Archive for the ‘Notting Hill’ Tag

The Hillgate, Notting Hill, London   Leave a comment


Pub #1952:

I entered the high-ceilinged Hillgate, spotted the ale pumps, was met by the young bartender, and ordered.

Naked Ladies.”
“Of course.” She started to pull, looking my way with squinted eyes.
“I’m very immature,” I confessed. “I just like saying, ‘naked ladies.'”

She laughed a bit more than just politely and a delightful story in a not-Welsh but more European accent that sounds like me trying to do a Welsh accent. Something about a fellow being offered a Naked Ladies pizza and responding that he would like to start with the food, thank you. I laughed politely and paid.

I bring up the accent only because the “what’s on” sign says “what’s occurring” in the English-spoken-in-Wales vernacular.

Album covers framed around the bar. Very local crowd, being off the main drag; mind you, this is a remarkably posh buurt despite the charred framework of Grenfell sitting within eyeshot. Still, it was a much more civilised experience than the shithole I had just come from.



Posted October 14, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Prince Albert, Notting Hill, London   1 comment


Pub #1951:

Prince Albert, indeed. I feel like they pierced my dick, anyway. But, let’s not mince words. This is a shit hole full of upper middle class American tourists.

One of them, a woman in a 200 quid shirt and equally expensive haircut meant to look elegantly slovenly, was loudly — and incoherently — proclaiming the Harvey Weinstein revelations were the start of the women’s revolution that would lead to the proletarian uprising. I hope she’s serious and right because she and everyone else in this turd shack-cum-pub will precede me as motherfuckers up-against-the-wall.



And, the fucker posing as a bartender refused my round pound even though they were still legal tender until midnight.

Oh, the Jaipur Pale Ale was sublime. Assholes.

Posted October 14, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Notting Hill Carnival 2017   2 comments


We went to the Notting Hill Carnival to drink beer (check), listen to loud music (check), look at mostly undressed folks (check-a-roonie), and to eat some Carribean food (check).



I didn’t take a lot of photos after the crowd grew almost unmanageable so this is what you’ll get from this page (apologies, but just image search “Notting Hill Carnival 2017” and you’ll find whatever it is you think you want).


We weren’t as drunk as the Iggy Pop looking mofo, above, but not because we didn’t give it the ol’ college try.  His dance was really not as impressive as the copper whose video turned up viral this morning.



While the crowd probably contained every black person within 500 miles, this is London so (despite racists moaning about being overrun) it was a fairly pale shade, overall.



I was excited to find an ornate VR postbox (my effort to prove myself the whitest guy at the Carnival, according to Jackie):



And, the home of one of the founding paraders:



The Grenfell disaster weighed on everyone’s minds and there were tributes to the victims throughout (and, miraculously, an actual minute of silence in this loudest of London parties).



That’s not why there was so much smoke in the next picture.  We imbibed in a modicum of hash before travel, but we could easily have sustained a contact high everywhere we went.  “Mahr-ree-wanna, mahr-ree-wanna…like the Bob Marley, mon,” intoned one street salesman as we pushed through a crowd.  That and the hundreds of jerk chicken and goat curry stands on almost every street left our clothing reeking of char.



The food was grand, too.  J had the goat and I had the chicken (contributing to the avian holocaust wherein more chicken is consumed in 2 days than in the whole rest of the London year).  I also had these numbers handed me on the Tube the day before:

16,000 coconuts
400 goats
15,000 plantains
70,000 litres of carrot juice
10,000 litres of Jamaican stout
25,000 bottles of rum.

I believe it.


Entrepreneurs in the neighbourhood rent out their toilets for £3 a go (£5 if you want to jump the queue).  The dry compost loos provided by the borough make it an understandable (if not justifiable) luxury.



The first and last — the Alpha and Omega, if you will — stands we saw were this troupe of God Botherers:



One of them — at the far left of the photo — gave me a leaflet with a long, preachy cartoon.  Distilled, below, are the bits I thought I could use here (but opted not to bother):


Ladbroke Arms, Notting Hill, London   1 comment

Back on the towpath after a quick refreshment break at the Grand Junction, I set my course toward the Lonsdale, a pub — on my running map — on Lonsdale Road near the intersection with Colville. A rent-boy* emerged from the flats across from the former pub and I deduced from our conversation and the state of the hoarding and structural materials that the Lonsdale was going residential.





Unperturbed, I moved on toward the Earl of Lonsdale (also on my trail map) and noticed the expensive residential neighbourhood transforming to an expensive residential neighbourhood with pavements clogged by a bunch of yuppies and Chinese tourists. But, there it was and I was about to go in despite my reservations about the atmosphere when I realised I was on Portobello Road and I had already ticked this one off the list in my first year.




Fair enough, I wanted a quieter venue and moved on with the Ladbroke Arms in my sights. I eventually found it near the Notting Hill Police Station and went in to find yet another pretentious dining-based pub. So pretentious in fact that a tall blond appeared by my side while I was taking in the stifling atmosphere and proceeded to — without irony or self-awareness at all — do a perfect impression of Edina from Absolutely Fabulous. “I have a reservation, darling, but not until 2 so I’ll just take some bubbles oh hello darling <<kiss kiss hesitate kiss>> oh are you working today? dreadful weather it’s been yes it is a table for two but I think I’ll just wait at this table over here .” Crikey.




The beer was good. I suspect the food is lovely and served in very small portions. Here’s a map.

*Okay, that wasn’t just me being smarmy; the guy bounded down the steps of the building and I pointed and asked if the pub was no more. “Oh, I don’t live here,” he chirped. “I was just, um, working here last night.”

Posted February 8, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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