TOP 100 PUBS – THE HARP

Leaving the Princess, I consulted my artisanal map for my last day’s ticking before Lockdown 2.

Four down, with two close by somewhere in Marylebone, which I always spell Marleybone.

I almost fell at the furst hurdle;

but I feared the wurst if I followed a Pride with curry,

so started one of those long, aimless rambles through Soho and Bloomsbury.

A minute later;

Oh, isn’t that you-know-what ?

Oh, go on then.

Readers, I’ve been writing this rubbish for five years and the Harp, one of the most famous beer pubs in the land had NEVER appeared in these pages. But a Brewers Fayre in Glenrothes has.

That’s an aberration I can now remedy.

This was a third visit, first since Fullers took it on, and the first time I’d been able to snaffle a seat downstairs, right in the corner next to the paintings of the landlord and ladies of CAMRA Pubs of the Year.

I was so excited I took this inadvertent museum that in 100 years time will be slowed down, converted to black and white, and shown on a loop in the Wetherspoons Museum of Pubs in Wolverhampton.

It was a wonderful seat, and I felt a bit of a cheat paying a mere two quid for a sensationally fresh pint of Dark Star American Pale (NBSS 4), though frankly all the beers were going so quick I doubt you could go wrong.

I’ll confess, it’s still a bit boxy for me as a pub, I prefer the neighbourhood tied house with mums and pushchairs and lager lads, but if you want to taste cask as its best this and The Hope and the Euston Tap would be top of my list. But I’m not a #Beer man.

For the first time today, I heard some (intelligent) talk about the US Election, which was on a knife-edge, and the Harp seemed a bastion of civility in a world of chaos.

Like the Piccadilly Tap, it’s not a place you want to find yourself stranded on the upstairs floor when all the “pub” is going on downstairs.

Frankly, a sensible #beer man would have stayed put and moved on to exemplar £2 pints of Harvey’s and Pride and Hophead, and oblivion would have called.

But a Pub Man needs to keep moving, moving, out the Exit.

Oh, where am I ?

And why are there all these cans of craft beer behind the Harp ?

19 thoughts on “TOP 100 PUBS – THE HARP

  1. “Like the Piccadilly Tap, it’s not a place you want to find yourself stranded on the upstairs floor when all the “pub” is going on downstairs.”
    That did happen to me at the Piccadilly Tap, never at The Harp, though there has been occasion I’ve had to stand drinking in The Institute Of Chinese Medicine next door on a Saturday night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been the Harp’s only customer but that’s with me waiting outside for opening time.
      Once a nuclear physicist from California came in a few minutes later and started talking to me. she was most impressed with the pub.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. With the Harp being just a stone’s throw from Charing Cross, and the train home, I would definitely have stayed put. Harvey’s at £2 a pint as well, what’s not to like? (Apart from the 2nd lockdown, of course!).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “but I feared the wurst if I followed a Pride with curry,”

    Definitely wurst than a small prune!

    “Oh, isn’t that you-know-what ?”

    One of those cunning places the Chinese have infiltrated into every major city in order to subvert Western Civilization?

    “Oh, go on then.”

    Whoops. You mean the pub next door.

    “I was so excited I took this inadvertent museum that in 100 years time will be slowed down, converted to black and white, and shown on a loop in the Wetherspoons Museum of Pubs in Wolverhampton.”

    It doesn’t do it justice. 😉

    “and the Harp seemed a bastion of civility in a world of chaos.”

    Pete Brown in his coffee table book ‘The Pub’ agrees. He says “the place is always so jolly it often feels like stumbling into a party, with punters spontaneously starting up conversations with their neighbours”.

    “Oh, where am I ?”

    Well, you ‘were’ in heaven, until you exited. 🙂

    “And why are there all these cans of craft beer behind the Harp ?”

    I blame the cunning Chinese.

    Cheers

    Like

  4. The Harp was nearly always my first stop when up town back in Binnies day, when it opened at 10.00 in the morning, my crowd knew all the staff down to the cleaner and pot boy, the wonderful Sarah would also let us in at when we arrived as usual straight from the train Waterloo about 9.45. Although Fullers have kept the pub in reasonable shape when they took it on and not messed with it too much, for me it’s now lost that personal connection it once had.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have been several times & managed to bag the same seat as you had by the window ,last time (we have also had several failed visits -I refuse to stand ! ) Like you,I find it a bit small but Mr S always enjoys the beer.We even managed to get in twice in the same day which must be a bit of a record !

    Liked by 1 person

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