Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What is The Taplow Horn?

The Taplow Horn

I wanted to give my new blog a slightly unusual name that combined my loves of beer and archaeology, as well as sounding like it could be newspaper column or somesuch. Thus, the Taplow Horn was born. The Taplow Horn is a slight misnomer as there are in fact two Taplow Horns.
Photo Courtesy of the British Museum

The Taplow Horns were found in a late 6th century Anglo-Saxon princely burial located inTaplow, Buckinghamshire. They are made from aurochs horn (a breed of cattle that was the precursor to modern cattle breeds) with a gilt-silver mount, and are in fact very large - about 45cm long! In fact the aurochs was a huge beast and quite fearsome in its way, so obviously was a prime candidate for a warrior's totem. A pair of horns from one of these beasts must have indeed been a princely gift to someone.

That gets the archaeology and beer connections out of the way, but what about the link to a newspaper column? Well, for this I had to delve into my old Spiderman comics (yes, I still read comics at a grand old age that is rapidly approaching a half-century) and pulled out of the hat "The Daily Bugle". Bugle - Horn - both musical instruments that are used to send messages, usually on the battlefield, which brings me back round to the Anglo-Saxons again.

So, overall, I think the name is rather apt for what I want to portray as the overall theme of the blog.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Crook Log

The Crook Log - Friday 19th June

Crook Log Road, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8EQ

I decided to treat the family to a carvery roast at our local Toby Carvery on the way home from work at teh start of this weekend. Usually it is so busy there is a waiting time of 45 minutes plus to get a table but, despite the fine weather, we were able to get seated straight away.

We all went for the standard carvery roast and the kids had their usual desserts, but I stuck to the beer for my entree and main meal accompliment. Unfortunately the Brakspears was off but they did serve London Pride. I had a pint and a half of this, and it went own very well.

The Crook Log offers 2 cask ales and the usual pub lagers, Guiness and John Smith's Smooth (yuk!) for the beer drinker, as well as all the pub standards (wine, cider, spirits etc.)

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) London Pride (4.1%), Fuller's Brewery, Chiswick - a malty, amber beer

Visits:  1st / several previous

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Rose

The Rose - Saturday 13th June

 179 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7ES

Although I have lived around this area most of my adult life, this is a pub I have rarely drunk in. There are many more pubs that have always taken first dibs on my hard-earned (more about those in later posts as I (re)visit them). That said, this is a little gem of a pub, so much better after its recent-ish renovation.

After our short session at The Broken Drum earlier in the evening, MB and I caught the bus back to the Broadway and made a snap decision to grab another beer before closing time. We decided on The Rose as we had not been there together for a long time, if ever (I told you my memory was terrible). It was bustling and quite noisy as we walked in, with sports (England vs Mexico, Women's World Cup for those who are interested) on the numerous TVs and decent rock music on the sound system. After the quiet and calm of The Broken Drum, this came as a bit of a shock. However, after ordering a beer at the bar we easily found a table to sit at and continued our conversation.

The Rose offers 5 or 6 ales and the usual pub fare.

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) Dorset Knob (3.9%) - Dorset (Jurassic) Brewery, Dorset - a light amber ale

Visits: 1st / a few previous (latest with wife for a leisurely G'n'T a couple of years back)

The Broken Drum

The Broken Drum - Saturday 13th June

 308 Westwood Lane, Blackfen, Kent DA15 9PT

This is Bexley's third micropub but, as it is relatively new, it is the last of them that I have patronised. I arrived with my main ale drinking buddy MB at around 8pm to a warm welcome from the landlady. The Broken Drum was not too busy for a Saturday night, about a dozen or so people sat at four or five tables, but there was a nice atmosphere. We held one of our usual meandering conversations without the interruption of mobile phones, Sky TV or juke boxes and our chatter added to the general buzz. During our short evening stay (it closed at 10pm) we managed to chat to the landlord about the pub and discussed some of his great Terry Pratchett inspired decor. We were then drawn into a conversation with a couple of regulars before the evening there drew to a close after our third pint.

The Broken Drum offers 6 ales, a cider and a small selection of wine. Bar snacks available.

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) Solstice (3.5%) - Leeds Brewery, Leeds - a light summer ale
2) Pow Wow (3.6%) - Mad Cat Brewery, Faversham - a pale ale
3) Rye IPA (3.8%) - Slaters Brewery, Stafford - an IPA

Visits: 1st / no previous visits

The Taplow Horn

Welcome to the Taplow Horn - A place where I will log my forays into the world of beer and ale.

This blog has come about because I have such a terrible memory. From time-to-time, I enjoy a decent pint (or three), in a nice boozer with old (and soon-to-be new) friends. Unfortunately, I can never quite remember what I drank, or where I went, or even when I visited said establishment. So, I am hoping this little blog will act as a reminder to me of my short trips to beer heaven.

After my sporadic trips to the pub I will attempt, within the next day or so, to write down a quick review of the hostelry itself along with a quick run down of the beers that I drank on that particular evening. I will try to include a few pictures of the pub and beers drunk as an aide-de-memoire for further trips and in the hope that someone out there in the blogosphere might find it useful in case there is a need for an evening's entertainment at short notice.

So without further ado, here follows an entry about a trip to a couple of local establishments last Saturday...