JACKALOPE

You left me in an alley behind the Harp on Lockdown Eve.

I had a crumpled bit of paper in my pocket, but after five pubs I was starting to feel that doing all 21 that I needed to complete London was, perhaps, a stretch too far.

Certainly on pints.

I know it’s TECHNICALLY possible to drink halves, but at the moment it just seems wrong to spend longer checking in than drinking, especially when the pint is only £2.

So I decided to call it a day after one more newbie in Marylebone and then catch the last off-peak train home.

Hands up who’d heard of the Jackalope ?

Another 20 minutes, mainly slowing down to avoid bumping into people in the West End.

As you can see, London is rather less busy than you’ll remember.

A joy to wander, and wonder where you are, and whether you ought to pop in every Greene King pub en-route, just in case they never re-open.

The streets north of Oxford Circus got ever quieter and quieter, and by the time I reached the Jackalope I realised there’s was more risk of an early close as in Wapping than of no space at the inn.

That frontage looked familiar, very Bloomsbury Group (which indeed it is), but inside the simplicity comes straight from Sam Smiths.

Which indeed it was, when it was the Dover Castle.

Us Beer Guide tickers have recently started a WhatsApp Group (3rd season now live on Netflix) where we say things like “Golly. The Monk’s Habit in Penge USED to be the Queazy Hedgehog in Croydon when it was a GBG pub in 1982/3″. STOP CHANGING PUB NAMES, IT CONFUSES US.

Anyway, I was the only customer, but still managed to pick the high table rather than the benches.

Only one cask beer left, a Redemption Pale that improved from a 3 to a 3.5 despite looking pretty rubbish here;

Any sensible drinker would have gone for the Lees Stout on keg, but sense had long gone.

The lone barman was charm and efficiency itself, but I was glad there was a Mudgie-friendly soundtrack, from “You’re So Vain” to “American Girl“.

Smart place, wrong day to see its charms.

Downstairs in the Gents, I stocked up on fashion tips.

Surely home now ?

25 thoughts on “JACKALOPE

  1. Jackalope, the worlds scariest Rabbit! Probably some historical connection with a pub in London.

    That bar looks lovely, nice curve to the counter. I like a curve to the counter. Spoilt only by the single most pointless COVID box-ticking exercise, the hazard tape on the floor. Does ‘anyone’ notice/take any notice of this vandalism? Oh, and the ‘feet’ stickers, the other single most pointless box-tick…

    Good to see Arbor pushing into London. When C-Bomb is as ubiquitous as Doom Bar, it’ll finally be safe to return to pubs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how good a walker Alan was. BRAPA and Duncan walk a fair lick; BRAPA then complains about it. I’ve been enjoying staying on pints since pubs returned; Alan was strictly a halves man.

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  2. Thanks for those tips on sartorial elegance, Martin. I often wondered where I was going wrong with my sense of dress!

    It’s a shame that the new owners of the Dover Castle had to come up with such a daft name for their acquisition, but from your photos and write-up, it looks a good place for a decent pint, off the beaten track.

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    1. Yes Paul, some one-off pub names work fine – for instance The Briton’s Protection – but many, like this one, just don’t.

      I might try to unpick why that could be in an idle moment…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Etu,
        I think Britons Protection is a proper name from the pub having been used as an army recruiting venue.
        Maybe the equally famous Rifle Drum has a similar history.

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      2. I don’t usually like pubs with militarily-connected names, but the one that I mention is such a great place, and so different from what one often finds – perhaps as you rightly imply – at such as the Rifle Drum.

        The Volunteer Rifleman in Bath is a curiosity of its own, mind.

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      3. Etu,
        The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records acknowledged that The Thirteenth Mounted Cheshire Rifleman Inn was the longest public house name in the UK.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Aye, Stalybridge also has about the shortest too Paul – “Q”, I think.

        If ever a place were going to be called a single letter, then it was bound to be “Q”, wasn’t it?

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  3. “Hands up who’d heard of the Jackalope ?”
    I paid a visit to The Jackalope in March 2019, so a year before the end of the world as we know it, as the song goes. A mid week visit and very quiet, the beer was good, Five Points Pale, easily NBSS 3.5 if not 4. However I couldn’t warm to the pub and not been tempted back given the lack of decent pubs in the immediate area.
    Glad your pint was ok, looks bloody awful.

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  4. “but after five pubs I was starting to feel that doing all 21 that I needed to complete London was, perhaps, a stretch too far.”

    Ya think? (and I think only those of a certain ‘élan’ (Winfield) flair could pull that off). 😉

    “Hands up who’d heard of the Jackalope ?”‘

    The name? Yes, certainly. It’s a bit of a thing to fool the tourists with over on this side of the pond. The pub though, not so much.

    “Another 20 minutes, mainly slowing down to avoid bumping into people in the West End.”

    Hang on, I thought in previous posts you were implying that London was a ghost town?

    “As you can see, London is rather less busy than you’ll remember.”

    See? 🙂

    “and whether you ought to pop in every Greene King pub en-route, just in case they never re-open.”

    But surely that was always the case… with or without Covid. 😉

    “Which indeed it was, when it was the Dover Castle.”

    In the photo above, I see the blue and white sticker for feet on the floor (which I presume is where one stands) but also the blue and white sticker for your hands above the sanitiser. Gonna be tricky to sanitise your hands when you have to put them on the wall ABOVE the sanitiser. 😉

    ““Golly. The Monk’s Habit is Penge USED to be the Queazy Hedgehog in Croydon when it was a GBG pub in 1982/3“”

    Blimey. Is there an app to help translate that on WhatsApp?

    “but sense had long gone.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “Downstairs in the Gents, I stocked up on fashion tips.”

    What’s the point of a suntan if you’re showing a lot of cuff and wearing turtlenecks? 😉

    “Surely home now ?”

    Surely not! 🙂

    Cheers

    Like

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