Hanwell hasn’t been celebrated in song in the same way as nearby Perivale was in 1980, though admittedly Costello wrote about 80 songs that year and I haven’t heard them all yet.
Never mind, the equally venerable Stonch wrote about his Hanwell walk recently. That ended up with a pint in the Fox, one of West London’s best pubs in my GBG experience.
My last Beer Guide tick in London for this year was at the Grosvenor , and I celebrated with a walk in the drizzle through Hanwell’s wonderful cemetery. London’s cemeteries, particularly the Magnificent 7, are among its unheralded wonders, along with the No.197 bus.
Close by, Church Street offers up four contrasting examples in close proximity, including the usual Roman Catholic modernist design, which I confess isn’t going to deter the average Japanese tourist from heading straight from Heathrow to Bethnal Green.
The Grosvenor is closer to West Ealing’s Broadway, in a quiet residential street, and was well worth a frankly painful journey.
It’s a smart pub in the Antic mould, part of a the small Food & Fuel chain. Monday lunchtime isn’t the best test of pub quality, or inherent pub character, but there was a mix of Grans, toddlers, seasoned drinkers and burger testers, which I suspect is largely representative of Hanwell as a whole. I only overheard one conversation about Prosecco.
Pleasingly, my last pub was one of the friendliest pubs I’ve been to in London, and served the best burger (National Burger Scoring System 5). I opted for the “holy trinity” of accompaniments in their lovely little pots, and felt like the fat King of the world for an hour.
Rather like Wetherspoons these days, the Point of Sale material focused on craft beer credentials that weren’t quite delivered in practice. No sign of Cloudwater or Beavertown on draft anyway, with Trumans, Purity and Vale (NBSS 3) being a safe cask range. The beer was full of flavour, though perhaps not as cool as Tandleman or I would hope.
As I left I complimented the staff on an exceptional musical choice that took in early Marling and Dylan, which in retrospect could have made me seem like an old UNCUT reader, and that will never do.
More toilet signage hilarity after yesterdays “M for Madamemoiselle” joy.
As Hanwell turns into West Ealing you get the succession of Irish bars and Pound shops familiar to all fans of North West London suburbs. A highlight in the backstreets of Drayton Green was the “World’s Longest Music Video”;
I couldn’t work out if it was a Guinness Book of Records attempt or an art installation. Simon Everitt would no doubt have wandered in there and never been seen again. Just across the road from Waitrose if you’re ever in the area.
So that’s London’s GBG done for another year. Looks lovely doesn’t it Si ?