One last post from London, which I’ll admit looked fairly stunning on Wednesday.

Wouldn’t this make a lovely Sam Smiths ?

I’ll bring you my essay on the new Beer Guide tomorrow, but as a taster of the horrors to come, here’s a fact for you;

There’s a bar in the new Beer Guide that’s open a maximum of 110 hours.  All year.  That’s an average of 18 minutes per day.

It’s not this one;



The Marlborough Arms, my last tick in Central London, keeps very Old School hours;


I always finish a GBG chapter with a pint, but I was regretting that tradition entering a typical WC1 Taylor Walker/Greene King house on Wednesday.

That said, it was busy, a mix of stressed Museum tourists, UCL skivers and office workers giving it the most mixed atmosphere of all my five London newbies. A bit like the Mitre in Cambridge, but with Man City Boys v Lyon Boys on the TV.

Weird chandeliers

Despite the #EndOfTimes, there’s still ordinary folk ready to pay £14.49 for the Big Fish & Chips (£6 in Stotfold),  I was impressed to observe.

Dark wood impresses more than the TV screens

Goodness knows how much the craft keg cost..


“Greene King IPA please”   Always go for the proper beer.

“It is gone”  Pointing  at the clip turned at a 45 degree angle. So had the Abbot. No Greene King in a key London outlet. #EndOfTimes.

I settle for micro muck

So I had to pick one of those beers probably made under a railway arch or worse.  In retrospect I should have picked Old Peculiar rather than the Nightwatchman, but I panicked.

It was £4.70.  And it was magnificent. Dark, rich, cool, a beer to pass to Mrs RM and say “Try this, THIS is what cask is all about !” while she drinks her Gamma Ray. NBSS 4+.  Honest.

And I guess that’s what you hope for from a new entry, though I note Pubmeister had a less happy experience last week.  Ah, the cask ale lottery.

Magnificent. Honest.

Not much banter (Londoners are very shy), but great beer in a good pub, only slightly let down by the sort of steep stairs you don’t need after five pubs before 2pm.







  1. Is it still run by Australians? When I was a student, ‘Stu’ from Neighbours used to live upstairs, and would occasionally help out behind the bar. Exciting stuff in 2006/7.


      1. Your records are better than mine, I can’t really distinguish between new entries and re-entries, but now that you point it out, that’s a little disappointing. On balance, I still prefer proper pubs.


      2. Not much new to choose from on the Wirral to be fair. The New Brighton and Heswall micros might have a chance next year. Just be glad the Prenton Park Beer tent isn’t in (Gamma Ray £3.50 a pint!) open matchdays only…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pubs open matchdays only would only be eligible if you didn’t need to buy a ticket. Though Chester Le Street Greyhound Stadium charged me £6 to enter and buy a half of something bland a few years back as they weren’t recognising CAMRA cards !


    1. I’m not sure about “just include one of the ‘spoons” but 2 hours 7 minutes a week isn’t much use – and nearly as ridiculous as those Yorkies including that North Yorks Moors Railway rail ale train some years ago which was an insult to many a right proper pub thereabouts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can’t make out all the cask ales, but I can see a Wishbone brewery beer. You can’t go wrong with their beers usually, although I’m always wary in unchartered London pubs. Wishbone “Cloudy with a Chance of Hops” is divine, even more so when it’s in a wooden cask at The Junction, Cas Vegas. They haven’t brewed it for a while though because they can’t get the hops they use for it. Hopefully they will be getting some from this years harvest.


  3. I’ve been in there a few times. I think it opens early on a Sunday. As much as I dislike the way London has developed over the last 20 years, it is still a great city for pubs (zones 1 and 2, that is).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My nearest pub when lived round corner in Gower Street at end of 70’s. Dire then. Think drank in it once, maybe twice to confirm direness.
    On theme of the lottery of cask: Monday into Tuesday has to be grimmest time, with much of a pub’s range being put on ahead of previous weekend. In a serial (and deserved) GBG entry this lunchtime with three other customers, and: first choice returned; second drinkable, but not enjoyable; third choice …switched to a keg Tiny Rebel, and was lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love London pubs -so diverse -they may be distinctly grubby & with toilets up/down vertical staircases.They often have so much history still there to look at & of course the clientele can be equally diverse ! I never tire of going to That London ,although it is always a relief to get back to the relative peace & quiet of Maidstone

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Wouldn’t this make a lovely Sam Smiths ?”

    Look, I realise it rains a lot in London but a four storey building just for umbrellas?

    “That’s an average of 18 minutes per day.”

    Bloody hell.

    “So had the Abbot. ”

    Hang on. In the photo the Abbot clip hasn’t been turned round yet.

    “In retrospect I should have picked Old Peculiar rather than the Nightwatchman, ”

    (nods sagely)

    “And it was magnificent. ”

    Cask ale lottery indeed.

    “Not much banter (Londoners are very shy)”

    That’s pretty much anywhere over here. 😦


    Liked by 1 person

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