Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Lord Aberconway

The Lord Aberconway - Tuesday 25th January 2016

72 Old Broad Street, London EC2M 1QT
GW invited several of us out again to meet him after work. GF, GL and JP from my previous role turned up, as well as two of GW's friends, NC and SM, who I last saw at the One in the Wood. It was a busy night in the pub despite it pouring with rain and it being a Tuesday night.

I was first to arrive, so I grabbed a great corner table that had plenty of room for us all. The only downer upon arrival was that there were only two beers on. I was little disappointed but promised that the Nicholson's would be on as soon as the cellarman arrived.

As the others arrived and the beer began to flow, the cellarman had put on at least another four beers, a great atmosphere emerged within the city pub. This was not the haunt of your usual city banker type, but a great mixture of clientelle, despite it being right next to Liverpool Street Station and the high rise international finance company office blocks all around.

There is a second floor within the pub, where I was sorely tempted to grab a table, that overlooks the rest of the ground floor; maybe next time I visit?

Beers drunk on this visit :

1) Hopopotamus (3.8%) - Broughthon Brewery, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland - a VERY hoppy ale
2) Nicholson's Pale Ale (4%) - St Austell's Brewery, St Austell, Cornwall - a session amber pale ale
3+) White Witch (3.9%) - Moorhouse's brewery, Burnley, Lancashire - a fruity, refreshing blonde ale

White Witch proved to be so tasty that I stayed on it for the rest of the night. The hopopotamus has a shocking (in a nice way) flavour. It certainly takes one by surprise on the first mouthful - a very strong, hoppy flavour. Not one for a session but a great one-off to have during an evening's session to awaken your taste buds.

Number of visits : 1st / no previous

Burns Night

The Robin Hood and Little John - Monday 25th January 2016

78 Lion Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8PF
There is a little ritual MB and I have got ourselves into on the 25th of January each year. Being just after his birthday it is an ideal occasion for a second celebration and an excuse to drink more ale. We have taken a trip down to the Robin Hood and Little John every year for about the last 10-15 years on Burns Night to savour the wonderfully prepared haggis, tatties and neeps accompanied by one of the several whiskys on offer from the top shelf.

This is a pub we used to go to week-in-week-out for many a year until we both had a spate of unemployment which changed our priorities. After we both got back into gainful employment, we decided to spread our wings a little further afield to sample the delights of many of the other pubs in our area. The Robin Hood is still our default go-to pub though, as it offers six ales on the menu as well as one or two guest ales that change once every week or two.

This evening we were joined by MB's work friend M (cannot remember his surname - shameful of me). We were all at the birthday drink in the Dial Arch on Friday and we have all been to several beer festivals and pubs in recent years too. M had not sampled the delights of the Burns Night feast, so he joined us for a few ales and a chat.

Beers drunk on this visit :

1) Deuchars IPA (3.8%) - Caledonian Brewing Co, Edinburgh, Scotland - a session English Pale Ale
2) Grasshopper (3.8%) - Westerham Brewery, Westerham, Kent - a malty, full bodied bitter
3) Whitstable Bay (3.9%) - Faversham Steam Brewery (Shepherd Neame), Faversham, Kent - another session slightly bitter pale ale
4) Aberlour whisky (10yo) - Aberlour, Speyside, Scotland - a smooth, single malt

The pub was the least busy I have ever seen it on a Burns Night, but the haggis, tatties and neeps were served up just the same. A very welcome plateful on Scottish goodness, washed down with a fine whisky. What more could one want on a cold January evening to warm the cockles?

I am due to finish work again soon, so I think I may begin to visit a few more pubs with MB as our availability will overlap a lot more. The Robin Hood and Little John will be close to the top of the list of pubs to visit first.

Number of visits : 1st / dozens previously

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Dial Arch

The Dial Arch  - Friday 22nd January 2016

Number 1 Street, The Warren, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, London SE18 6GH
I have only been to this pub once before and it was for the same reason I returned to it again this evening, my longest known friend MB celebrated his birthday here - he hit the big five-oh on Wednesday. I arrived very early and had a good look at all the beers on offer. There was a bank of six or seven ales on tap, alongside the usual lagers, as well as a very large selection of wine.

I had already had a very large, late lunch in preparation for this evening's session, so I did not eat anything from the very tasty looking menu; maybe next time?

MB had a good turnout of friends for the celebration, with the prospect of several more arriving after I had left. I only knew one of them, so it was a good evening for meeting and chatting to some new people. The only problem with this bar, even though it is very large, is the lack of seating available for large parties. A couple of very kind ladies swapped their larger table with our much smaller one - thanks ladies!

Beers drunk on this visit :

1) Wandle (3.8%) - Sambrook Brewery, Battersea, London - a great session amber ale
2) Naked Ladies (4.4%) - Twickenham Brewery, Twickenham - good body with a very hoppy taste
3) Redhouse Premium Ale (4.2%) - Bexley Brewery, Kent - a dark-ish pale ale
4)New Year's Resolution ??? - a ruby ale

Due to the nature of drinking in rounds I lost track of the name of the last beer I drank. After a follow-up text to MB the following day, he seemed to think it was New Year's Resolution, which is a ruby ale. I only had one ruby coloured beer that night, so it may very well have been that one. I will only log it as a maybe as I do not know for certain.

Number of visits: 1st / 1 previous