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.

Keep up, BRAPA
Harp shown for reference point

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.

Spoons life
Classic Spoons architecture

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.

Wood !

A triumph of blokey conversation, hipster ponytails, and uncomfortable seating.

Not Proper seating

A group of Irish mates were settling in for the afternoon (to be fair, it was noon by now).

Real ale desert

“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.

Gourmet food and coffee matching

The walk from Ruislip Manor to Ruislip proper shows a bit of metroland character.

Helmet from 1st moon landing
Manor Farm

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”.

All your shopping favourites

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.

Beer details for those with better eyesight than Russ
Water on tables. Great idea.

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.

Magnificent beer

“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.

Duckboards make debut on my blog

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.

26 thoughts on “RUISLIP – A CROCK OF GOLD

      1. Yes, and Tim’s Stockport venue was just right for passing time yesterday morning until the proper pubs opened and I think I lowered the average age by a year or two so it’s more of a ‘nursing home’ than a ‘crèche’.
        “Opening on Christmas Day, like a good community pub should do” is what the Petergate Tap didn’t do, closed for several days until today. Anyway it didn’t matter much by the time I had had pints of OBB in Humphrey’s two Heads and pints of Old Tom in better Robinsons pubs than the Bakers Vaults. .

        Liked by 1 person

  1. > Spoons rarely lets you down, does it. For real life, anyway.

    Had the January sale started when you visited ? Discovered yesterday that guest ales are reduced from £1.99 per pint to £1.85 per pint in my local ‘Spoons, but only for a fortnight-ish. Not a bad price for Ringwood Old Thumper and Vale Gravitas.

    Unfortunately, that’s Dry-January screwed for another year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was Dec 28th. Beers were the now normal £2.15, less the Spoons 50p vouchers they were still accepting (unusually for December).
      Those are good prices for good beer !

      As you’ll find out later Fred, my Dryanuary lasted until exactly 12.02pm on 1 January.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. £4.00 per pint in the new micro – the Plough on Oxford’s Cornmarket – yesterday. Two ales on were XT 4 Session Amber (3.8 per cent) and Animal XT Brewing Co Hop Kitty (3.9 per cent). I tried the former, a nice fruity ale with a creamy head – a solid NBSS 4.00. There was also one further handpump that was not in use.

        The pub is a free house but is tied to XT “for a period” to recognise their financial investment in it. There is what looks like brewing equipment in a room behind the bar. However, I was told that this is not for brewing but is a secondary fermentation kit for ales brewed at Long Crendon.

        The premises are quite upmarket. My prediction ? I think that it will be a big hit with both town and gown once the students return and word gets around about its opening. I would also not be surprised if it pinches the GBG place from the Three Goats’ Heads at some point in the future. I cannot see Oxford CAMRA fitting both into the Guide !

        I suppose you are hiding behind the sofa ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am hiding behind the sofa, Fred. Metaphorically at least. Actually I’m trying to finish the 2018 posts tonight.

        Interesting to read about another upmarket micro. The one in Llandaff, Cardiff certainly fitted that description, with well-to-do locals in their 20s-30s treating it as their personal wine bar rather than a boozer. Same with the Lutterworth one, and several others that have opened recently. Nothing wrong with that, but Martyn Hiller would be horrified !


  2. “Harp shown for reference point”

    Look at how many end in ‘ford’ and ‘wood’. No wonder I get them mixed up at times. 😉

    “Wood !”


    “Not Proper seating”

    It looks like they’ve been sent to the time-out chair at school.

    “Helmet from 1st moon landing”

    The non-digital clock(?) underneath it gives it away.

    “Manor Farm”

    I was expecting ‘manor born’.

    “for those with better eyesight than Russ”

    It’s peering at all of those tiny OS maps that dunnit!

    “and got something from Stardust which was just magic”

    Even I can tell from the beer listing photo that you had the Slow Roast dark ale. 😉

    “Till I walked into the dog mess just off the boardwalk.”

    Plenty of leaves around to get most of it off. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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