Part 3 of the Great Central London Wash-Up took me west (checks compass) from Shoreditch to Temple, via Barbican and Smithfield Market.
The route through Farringdon is a lot less glossy than the walk along Fleet Street into Bank, and you bump into less suits.
Smithfield is crumbling a bit, but trees growing out of buildings work for me. Could London be the next Halifax ?
Astonishingly, near the Barbican you can take a screenshot from the new Beer Guide app and find no pubs in any direction for, oooh, five minutes.
Eventually you come to the GBG Butcher’s Hook & Cleaver, one of those awful Fuller’s pie places, and walk quickly on. Only now as I look at the map do I see how close I came to the Cittie of Yorke.
The tourist quotient rises sharply as you reach Fleet Street and spot the Thames. I feel like a tourist, and appropriately get lost looking for the Temple Brewhouse in the warren of streets.
Luckily the GBG app proves its worth by showing me the Temple is round the corner from the Edgar Wallace; navigating by pub is my strongpoint.
The descent to the cellar bar is promising.
The concept looks familiar, and suddenly I wonder if this is a bare boards Brewhouse & Kitchen.
But no, it’s only Cambridge’s own City Pub Co extending the burger and homebrew formulas.
And it’s attracting the burger crowd in decent numbers on a Wednesday lunchtime, even if the lack of banter or folk at the bar tells you this is polite restaurant with beer. Just like in Cambridge.
The beer, probably called something like Toast NEIPA (oh, it was) was a bit warmer than you’d get 200 miles north, but very tasty, so another London winner.
Best of all, a soundtrack of Dylan, albeit the ’69 country version, and Laura Marling. As I say, all very polite.
A lot of effort has gone into making it feel quirky, and I guess a range of beers you’ve never heard of works for the average polite Londoner.
But it was good to see that, in the spirit of Rodney Marsh, a QPR fan had already defaced the Gents.