I’ve quite a backlog of posts from the last week or so, with North Norfolk, Nottingham, Chipping Norton, Altrincham, Brentwood and Whelpley Hill to come.  “Ah, Whelpley Hill“, you’re all saying now.

But having started, I might as well finish off posts from That London, and pick up on progress along the Piccadilly line (the dark blue one).  I know I bang on about using your legs, and the Travelcard adds an outrageous £6.20 to my super off-peak train fare, but even I would have taken all day to walk to Heathrow from Kings Cross.

As a special bonus, the actual paper ticket I bought at Waterbeach got me through all the barriers without having to “seek assistance” this time.

piccadilly line
NOT the underground

The trip from Hatton Garden to South Ealing is an exercise in not being attacked by Japanese tourist’s plastic suitcases.  If you can’t fit your luggage in a Tesco Bag for Life, don’t travel.

My next pub was at Ealing Broadway, so I get out at South Ealing to sample the local culture on the walk north.  A Lee Mead impersonator (beat Si to that) told me to try the “wicked” coffee at the little station kiosk, so I did.

Craft lightbulbs

It was bitter, but not in a good way. Along with the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge and France, independent coffee shops really are the most overrated things to visit, aren’t they ?

My advice, go to Starbucks for filter, Cafe Nero for flat white and Naples for espresso.

Confused by duff advice and duffer coffee, I then set off the wrong way down the B455.


London graveyards really are some of its best features, though as yet none of them feature their own micro pubs.  Give it time.

South Ealing Graveyard (1)
South Ealing Graveyard (2)

I always think Ealing promises much, simply by not being Twickenham for example, but ends up like a duller Hendon. It’s all very “solid“.

What are those flowers in the foreground, anyone ?
St Mary’s

The architectural highlights are the series of Fullers houses, though even here they have “solid” names.

Ealing Castle Inn
Ealing Red Lion

Those aren’t GBG**, and neither is the proper Irish bar complete with smokers on mobility scooters.


I’d started reading “McCarthy’s Bar” on the train, to distract myself from the animated cosplay* enthusiasts, and almost stopped here for an authentic Guinness.  Almost.

The only other item of a note was when two blokes squeezed past me in Oak Road, the first with a 1.75 litre bottle of Jägermeister, the second with an easel.


The North Star is directly opposite Ealing’s famous Broadway station, home to a less famous Sainsbury Local where I bought an inedible bagel for 40p just so I had some change for the pubs.

It was an unnecessarily helpful gesture on my part, the barmaid would have happily taken my a £20 for my £2.30 half of Proper Job and wordlessly given me a ton of change.

Proper beer line up, if it sells

I hope that Peerless is cheaper here; it sells for about £2.30 a pint in Wigan.

I was there 20 minutes on Saturday lunchtime on a nice table facing the bar.  There wasn’t a single other ale pulled. Not even the Doom Bar.

Who would possibly drink a dull Proper Job (NBSS 2.5) at £2.30 a half when they have all this lovely cold keg.  That Kirkstall Framboise looks even more appealing now.

Evil keg etc

The pub is a joy though.  A real mix of customers from across the ages, and some doo wop playing gently. Fresh flowers, sport on TV, no beer mats.  Two out of three…

Flat cap tick

As we’ll see later, it set a tone for the day; decent pubs, dull beer.  London in a nutshell.


*A bit like Coldplay, but worse.

**The Pride must have been drinking very badly in those two for them not to be in the Guide.




  1. Red Lion and Castle were both solid GBG entries 20 years ago when I lived in Ealing. Also Rose and Crown, Globe; it was a great place for a Fuller’s crawl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I remember from a decade ago – very solid Fullers pubs dominating the town, and then that Questor’s bar. I think the natural customer base for Fullers pubs have moved onto premium lagers and flavoured ciders over that time, and then the average cask range expands from 3 to 6 so you get even slower turnover of the Pride which then appears a very dull drink.


      1. Added to that Fuller’s still deliver Pride in Kils.

        We have a GBG allocation of 22 and have to cover Ealing, Harrow and Hillingdon as well as the Wembley part of Brent. The Red Lion had a new tenant from September 2016 and was closed during the GBG surveying period, which didn’t help. The Castle has not been on our radar simply due to lack of NBSS scores.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for feedback. With that allocation you really are looking for feedback that proves consistency, aren’t you. I was delighted to see the Hare & Hounds in Greenford stay in with 2 Marston’s beers; high quality beer and banter.


    1. I bought that Gomez CD when I still paid some attention to what music critics said, and listened to it precisely once. Not sure if I gave it away or it’s still in a box upstairs.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To be fair to you Mudgie, I also remember being told Gomez were the biggest thing since Mansun. That was in a time when we couldn’t go on YouTube and listen to the whole thing for ourselves (before buying it).


      2. Yes, not normally one to follow the crowd, but there was, as Martin says, such a wave of hype about that one that I couldn’t resist.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When i went in the North Star in 2004 it only had one real ale on,which was London Pride, it was a decent drink.
    Also done The Red Lion and Castle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “As we’ll see later, it set a tone for the day; decent pubs, dull beer. ”

    Sounds a bit like Si’s Saturday night in Manchester.

    “Evil keg etc”

    Blimey! I can only spy two ales in that lot. The rest are either lagers or cider. 😦



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