Archive for the ‘Public Houses’ Tag

The Oddfellows, Watford, Hertfordshire   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2145:

We went to Watford for some shopping and, while a moderately successful trip, the cattle that roam malls for pleasure impose a high level of stress on sentient beings (such as, I may incorrectly assume, ourselves) that are compelled only to minimally restock the wardrobe. That done, we opted to take the longer walk to Watford Station for the return trip in the hopes of avoiding more of the big moos that would, almost certainly, use Watford High Street Station.

It was hot out as we made the turn about halfway to our stop and I spotted the Oddfellows. “Buy me a beverage?” I asked and, with a little negotiation, Jackie agreed.

We entered the cramped bar to the right and noted that an adjacent room had small children in it.  “Gadzooks! Avoid that,” I tried to convey with broadly comic eye raises but the bar itself was too crowded in this heat. We found another, to the left as you enter, and were left mainly to ourselves but under the watchful eyes of our predecessors opposite.

 

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Posted August 6, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Fire Station, Waterloo, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2144:

The Fire Station is absolutely dreadful EXCEPT

  1. it is essentially an airport (airport) bar out on the street in front of an international rail station, and
  2. the street scenes are tremendous … get a seat by the road.

On the other hand, don’t bother.  There are better places nearer the entrance to Waterloo Station.

 

 

Posted August 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Prince Regent, Herne Hill, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2143:

I went into the Prince Regent because it was hot out, the sign confused me (why is Joan Baez on it?), and I haven’t been in before.

My bartender was a 20-something hipster American with Guy Fieri hair.  The atmosphere was very much that of an upscale American bar trying to show a dive bar side (that it doesn’t possess).  The beer was expensive.

Speaking of malignant American entities with funny hair, this was on a wall around the corner:

 

Posted July 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Top Five? A reply to @naylor_tony   Leave a comment

Mr Naylor is right.

Here are 5 near the top of my list:

The Chequers in Cottenham (pub #23 first visited on March 8, 2009): an absolute treasure in the Fens.

The Dog & Duck, Linton (#289, January 6, 2010): scenic, ancient, with delicious food and they featured on our winter jigsaw that year)

The Beehive, Swindon (#615, July 1 2011): spent many happy evenings and afternoons here.  Closely challenged for the Swindon entry by the Glue Pot (#542) and The Roaring Donkey (#672).

The Rose & Crown, Chippenham (#925, July 6, 2012): Barmy.  Almost too local (there must be a mental ward very nearby).

The Inkerman Tavern, Hull (#1812, May 13, 2017): had a room for the night, here, but don’t remember how I got to it…ideal.

Those are 5 or 7 but I could easily expand it to include pubs that are OBJECTIVELY ‘good’ bars and not just the ones that gave me the warmest or weirdest welcomes.  See also, these other interlopers that occasionally crack the top five:

The Moderation, Hull (#1802) for earlier morning bleakness than a Wetherspoons can even offer.

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool (#612) for a classic, cozy Northern pub with outstanding pie and mash

The Cat Tavern (#1435), The Village Free House (#1434), and Deacon’s (#1436), all in Salisbury not a minute’s stumble between any two and all dive bar perfection.

The list will be different tomorrow (and, maybe even this afternoon).

 

 

The Queen’s Head, Brixton, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2142:

The walk to the Queens Head was full of signs.

 

 

Any mention of bunnies is considered ominous.

 

 

The bar was fine, they had ale and yuppies.  I like ale.

 

 

I don’t have anything especially good to say about the pub.  It was open and near enough to both Stockwell and Brixton as to render itself superfluous.

 

Posted July 16, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Half Moon Pub, Herne Hill, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #2140:

A short walk from the Commercial sits the Half Moon, another gorgeous building, inside and out. I was swarmed by the staff both at the bar and by waiters prompting me to think they were expecting a much more important, sweaty, balding, middle-aged American. But, no, after sitting awhile I realized the house is just really overstaffed and the kids are just bored off their tits.

 

 

Case in point: a woman came in with a commercial video camera and was accosted by one of the staff. “Nice camera. I have a digital SLR.” She nodded politely while adjusting the shoulder grip and he continued, “what’s that set you back? A grand?” I succeeded in stifling a laugh.

“More like 10,” she replied.
“Wow, great deal.”
“Ten grand, not ten quid,” she corrected.
“Ten thousand?” he paraphrased doubtfully then continued on explaining features his camera has for, maybe, ten seconds.
“That’s great,” she cut him off, “but I’m working.” She headed toward the back. “I’ll stop by later,” she lied.

 

 

A family group (mum, dad, three stair-stepped kids all under 10-years-old) emerged from the dining area, so there were some other customers. From their outfits and the rainbow coloured afro wig the oldest boy wore I reckoned they were on their way to the Pride March and Festivities. Good for them.

BUT, that’s one of the reasons I never go to Pride anymore. It used to be transgressive and dangerous and, more to the point, I was about the straightest thing you could find for miles. Now, it’s full of families. Families! And, far more clothing than any homo party should have.¹

¹Re-reading that last line and thinking back to Atlanta in the 70’s and 80’s, that statement is by no means a blanket one (not written in Stonewall, as it were).

 

 

Posted July 11, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Commercial, Herne Hill, London   2 comments

 

Pub #2141:

Saturday, I was in Herne Hill to catch up with a friend who had recently moved to the outskirts of the neighbourhood; but, I left his address and phone number at home (I only have Jackie, my brother-in-law, and a couple of [ahem] ‘vendors’ in my burner phone).  So that the trip wouldn’t be a total write-off, I reckoned I’d get a beverage before walking up to Brixton to visit another friend (whose number, indeed, I had with me).  I looked around outside the station and thought, “Fuckin’ ‘ell, ‘Erne ‘Ill is Yuppie Scum Central, so what is [name redacted] doing living here?”  My world doesn’t have firm foundations and this was a disturbing development that shook them severely.

The Commercial sits directly across from the station and inside is quite nice with a fine selection of refreshments. But, the weather has been so spectacular of late that it would be a shame to waste it sitting inside, alone with the hardwoods and soft jazz (was that Kenny G? Christ almighty…get out, now. OUT!).

 

 

England was battling Sweden for a World Cup Semifinal position later that afternoon and it was all anyone was willing to talk about. Of course, with this accent I couldn’t possibly know anything about football.  I coached kids in the 70’s, was a FIFA certified referee working at my local recreation department during high school, and had spent more time in Commonwealth and other football nations than in the US in my first 20 years, but of course I didn’t remember that in the ’74 WC England failed to qualify (living in Darwin, Northern Territory meant that Australia qualifying for the first time was seared into my memories but hey-ho).

I managed to work in facts about ‘Soccer’ into the chat (such as, “soccer” is short for Association Football the same way that “rugger” is short for Rugby Football and both are completely English in origin and the term, “soccer,” was only abandoned in the UK when the Americans started to get excited about the sport in the 70’s).  One guy in the red shorts with blue shirt yuppie scum uniform made a comment about the Americans not being very good at it so they imported all their talent; I agreed, but insisted that this is because Americans consider soccer a girls sport and men playing it are not really, y’know, men, in the classic sense.  This did not go over as well as the etymological portion of the convo.

 

 

I excused myself to phone the Brixton connection. Motherfucker…he was in Brighton until late evening so we agreed to meet up next time one of us was in the other’s territory. I figured I had an hour to beat the crowds on the Tube — or three, if I waited till after kick off — and wondered what else to do with my time.  Perhaps a second beverage in a more copacetic (and less coprophilic) location was in order, I thought, as I made a move toward central Herne Hill….

 

 

Posted July 11, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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