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 North London

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.

Kings Cross

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.

Chop Chop

You’ll know I’m a Chinese takeaway connoisseurChop 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.

Rather less striking is GBG newbie Brewhouse & Kitchen, which looks very much like a Brewhouse & Kitchen. A very odd-shaped one, mind.


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 ?

London murk

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.

Cutting-edge craft keg

It’s a nice touch keeping the Trumans sign though.

Truman in N5

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.

What is this place ?

This was as close as I got to a pub cat on Saturday.

Office cat

A lot of trips to Camden recently for Matt’s metal gigs.  Still an exhilarating place for live music, though not for great pubs.


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,

Son hates me taking photos of 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.

Electric Ballroom
We Are The Road Crew

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.

21 thoughts on “FALSE HOPE IN HIGHBURY

  1. “What is this place ?”

    Judging by that cat my guess is some sort of Egyptian museum?

    Agreed that bloody big Bass sign is false advertising! 😒

    And 16 miles… yowza. 😱



  2. Putting new types of pub in the GBG seems to go in waves – first it was Spoons, then micropubs, then brewery taps, now Brewhouse & Kitchen. After a while, the novelty wears off.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How inconvenient of your children to make you go to KX, when there’s a direct (albeit slow) train from Croydon to Highbury.


  4. The image of the Brewhouse thingy bar looks exactly like the one in Dorchester – you sure you haven’t nicked the image off my site? Like you, with the exception of one of the beers I thought they were decidedly average, yet in decent condition. Don’t go thinking we’re walking 16 miles next week neither. There’s things called buses and taxis you know (they even have an underground rapid transit system in London, tha nose).


  5. I can sense B&K are not at top of your bucket list? New one in Lichfield I might try out in New Year so will see if I feel any more love for them! Saxon are a band I feel I shoudl now but I can’t recall any of their tracks? Judas Priest era?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have seen all of those type of groups live between 79 to 82,never been my type of music but good to see live.
        A quick story that i might have already done,but i am not that bothered now,anyway,i was in the bar at the now closed Assembly Rooms while a crap group were playing before Motorhead came on while on their Ace of Spades tour,i was minding my own business as the bar was empty when a long haired bloke walked up to me and asked if i wanted my programme signing,i said yes not knowing who it was,but it was signed Fast Eddie,the lead guitarist from Motorhead.
        I still have the programme to this day.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have seen Motorhead three times and yes they were great,it was so easy to see bands back then,i payed £2.50 to watch Iron Maidon and a whopping £3 to watch Whitesnake,we had the Assembly Rooms,De Montford Halls to go to.
    I still have all of the ticket stubbs and programmes from those heady days.
    As my wife always says “the 80s were the best ever times to be in”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sure they just think they’re being clever, but having Bass signage without actually serving Bass is just adding insult to injury! PersonallyI think it’s a subconscious admission that the old “boring bitter” logos look infinitely better than the “latest popular beer” logos. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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