Friday, January 1, 2010

U.K. update: A pub scorecard

The following is an updated scorecard of the pubs I have visited.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON, 179 Portobello Road, W11 -- PINT: Strongbow. CLIENTELE: A few locals, a few more tourists. FAST FACT: A pug type of dog walked into wearing what looked like a dog-sized army coat.
CHURCHILL ARMS, 119 Kensington Church Street, W8 -- PINT: Fuller's London Pride. CLIENTELE: Mostly locals, some chatting with the Irish proprietor, others craning their necks to see Arsenal v. Aston Villa on the telly. FAST FACT: Pub's decor consisted of memorabilia associated with County Clare's Gaelic Athletic Association clubs.
SUN IN SLENDOUR, 7 Portobello Road, W11 -- PINT: Aspall's Suffolk Cider. CLIENTELE: Typical Notting Hill Gate mix of young professionals and European tourists. FAST FACT: I once watched the barman chucking empty kegs out of a sidewalk trapdoor toward the waiting beer distributor's lorry.
COACH & HORSES, 391 Leyton High Road, E10 -- PINT: Strongbow. CLIENTELE: Primarily locals who have just witnessed another dire performance by nearby, underachieving football club, Leyton Orient. FAST FACT: Spotting my Leyton Orient football scarf, a local lad playing snooker asked what I thought of the club's chairman. I was able to intelligently respond. Huzzah!
DUKE OF YORK, 2 St. Ann's Terrace, NW8 -- PINT: John Smith's Extra Smooth. CLIENTELE: Professionals spending their lunch hour down the pub, the cheeky bastards. FAST FACT: I ate a slightly upscale version of the traditional pub grub called "bangers and mash." It consisted of three Cumberland sausages and mashed potatoes smothered in onion gravy.
THE PLOUGH, 27 Museum Street, WC1A -- PINT: Bullmer's cider. CLIENTELE: Mostly tourists coming in from the torrential rain. FAST FACT: Pub was slightly less crowded than the hordes who pressed against the glass case in the nearby British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. Only slightly less.
LAMB & FLAG, 33 Rose Street, WC2 -- PINT: Courage's Best Bitter. CLIENTELE: Locals who knew the way by heart and tourists who had stumbled into the pub strictly by coincidence. FAST FACT: To reach this hard-to-find pub, we had to walk down a series of increasingly narrow and crooked alleys in a warren of streets immediately to the west of Covent Garden.
PRINCE EDWARD, 73 Princes Square, W2 -- PINT: No pint. I had a cup of warmed Pimm's. CLIENTELE: Students from rather posh backgrounds, plus a few guests from the boutique hotels nearby. FAST FACT: My sister Inger told me I should tell 14-year-old daughter Kerstin that the pub's name was in fact, "Prince Edward Cullen." I certainly shall not. Have you heard Kerstin squeal for that pale Vampire bloke?
SEVEN STARS, 53 Carey Street, WC2A (pictured) -- PINT: Aspall's. CLIENTELE: Older folks and a black cat eating its dinner on the bar, but usually barristers, solicitors and judges, based on the proximity of the law courts. FAST FACT: William Shakespeare was preparing for the first performances of "Twelfth Night" when this pub opened in 1602.
THE GEORGE, 213 The Strand, WC2R -- PINT: Hog's Back Brewery's OTT (Old Tongham Tasty), a locally brewed, real ale. CLIENTELE: European tourists. How do I know? This one bloke with guidebook to "Londra" ordered a beef burger and proceeded to eat it with a knife and fork! FAST FACT: Samuel Johnson once used The George as his postal address.

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