I’m not playing to my readership in South East London when I tell you it’s a grim journey back from East Croydon to Highbury.
That’s mainly because of the ongoing work at London Bridge that requires you to seemingly climb to the top of the Shard in order to change from train to tube.
Like King’s Cross (below), I’m sure it’ll look great when it’s finished.
By the time I got to Kings Cross to meet my son and his mate off the train, it was time to visit London’s top culinary experience.
You’ll know I’m a Chinese takeaway connoisseur. Chop Chop used to serve up dirt cheap slop (noodles for less than a fiver).
But it’s gone upmarket, and now serves posh nosh like Pad Thai at prices that are still good value. A remarkable transformation, and I may one day bring a takeaway home to Waterbeach, just to annoy the good commuters of King’s Lynn.
I escorted my well-fed teenage charges through St Pancras to their gig (Northlane, unlistenable) at the Electric Ballroom, and caught the tube to Highbury. Which of course looks a dump.
But where have you been all my life, Hen & Chickens ?
Selling Doom Bar + 1, at least in recent years, that’s where. Any pub with Bass livery that doesn’t sell Draught Bass should have to take it down and give it to me.
They’re starting to have a large proportion of their 20-odd homebrew diners in the Guide aren’t they? I can’t think why that is, surely nowt to do with a vast beer range ?
Or the fact the vessels are very shiny.
It’s a shame their beer rarely tastes well-conditioned to me (Angel apart). I went for the Romford Pele, clearly named after snooker whizz Steve Davis, who once laid 17 snookers behind the yellow (Brazil’s colours) in a Crucible Quarter-Final.
This over-priced half wasn’t quite bad enough to take back (NBSS 2), even if I’d been brave enough, but you can understand why most of B&K customers stick to the keg. For a brewery with lots of handpumps, they weren’t selling much cask to a heaving mass of 25-to-35 year old humanity.
It’s a nice touch keeping the Trumans sign though.
For the first time in living memory, I was glad to be back in N1 on a Saturday night, which probably prompted those celebratory pints in the Bree Louise.
Realising then I’d never been up Hampstead Road before, I walked to Camden past this astonishing building, surely a micro pub opportunity for someone.
This was as close as I got to a pub cat on Saturday.
In light of recent comments on this blog, it was pleasing to note the World’s End remains a craft free zone and Greene King stronghold.
My two teenage charges emerged unscathed at 9.45, more perturbed by Camden street art,
than the Australian metal core acts that had ruined their hearing. At their age I was listening to proper music like Wah ! Heat and Saxon. Oh well.
Oh, and I got all my Christmas shopping done. Amazingly, I spent exactly the same amount as I have done for the last 25 years.
NB Despite getting top value from my Travelcard, I still clocked up 16 miles of walking. As a special treat, I won’t let you see what my feet looked like on Sunday.