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