said a small penis was nothing to be bothered about, but I still wish she didn’t have one.”

It was now time to return to London.  My work here is done.



Posted May 8, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Admiral Nelson, Southend, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #2125:

Still more than a week behind on these write-ups, this visit to the Admiral Nelson could be subtitled, “The Saddest Stag Do, Ever.”

I was jogging along the nippy coastline looking for a better pub than the Borough and spotted three beardy types talking to a couple of bikers (Triumphs, not Pashley) who were riding off as I retrieved my camera.  A biker bar would do, nicely.



I got into the abandoned house only to realise the fellows out front were beardy because they are hipsters.  I actually heard one of them shriek with glee as they dodged traffic to get to the Crazy Golf putting range across the road.  I’m assuming one was the Groom, the other the Best Man, and the third is there as the Groom’s only other friend.

Whatever happened to doing acid a couple of hours before the strippers arrive?  This truly is the end of days.

If the pub looks bleak, we’ll go with that.



Posted May 8, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Borough Hotel, Southend, Essex   Leave a comment


Pub #2124:

The Borough Hotel looks great from the outside, but has an air of doom to it within.  A junkie couple bent over some nearly empty glasses inside picked up on either my accent or the fact that only a foreigner (or out-of-towner) would ever walk into this bar; they shakily came out to smoke in the doorway and take turns staring at me then whispering one-to-the-other.  I decided to neither return to the bar to drop off my glass nor to wander its darkened recesses to find a toilet/mugging cubical.

I may be over-glamorizing the place.  It isn’t quite as classy as I am leading you to believe.  It is near the pier, if you are interested.



Posted May 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Southend-On-Sea, Essex: Sights on a Cold, April Day Out   1 comment


I had no plan.  Jackie’s mom’s funeral would be held in Tennessee later in the day and, upon waking and stretching for a run, I decided to catch the train out to Southend to jog, drink, and think good thoughts about Jackie and her brother and all the aunts, uncles, and cousins donning mourning outfits and heading to the cemetery.  A good plan, I reckoned, for no plan.



Southend Station had some nice details and, paint-job-that’s-overdue-some-touch-up notwithstanding, even the dog shit containers were ornate:



Queen Victoria (or, using her Essex name, “Lefty” Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, as this statue suggests) looks out toward the sea.



Hash House Harrier (I believe it is the Full Moon kennel) markings turned up on the cliffs:



I took a run break and paid for the privilege of walking the pier.



A paddle boarder in the distance worked against the retreating tide, while some lazier pier denizens took the train.




I thought there would be a pub at the end, but it is really just a Life Boats rescue station (although there is a snack bar).



Returning to terra firma, it was time to find a pub.



The cliffs elevator:



The Kurzaal holds a bowling alley:



Seaside arcades in older cinemas line the seaside walk.



Still Life on Victorian Keystones:


So, the mourning run finished after 4 pubs (write-ups are slowly being crafted), some eels, and a plate of seafood pasta.  “What have any of these got to do with one another or the stated intent of this trip,” you ask?  I counter, “it’s Southend…nothing has to work together.”  Case in point.  The billboard for the “Sea Life Adventure” features a meerkat — a relative of the mongoose from the Kalahari Desert and no Sea Life, at all:



Posted May 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Running, Tourism

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Family Cafe, Southend, Essex   2 comments


I left the Last Post planning on fish and chips by the beach but just outside the pub I spotted a pie & mash shop and opted, instead, for a small order of stewed eels with mash and liquor.  Reasonably certain this was a healthier choice, it also fortified me against the shitty weather.  I can’t believe this is not the nation’s choice for favourite street food.  I could have it daily if it was more available.


Posted May 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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The Last Post, Southend, Essex   2 comments


Pub #2123:

I spent Saturday in Southend-on-Sea, covering 11 miles in the bargain.  First stop, though, would have to be the nearest Wetherspoons, The Last Post, for a low-priced beer.



Unable to get any service at the first bar, I made my way back to the much larger and more crowded — and more efficient — dining area bar.  While standing there, a stranger sidled up and asked me about my beer choice (the mild, below); then, why I didn’t choose either of the ones with taps on either side of this one.  He eventually chose yet another beer and welcomed himself to another stranger’s table at which point they immediately fell into an intense conversation.  This pub used to be a post office but I think it is currently more of a mental hospital.



Hungry, I could have eaten here but I’m at the seaside and really should get something sea-side-y, I thought.  “Time to drink up and get on your bike, mate,” the big postie in the sky seemed to be saying.





Posted May 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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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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