Well, that’s the Midlands posts done, at least till I find the strength of character to revisit that closed pub in Aston. I now need to find a town with a clean B&B, new GBG ticks and good curry that would suit a professional gentleman from East Dereham. Skegness, possibly.
But first on to Walthamstow, home of pub weirdness, England’s best cheap eats street, and non-stop street art.
I always start at Wood Street station, hovering around the Flowerpot without ever succumbing to the lure of warm Bass. If I’m wrong about that, let me know.
Aubrey Road promises more than it delivers, but full marks for effort.
As you can imagine, a place like M, M & M is a prestige tick for Simon, Duncan and myself, up there with Shelverdine Goathouse in SE25. Wonder what links those two….
So well done, Antic, again, for your traditional pub names. And your tremendous herb based puns,
unique “Queue on the stairs, not at the bar” system,
and retro pinball machines.
I like Antic, they’ve brought pubs back into use and they’ve brought folk back into pubs, with general weirdness and (as here) weird lunchtime jazz. The conversation (London folk always talk over music) centred on schools and brioche. The baby smiled at me. How little it knew.
It’s all very reminiscent of Leyton Technical, with the usual Antic beer range, centred on Volden and ELB (quite good, but £2.10 a half). Neither of those seemed to beating the posh lager and prosecco though.
Outside (I seemed to have come in through the back fire door) were signs of a more traditional boozer selling Greene King IPA.
Then a long walk down Hoe Street into E10 and past Midland Road, taking in classic architecture, a billion calories worth of cheap diners, and a few bits of dead pub.
And the odd living pub.
It’s a great walk, and instructive to see the way independent coffee shops in Leyton claim to be in E17.
I see the area west of the Orient continues to be dug up.
The Northcote Arms could be substituted for Walthamstow’s Bell and you wouldn’t know the difference. It looks a corker.
Inside, we have babies in buggies, Sunday pizzas, a ’70s discos (seemingly played on a ’70s Amstrad, so tinny was the sound), and a separate children’s room. Gentrified east London pub bingo.
No craft keg, and 90% of folk with Carling and Staropramen, apparently. The Five Points was well presented but with a sharp taste; I couldn’t finish it, my fault I guess.
Again, it was packed, which is great to see, even if all the adults were between 25 and 35. That’s the pro and the con of the east London Beer Guide pub. You’ll need to do a chicken run across the A12 to the North Star for your Old Bloke fix.
On my alternate route back, I almost did a pre-emptive in the Heathcote & Star, which was heaving with all the 25-35 year olds that weren’t in the Northcote.
But Yoda* warned me to keep walking back to Wood Street. So I did.
*I sought advice on this; I’ve never seen Star Trek..