As sure as night follows day, Kilburn follows Colindale in the world of the GBG ticker.


Not sure why I decided to walk, something to do with the calories in the Spoons fudge brownie I guess. And a desire to explore an unexciting bit of the A5.

The first two miles are some of the dullest in the whole of the UK, just warehouses and retail and flyovers. And the Wing Yap Chinese shop.

A highpoint
Flyover close-up
One just like this in Manchester

Those two flat whites were seeming A Bad Idea By Brondesbury, which as you know was a rejected Ted Nugent album title. Never blame the beer, always coffees.

Things picked up in Cricklewood, perhaps the first time anyone has ever said that.

I made it to the loos in the Beaten Docket, one of the first London GBG pubs I ever visited, for inexplicable reason. It was as “lively” as I remembered.

Never change

Tim had a fair number of Spoons round here, selling a few of the rougher diamonds in the late ’90s, and I always assumed these wet-led boozers with minimal food trade were at risk.

And there’s clearly not been a penny spent on modernisation, bar the coffee machines. But still the drinkers come.

The other stand-out round here is the Crown Hotel, which looked rather majestic in a keg way.

A gem

Of course there’s the odd Irish bar like Barrett’s (top), though less than you’d imagine.


Actually, as you enter Kilburn, and realise that you’ve actually beat the bus you could have caught from Colindale, what you notice are the smart Mediterranean cafes which make you realise you’ve actually nearly walked to Hampstead.

And then you check and realise that Kilburn now has more Beer Guide entries than Hampstead, which is shocking for a place that gave us the Flask and Holly Bush.

No GBG entries, but a Clement Freud museum

Even more pub heritage in the Black Lion, especially for Truman fans.


Loads to see round here, from veg,

Grown at Brent Cross

to fading match ads,

NOT a Banksy

to intriguing churches.

Future micro pub

Quite an uplifting half hour, in fact, before the Sir Colin Campbell opens at 4pm (why ?).

Classic livery

Irish boozer gone upmarket, I deduce, perhaps unfairly.

It’s pleasant, but I doubt it sells enough cask.

And the obligatory Otter is an adequate but uninspiring NBSS 2.

Come for the food trucks, come for Guinness, come after 6pm.

Still, job done in London.  Bar one.



  1. “A highpoint”

    Now I know where the term ‘tip’ comes from.

    “and realise that you’ve actually beat the bus you could have caught from Colindal”

    Ahhh, good old big city traffic.

    “to fading match ads,”

    And here’s me thinking it would be something to do with either footy or cricket.

    “Future micro pub”

    But only the bit above the neon word ‘State’.

    “And the obligatory Otter is an adequate but uninspiring NBSS 2.”


    “Still, job done in London. Bar one.”

    Well done. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I might be mistaken but I don’t think the Kilburn Brewery ever brewed a Champion Beer Of Britain.


  2. Blimey. I used to get in the Colin Campbell back in the 90s when I was working in that London and it was very much like its North Shields namesake: rough as a badgers.


  3. That photo captioned “A highpoint” could have been taken in my hometown of Detroit! Well, it’s good for us Yanks to see that it’s not all ‘Ye Olde England’ over there, much as I’d like to keep my rose-tinted glasses on at all times. 😉


    1. A year ago I was in Los Angeles, and there was loads to enjoy and blog about, despite astonishing squalor between the airport and Hollywood. I think it’s easier to find architecture and art in isolation in England, even in less “picture box” places like Coventry or Newton-le-Willows or Margate. Quite a serious answer from me there.

      Liked by 1 person

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