Archive for the ‘London Irish Bars’ Tag

Whelan’s. Uxbridge, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1960:

I had a half hour to kill, Friday, before Jackie arrived in Uxbridge for our wine tasting event. There’s not really much to occupy that short amount of time, there, so I sought out a pub (of course) finding Whelan’s — surprisingly, one that had not previously featured in this Endless British Pub Crawl.

Inside, it is frighteningly similar to what passes for an Irish-themed bar in the States. I understand they do folk music from time-to-time, but I fear it would be a sad imitation of the real thing (or is that te rail ting?).




Across from me, a pair of lads in their late 20s was having what was probably an after work pint. One of them was wild-eyed and probably coked up or just excited by his partner’s companionship. Either way, he was fairly loudly explaining everything he knew about stout which was, essentially, it takes a while to pour properly. Grimacing with each sip of his Guinness, he happily — and unconvincingly — proclaimed his life-long love of the black stuff.

I finished my house ale, a viscous brown soup that tasted strongly of linseed oil and floor polish (which are not bad things, in my assessment) before the tops of the lower-case lettering on their Guinness pints were exposed. They were definitely in the right bar. Me…not so much.



Posted October 23, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Cock Tavern, Kilburn, London   1 comment


Pub #1956:

Contrary to what Google suggested when I looked up the Cock Tavern later, it is not YET permanently closed.  A little after 1pm on Tuesday, it might as well have been, though.



It’s an awesome building, cavernous but with a lot of character.  Likewise massive, but lacking any trace of personality, the bartender seemed to be waiting for something other than bar customers and was preoccupied with his phone and the races the other two attendees were watching.

I was still hoping for food and there were posters up everywhere for specials.  “Kitchen’s closed,” was the response to a menu request.  It’s just as well, I’m sure.


Posted October 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Captain Morgan’s, Hayes, London (and Sunday 13.5 mile loop)   Leave a comment


Pub #1954:

A fall-back week for running finished with a 13½ mile loop out to Hayes via the canal paths, an event-free and visually uninteresting run through the industrial and residential landscape of northwest London:

At the midpoint of the journey, Captain Morgan beckoned and I answered his call.  Inside, I found a packed but fairly standard London Irish bar where I’m sure I was the first stranger to show up in ages.  Eventually, the shock of not-just-an-outsider but one drenched with sweat in a Beatholes t-shirt and {gasp!} and an England Cricket cap.  In fact, I’m not sure which was the bigger offense: England or cricket.  I took my Bad Apple cider to a seat near the billiards table and watched as the crowd reanimated after my disturbing entrance.


WhatPub is usually effusive about the history behind a pub.  Here’s the Captain’s  listing (as of 15 October 2017):

About the Pub:

A pub since at least 1992, possibly even 1985.

So, it isn’t just me.  The professionals at this game have fuck all to say.  Decent boozer, but I bet it takes a few visits (or a later one in less of a state of decrepitude on the visitor’s part) to feel welcome.

Posted October 16, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The White Horse, Shepherd’s Bush, London   Leave a comment


Pub #1944:

I had a BCC surgery scheduled for 4pm, but it got postponed and I found myself at loose ends.  Needing a couple of items at Shepherd’s Bush Market, I ventured south and breezed through the crowds of ninjas and kaftan-klad blokes simultaneously boiling out of and rolling into the Shepherd’s Bush Mosque (did someone just comment on the Sunni day?).  Ready for a break before facing the trip home, I ducked into the White Horse and was immediately transported back to about 1974.



A long, dark room with a 45° bend to a busy pool table in the back, the first room was comfortable and lined with solitary drinkers all having a conversation shouted to one another across the vast expanses between their seating spots.  Instantly familiar and compelling house to waste a bit of time and try to flush the excess salt out of my body.


Posted October 7, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Swan, Sudbury, London   Leave a comment


Pub #1940:

The Swan is in the midst of refurbishment but still seems a grand bar and probably the only proper boozer on this stretch of local shops and takeaways.  The builders were the only non-native population in the bar other than me (if you count the Indian fellow and dozen or so burly Irishmen at the bar as native since they obviously have lived in the neighbourhood a few years).

Definitely a blokes bar, too.  A woman came in with a schoolgirl and stood about arm’s length from the line of folks at the bar for an uncomfortably long time, several minutes, without anyone acknowledging their existence.  They walked out without a word and the conversations picked up where they had paused when the young ladies first appeared.  Odd, but I don’t think I’m misreading it.



Some London Irish joints are so Irish that people will switch to Irish Gaelic when a stranger walks in.  This one is so Irish that it is assumed that you are too and the effort would be a waste.  So, I had a Guinness like the rest of the fellows at the bar.  Most had several empties in front of them and were waiting for refills to settle so mine took awhile.  It also might have been a bit on the cool side but that has become the fashion, lately.  A room temperature Murphy’s or (better still) a Beamish wouldn’t go amiss, but Diageo (the giant multinational that absorbed Guinness a few years ago) would never allow this.



Posted October 4, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Wishing Well, Greenford, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1934:

The new year with respect to vacation days starts on 1 October and I had a day to burn up so there I was on Tuesday with really nothing to do except a short run I had scheduled myself. With Greenford 4.1 miles away, it seemed a good idea to catch the bus down there and have a beer at the Wishing Well before running home.

I got there at 1 minute past the 11 am opening time and there was already an old guy in there waiting for his Guinness to settle and be topped up. Brilliant. I asked for a Fosters and the bartender used her right hand to finish the stout and her left to pour mine all the while jabbering on about a football match the night before.

Mornings in Greenford seem pretty sedate. She eventually got the televisions booted and put on a sport channel where I was confronted with Trump, again, and a crawler with baseball scores (Cubs beat the Cards, magic number down to 1 for the Division title). I finished and walked up to deposit my glass and she rushed over to refill; “no, thank you…I’m off for a run, now.” They both chuckled, unaware of how this works in my world.  Beautiful weather out, I couldn’t have planned it better.



Posted September 27, 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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