Mrs RM has gone off to do “the big shop for presents” at Tesco, despite our not believing in Father Christmas, and will no doubt berate me for my lack of seasonal effort on her return.

So I need to crack on with these posts, now less than a week behind.

Starting with Colindale, at the top of the A5/M1 axis where leafy Hertfordshire becomes grim North-West London before suddenly becoming all Irish pubs and Turkish kebab houses in Kilburn.

Rare appearance of OS map

You know how hard I try to sell this sceptre isle to you on this blog.  With Colindale, I give up.

To be honest, I can’t even tell you where it is.  Is it Barnet ? Hendon. The Hyde ? Brent ?


I tend to go by the Guide, which says NW9.  I’d have asked the Tourist Office, but there isn’t one.

The highlight comes at the start, as you exit Hendon station and a view of the wondrous Midland, which was conducting some sort of enterprise in the car park. Probably Christmas trees.

Home of that NBSS 5 Hophead

Colindale is a plain and uneventful suburb* compared to Kingsbury or Wembley with their South Asian delights. Plenty of building going on; no sign of independent cafes and craft beer bars.

Co-op your best bet for craft

The Sheesha Lounge is you best bet for FUN, whatever that is.


While the camel could prove useful in the traffic jams at Brondesbury.

Possibly art

Pubwise, I saw the GBG Spoons. And this basic boozer that I bet Alan Winfield visited.

Gearing up for the World Cup.  1982.

If you’re a fan of the early ’90s Spoons boxy shop conversion, North-West London is the place to come.

They’re very proud of their GBG19 entry.

A design classic

Rather like the Spoons in suburban Liverpool or east Birmingham, this is a haven for Old Boys, with few females and fewer diners.

Guinness and Bud Light rule

Despite/because of that, it feels quite pubby and retained a bit of woody character.

Unique carpets

Guinness and Bud rule, but I saw enough cask served to feel confident about veering off the safe Doom Bar onto the risky Sambrook’s Porter. A risk of £1.65, of course.

A solid range

Not much of a risk.  Creamy head, cool enough, a warming NBSS 3.5 without any of the characteristic “long-pull” flavour you associate with Spoons.

Decent lacings
Note mobility scooter in background

The banter was great, ranging from Gazza’s balls (they’d forgot Vinnie Jones) and drug cartels in Madrid.  I’d tell you more but they’d have to kill me.

Food of the year

So I stayed for two flat whites and the fudge brownie glop, the mini version this time (only 937 calories in a half portion).

And then I decided to walk to Kilburn.  It was a duff idea.


*Though things are actually still made and people trained here, just like in Brum, so I’m not slagging it off.

19 thoughts on “ON THE ALE IN COLINDALE

  1. Only two more sleeps and the whole bastard thing will be over for another year.
    Speaking of Tesco and linking in my annual challenge to produce the cheapest possible Christmas lunch without telling the family until after they’ve eaten it ( although it will be hard to beat the legendary €5 frozen turkey bought on offer in July when they were nearly giving them away,Aldi frozen roast potatoes in goose fat,free veg from a pal’s allotment and a year-old Christmas pudding won in a pub raffle the previous year ) I acquired six half-price ribeye steaks for €7.50 in Tesco some weeks ago and immediately hid them in the freezer.
    The intention was to run that €5 frozen turkey a close second and at least get all the grub used for under a tenner – accompanied by much strategic talk of ” lets do beef for a change.”
    That was until Aunt Bessie lured me in with her new Homestyle range of deep Yorkshire puddings.
    Never seen them before but then we’ve only just got colour telly in Ireland.
    I had to beat off a couple of geriatrics with a hurling stick to get the last three packets from the freezer.
    Proper Yorkshires.Served Yorkshire-style as a starter.With a good old Yorkshire grumble about the price of them.
    I’m not succumbing to bastard Christmas Day without a fight.
    I’ll si thi on t’other side.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well. Prof, I know some Protestants contest there’s a reference to it in the Book of Philemon, but I can assure you that no-one has to eat Christmas lunch. Or send presents. Or wish anyone a happy Christmas. Just for once, those Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right idea.


    2. P P-T
      Yes, only about 48 hours and it will be over for another year and that’s cause for celebration so I’ve opened a bottle of wine.
      I only thought of doing so after my dear wife asked if there was a bottle spare to give to a neighbour and I remembered I’ve a quite a few gathering dust, and a few bottles of Scotch, from when I got given loads of drink and money this time of year in my last job, that’s before my knee failed and I’ve spent twenty months with precious little to do all day long.
      Anyway it’s a 13½% Trivento 2014 Malbec Reserve from Argentina which I’m finding quite agreeable – half now and that’ll leave half for lunchtime tomorrow, and I’m still not sure if it’s me or my daughter meant to be cooking the Christmas dinner – but it’s no broccoli this year as we don’t want arguments !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Rare appearance of OS map”

    And pretty sparse with regards to funny names.

    “Possibly art”

    I think they started a nativity scene and got side tracked.

    “And this basic boozer that I bet Alan Winfield visited.”

    Is there a basic boozer Alan didn’t visit?

    “Guinness and Bud Light rule”

    There’s no accounting for taste.

    “Unique carpets”

    That’s bordering on cozy (or homely as you lot say).

    “Decent lacings”

    Crikey. I was thinking that as I scrolled down past the photo. 🙂

    “Note mobility scooter in foreground”

    Really? I thought the foreground held a luverly pint and the scooter was in the background.

    “It was a duff idea.”

    Over an hour’s stroll near such delights as the M1, North Circular Road and Finchley? Duff indeed.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I always get my fores and backs mixed up due to doing these posts in the mirror.”

        LOL. That’s because you take a lot of your photos that way. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your reference to Alan Winfield got me curious, as to whether his pub enthusiasm was devoted especially toward these “basic boozers.” Did he have a sort of pub that be preferred, or was he more a fan of all pubs, no exceptions?”


      3. Mark,

        I can’t speak for everyone but personally I would say Alan had a preference for what are called ‘back street boozers’. He was not a die hard cask man either. I would say he preferred ambiance* and company over anything else.

        If you weren’t already aware his website is here:



        PS – * and he would have never used the term ‘ambiance’. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

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