London Pub No.6; by this stage BRAPA would have been on the floor arguing about Hull City fullbacks and being escorted to the door by angry locals.
But I was taking things more moderately, and mixing the halves with the half-marathon (14 miles walked on this Tuesday, including some proper London back street strolling.
A first trip to Balham since the days of Youngs pubs in the Guide. There’s a 90% chance it’s going to be an Antic, I think, and I’m right. The opening hours are the giveaway.
Slightly less shabby-chic than the Antic South-east London cohort, this one looks like the bowls club was literally abandoned in 1977. Apart from the yoga flyer.
I really like it, particularly the warren of rooms and dark wood. There’s even a good mix of folk; Old Boys reading papers, crafty beardies on the Siren, and pub virgins who haven’t got a clue what to do in a pub. They’d better learn before Christmas.
The beer is often the weak spot in the Antic armoury, the Volden rarely convincing.
It convinced here. £3.30 for a gorgeously cool, foamy, chewy pint (NBSS 3.5+).
A folky soundtrack, nervous 21 year olds singing the menu, pashmina Paulines asking “So how WAS last night ?”
I loved it, I really did. And it wouldn’t be the last Antic of the month.
A tube to Old Street, a desperate search for a pub loo, then a walk to Hackney through the Big City.
These lucky folk have Cloudwater cask this week. I must go back.
No new Hackney ticks, just a low-key gig at OSLO, where our favourite itinerant American Mutual Benefit sang his gorgeous songs to about 50 folk who hadn’t done six pubs and fourteen miles that afternoon.
Anyway, enough London. Over to Norfolk next. Oh no.