It was cold and damp Sunday but I had planned a 14 mile training jog so, layered up, I headed down the towpath toward the City. The run went better than I hoped and pubs previously visited or not yet open for the day or long closed for good didn’t further dampen my spirit, I thought. That is, until I spotted the massive Grand Junction Arms and suddenly came over thirsty and in need of that blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and other micronutrients so essential to the endurance athlete.
About 9 miles into the route, I was too far to drink here and turn back so I quickly consulted the interwebs spotting two more pubs to hit on my way to a Central Line tube station; the first of these was in the process of being converted to flats but the other one was open and there are plenty in the area (unless they, too, are being converted). More on the closure incident and the search for an alternate on the Ladbroke Arms posting (if I remember to put that in).
The place is huge inside but it is also a hotel. Some of the guests trickled through but it was mostly quiet save for a couple of guys that seemed to have visitation rights with their — between them — three lads who all seemed to be about 6 or 7 years old yet deadly serious about shooting billiards. I consider this proper parenting, myself, having spent many hours with my dad in bars as a youth (HE was a shit parent, but bar people are generally either good or at least a good learning experience).
So, it was a truly brief pitstop, but a fine one to have made. The beer, an amber ale, was bitter and cool and alcoholic and therefore perfectly miscible with me and it seemed to absorb in no time at all. I like the place and will return soon (but it is closed for a month or so for refurbishment from the end of February). Here’s a map if you plan to go.