Christmas is marked by the first appearance of the Winter edition of Ullage, your favourite West Berkshire beer and pubs magazine (edging out the Hungerford Horse & Jockey Weeekly for the third consecutive year).
Newbury Tim is always great company, finding me a wealth of new art, bands and pubs to explore, and we met in the Old Suffolk Punch, presumably on a holiday from Ipswich in the heart of Hammersmith.
Yes, it’s a West Berks pub, hence Tim’s interest, and certainly busy in the Christmas run-up, even if everyone is on the fizz. Good Old Boy is good but not old.
It took me ages to find my way out of Hammersmith underground station, which like Brum New Street is all shops, so I’m glad to enjoy the glories of the A40 flyover,
and the lesser known River Thames on the way down to the Dove.
We picked the Dove for no other reason than that it’s there, and is as pretty a riverside pub as it gets.
Pretty but not welcoming to drinkers, with the bulk of tables held back for diners. Not quite the Arden Arms, but Simon would have flipped.
Standing at the bar is uncivilised, even if the Bengal Lancer is good.
To his eternal credit, one member of staff (“a waiter”) offered us a seat for 10 minutes until the poshos arrived. I was impressed by that.
But we were pleased to get to a proper boozer, where drinkers are welcomed and given 50p discount.
Even if it is a characterless Spoons under a Holiday Inn Express. It was heaven in Hammersmith. As the song goes. The beer was top, the banter unforgettable*.
I left Tim to more Spoons and headed to a gig at the Elephant & Castle where the highlight was the advice against world record attempts and a big red light that made my head hurt.
*No, I didn’t take notes. See Tim’s post here.