One to go to complete the set for “improving” London, and how appropriate to finish it at the Hop & Vine in Ruislip. Or Greater Slough as its residents like to call it.
Ruislip is a challenge to get to know, with two parallel high streets, only one of which (served by Manor) has the Wetherspoons that designates “proper place” status.
My previous visit to JJ Moons, a classic of ’90s Spoons narrow shop conversion, came in the temporary heyday of nearby Hayes FC. If Hayes ever gets another GBG entry I shall definitely use “Heyday of Hayes” somewhere.
This is your archetypal North West London Tim emporium, but somehow a bit more attractive than Colindale or Cricklewood. Let arguments commence.
A triumph of blokey conversation, hipster ponytails, and uncomfortable seating.
A group of Irish mates were settling in for the afternoon (to be fair, it was noon by now).
“2 Guinness, 2 John Smiths and a Strongbow” was the instruction, perhaps the median drinks order in a North West London Spoons.
I stuck to flat whites and chicken bites.
The walk from Ruislip Manor to Ruislip proper shows a bit of metroland character.
But it’s severely underpubbed. There’s a “worn-in” Harvester, the Irish bar at the top, and now the inevitable/welcome micro, tucked next to “Super Value”.
I bang on about opening hours, don’t I. So let’s congratulate the Hop & Vine on putting their Christmas hours on their Twitter feed well in advance.
Actually, so far in advance I nearly missed them.
I congratulated the nice lady on opening on Christmas Day, like a good community pub should do. Perhaps that should be a prerequisite for GBG entry in 2020. That and beermats.
It’s a well-run, classy place, similar to the Burnage beauty.
I asked for a local beer and got something from Stardust which was just magic; cool, rich and tasty. NBSS 4.5. December has been magic again for beer, as Kate Bush sang.
“Would you care for another ?”
You don’t get that in Spoons.
As I left I noticed our practically perfect publican tidy up the cushions where I’d been sitting. She’d get on well with my Mum.
I took a stroll in the park towards the Lido on the duckboards.
It was a perfect day. Till I walked into the dog mess just off the boardwalk.
Sorry to all the folk who had to put up with the smell on the tube back.