I’m meeting Simon in Belper on Saturday (#PrayForRetiredMartin), and no doubt we will reflect on recent pubbing experiences.
It’s three years since I last did the FF, and I’d no intention of revisiting them when I set off on a walk from Kings Cross to Victoria the Monday after Dudley.
Yes, I know I could have taken the tube with Mrs RM (gigging IT in Charing Cross), but then you’d miss the fun of weaving round tourists at the British Museum and the magic of England’s Second City.
Her Maj was out, but it was the sight of the Palace that persuaded me to take a left turn to Petty France, where the lure of the Buckingham Arms proved too strong.
It’s the least well-known of the Five, I’d wager, the George Cohen of GBG pubs.
But even with the demise/rebirth/who cares of Youngs beers, this is still a stunning one-roomer, unsullied by plastic menus and promotional tat (or Greenekingisation as we know it better).
“Pint of Ordinary please”.
They certainly know how to produce a head naturally.
I’m nervous. Far too many beers, as is the modern way.
It’s a pleasant, rather than great pint of Ordinary (NBSS 2.5/3), served in a thick chunky glass I can only call Exceptional.
It slips down a bit too easily, though.
More importantly, the pub has a wide cross-section of central London life. An elderly Japanese couple who have travelled here just to eat our burgers, American children at the high tables, a couple on a date, a few Old Boys. For a pub so close to the Passport Office and Buck house, it’s an impressive mix.
I don’t know what Mr John would think of the 70s pop, or the Ordinary, but the little heritage room with his picture is a touching tribute to the great man.