I might group these pubs together soon, but then I’d go over 500 words and you’d just look at the pictures and try to find typos.
And unquestionably, Surbiton’s Black Lion deserves its place in the sun.
Excitingly, Surbiton needs a zig zag in and out of Clapham Junction to really increase my dispiritedness levels.
“Surbiton is a suburban neighbourhood of Kingston” is the best I can find on Wiki. One of those suburbs without an obvious character of its own, despite a population of 45,000.
I know I’ve been here at least three times, the GBG tells me that, but I can’t distinguish it from Esher or Earslfield or anywhere else.
Wiki is effusive about the architectural charms.
Which is harsh. You’d think I’d remember this fine Art Deco station, a reminder of the Woodville wonder.
There’s some gorgeous housing reminiscent of the best that Sutton Coldfield or Orpington can offer,
and the odd “art” piece like this abandoned Waitrose trolley.
But the High Street is identikit, and I’m relieved to head away from the Costas and Café Neros to the pubs in Seething Wells, who I remember as a regular contributor to the NME back in the days that NME was a new music paper.
Guess what this one is called.
My target is a Young’s pub.
There’s two ways that can go. The West London gastro, or the (rarer and unexpected) West London boozer.
Bit of both here.
I get an exemplary (3.5) half of Surrey Hills from an exemplary barmaid.
“Ooh, an ale drinker. Come and join us at the bar”
He’d been keeping pubs going without the need to write letters or request ACVs since noon, pure BRAPA gold.
We reminisced about Welsh beer and the Valleys.
Next to me, Becca (sp,?) seemed to disbelieve I’d come down to visit her local.
“Tell me something interesting about Surbiton?”
“Tell me something interesting about Cambridge”
That stumped me.
Then she reeled off a list of local boozers I ought to visit, and urged me to go to Trisha’s in Soho. So I will.
After I’d wished them a good day and fell t-over-a on the way out, I did visit those pubs.
And the Thames at dusk was as majestic as she’d promised.
Halfway there.Now for the tough ones.