Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas Drinks II

Lamb and Flag - Saturday 16th December 2017

33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB

There was another comic signing this weekend to see out the 40th anniversary of 2000AD. I attended the signing as usual and had also arranged to then meet MB, whom I haven't seen for several months now. All went very quickly at the signing so I got to the pub a lot earlier than I was intending to. When I arrived (around 4:40pm) it was absolutely heaving inside and stayed this way pretty much for our entire time there.

As I had plenty of time to kill before MB arrived I decided to start at the weakest and work my way up through the beers. In quick succession I got through 4 of them before having to then buy a round for two. The atmosphere in the pub was fantastic with different bands of revellers popping in and out all the time. This must be the only city in the world where, in one pub, one can encounter, a dozen turkeys all gobbling away between sips of beer, over 200 Santas and reindeer, as well as people from all over the globe going about their everyday Christmas celebrations. Everybody was friendly and I enjoyed some short chats with several of the other patrons.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Seafarers (3.6%) - George Gale & Co. Ltd (Fuller's Brewery, London) - a hoppy, malty easy drinking bitter
2) Harvest Pale (3.8%) - Castle Rock Brewery, Nottingham -a golden coloured, light, fruity beer
3) Wise Men (4.0%) - Fullers Brewery, London - a golden hoppy beer
4) Oliver's Island (3.8%) - Fullers Brewery, Chiswick, London - a golden crisp, slightly malty ale
Two of the beers were created for helping out with charities - each pint of Seafarers has Fullers Brewery donate a small sum to the Seafarers UK charity, and likewise, each sale of Wise Men puts money into the coffers of the Prostate Cancer UK charity.

After all this beer, I needed something to eat to soak it up and slow down the effects. MB and I decided to grab a burger just round the corner at Five Guys. We took it easy and only ordered up a burger each (no fries or drinks) and then ehaded back out into the London night time.

Mr. Fogg's Tavern
58 St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4EA

I had walked past this a couple of times already today and it had piqued my interest. As MB and I wandered around the Covent Garden area looking for another pub to frequent, we came across it again. We couldn't remember what was on the site of this pub previously, so decided to give it a go as we had not been in here before.

This pub was full to the brim too with revellers of all kinds. The bar staff were dressed in period costume which really added to the atmosphere. MB and I propped up the bar whilst supping our ales and managed to get chatting to a few people on occasion. The bar service was fantastic - on one occasion I overheard a conversation between one of the barmen and a customer - the customer was deciding what to order when the bar man quoted back his previous order and wondered whether Sir would care for the same again - call me impressed! We noticed that alongside the ales many different types of gin were sold (possibly a nod to the period and the sister gin bar that I have just discovered with a Google search) in half-pint glasses no less! What I liked about this bar was that the ales were served in handled jugs and the half-pint gin servings were in those traditional dimpled glasses that we no longer seem to be able to get in oubs these days.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Mr Fogg's Best Bitter (3.7%) -
2) Mr Fogg's Pale Ale (3.9%) -

Not sure who the brewer is of these ales - presumably the tavern owners? I will need to find out more details for a future visit and entry on the blog. As a result I do not have any pictures of tap labels.

Christmas Drinks I (work)

640 East bar - Friday 15th December 2017

Montgomery Square (in the middle), Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf E14 5JJ

As this bar is very close to where we work, my team decided that this would be a good place to have a few beers to finish off the year, and the first part of the project we are all involved in.

There have been a few amendments to the bar since I last went there. The two container blocks still form the "body" of the bar and coffee/snack room, but a lot of chipboard woodwork has been erected to cut out most of the cold breezes from the nearby River Thames. Overhead heaters keep the drinking space relativley warm (as did the crowd) and the glass panels still allowed the views to be taken in.

The bar is currently all decked out with Christmas lights etc. and it looks quite nice considering its usual industrial feel. This afternoon/evening, the bar staff were on great form and their ratings went up even further in my opinion when they popped round with a tray of doughnuts for their customers, which were free!

The choice of beers here is not great, but there is the Lagunistas IPA on tap as well as a few craft beers in cans. PH and I opted for a can of the Welsh brew called Cwtch (an award winning brew in 2015 apparently). I thought it was OK, but I have definietly had better. As PH and I had grabbed the final two cans, we had to move onto Neck Oil for the rest of the evening.

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) Cwtch (4.6%) - Tiny Rebel Brewery, Newport, Wales - a Welsh red-ale with an unusual hoppy but fruity flavour
2) Neck Oil (4.3%) - Beavertown Brewery, London - an easy drinking session IPA

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Catch Up - Oktoberfest, Crisis, Bree Louise and Punk at the Dome

I have been very remiss in updating this blog recently. I have been out to quite a few nice pubs and venues recently but many have got lost in the mists of time (well, last two months anyway). Following are a few of those that I actually made a note of or actually remember the dates for, but not to the same depth of detail as I usually report...

Friday 29th September to Monday 2nd October 2017 - Oktoberfest, Munich

I managed to get back to the Oktoberfest in Munich with SH again this year. We went for the final weekend this time as it should not have been so busy, but it was just as busy as normal! We did a lot of our usual things and ended up in many places the same as last time, but one special event was that we managed to bag a table in the upstairs hall of the Hofbrauhaus. We drank many different local brews and got onto talking terms with the manager of one of the stand-up bars in the Oktoberfest grounds. Next time I will make sure to make a note of the breweries and beers tried and then get all of the photos up onto the blog in a timely manner.

3rd November 2017 - Da Gianni pizzeria, Antwerp

I made my yearly trip to Antwerp for the Crisis gaming event with number one son over the Guy Fawkes weekend. We usually stay over for a couple of nights which gives us the chance to sample some of the local delights. On the day of our arrival (we go by car and Channel Tunnel) the journey took a lot longer than usual - it was a perfect storm of events; two sets of long term roadworks that the city council decided to focus on more this weekend, two major accidents and two concerts hosted in the city. The entire journey time would have been the same as in a normal year, except that the events outlined above delayed our final three miles by over five hours!

Anyway, our arrival was extremely late and, after checking into our hotel, we had to hunt around for somewhere still open for a bite to eat. We found a great little pizzeria that also sold some lovely choices of beer. Due to the time available though I decided to stick with just a couple of bottles of the same brew to save thinking power.

Beers drunk on this visit:

Grimbergen Dubbel (6.5%) - Brouwerij Alken-Maes, Belgium

4th November 2017 - Pulled Taco Bar

After the show, which runs all day Saturday, we got showered an dchanged and decided to head into town - #1Son fancied Mexican cuisine this evening. Unfortunately it decided to tip down with rain whilst we were looking around for somewhere to eat, so we ran back to the first Mexican restaurant we came across after we couldn't get into the rib house earlier on our walk.

I have to say that the prawn filled soft tacos and nachos starter were amongst the best I have ever eaten from a Mexican restaurant. They only had a small selection of beers available, but strangely (or maybe not as it was a Mexican restaurant) all of them, were American.

This restaurant has a fantastic cellar section that they presumably open up on busier evenings. It appears to be carved from the bedrock in places and makes for a very atmospheric experience.

Beers drunk on this visit:

Gooze IPA (5.9%) - Goose Island Brewing Company, Chicago, USA

After the meal, we headed back out into the pouring rain towards our hotel. I was looking for a bar to frequent along the way but in the end we wound up back at the hotel. I am glad we did really as I found a really tatsy beer that I had not tried from their menu before.

Beers drunk at hotel:

Tripel Karmeliet (8.4%) -Brouwerij Bosteels, Buggenhout, Belgium

11th November 2017 - Bree Louise

69 Cobourg St, Kings Cross, London NW1 2HH

I hadn't seen one of my old rugby friends for a while, so arranged to meet RT, a Saracens supporter, at the Bree Louise in Euston. I have not been to this pub, renowned for its pies, before so I was glad RT chose it as our venue; unfortunately it is due to close down in January 2018.

We had a great chat over a few more beers than I ordinarily would have drunk on a day out in London Town until he got called home by 'er indoors. Obviously I had to sample one of the pies (steak and kidney) too, which helped to soak up the alcohol.

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) Knight of the Garter (3.8%) - Windsor and Eaton Brewery
2) Routemaster Red (3.8%) - Southwark Brewery
3) Grandstand (3.8%) - Twickenham brewery
4) Powerhouse Porter (4.7%) - Sambrooks Brewery
5) Iceberg (4.1%) - Titanic Brewery

11th November 2017 - The Dome, Tufnell Park

2A Dartmouth Park Hill, London NW5 1HL

This was a spur of the moment event for me. Earlier in the day I had looked up to see what was on this evening at The Dome only to find that the all-day Lenmania event was sold out.

After having a few beers with RT, I mentioned this to him and he said why not chance my arm and hea dupithere anyway and if I can't get in have  acouple of pints in the Boston Arms next door. I took him at his word and, as luck would have it, I managed to get in on a returned ticket - for which I paid nothing! So a big thank you to the person who returned that ticket.

I managed to see two bands; Employed to Serve - a very heavy, hardcore band (not usually my cup of tea but it was made all the better for being live); and Jamie Lenman himself (a great punk artist who gets a great sound out of just his guitar and a drummer). The Lenman set was enhanced with guest musicians from the bands that were on throughout the rest of the day.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, the first gig I have been to in many, many years. I will definitely return when I can get the free time and the right kinds of bands are on.

Beers drunk on this visit:

3 Hop Lager (4.5%) - Caledonian Brewing Company

Friday, 20 October 2017

640 East bar

640 East Bar - Friday 25th August 2017

Montgomery Square (in the middle), Upper Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5JJ

I started a new contract back in June after six months of unemployment. It is great to be back in work and meeting friends new and old. I am back working with a couple of my colleagues, MS and GW (who I often go out for a beer with), from a previous contract and have met some other great guys to have a beer with.

After a particularly hectic week we decided to pop outside the office after work for a couple of beers before heading home. That couple wound up being a few more.

It is not a bad little bar but they only have the one beer (Lagunistas IPA) on tap,  plus a lager and a cider. Everything else is from a can. Luckily the choice of cans available isn't too bad. Attached to the bar is also a small food kitchen and a coffee lounge. Not a bad little venue for the nice summer evenings but it does get cold during the autumnal days (I went there again Friday 20/10/17, but only for a soft drink, so I won't be blogging that visit) when coats are required due to it being open to the elements.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) IPA (6.2%) - Lagunistas Brewing Company, Petaluma, California, USA - a well, rounded, drinkable IPA with caramel undertones
2+) a variety of Brewdog and other small brewery beers in cans that I forgot to make a note of

The Railway Tavern

The Railway Tavern - Saturday 9th September 2017

38 Bexley High Street, Bexley, Kent DA5 1AH

Apologies for not updating for quite a while. Lots has been happening in my personal life recently, including a house move, and I have not had the time to get onto my blogs. I have not really been out much as a result of things that have been happening but there are a couple of pub trips I can include.

First up is a bit of a celebratory one - my son's 18th birthday. We did all the usual for him on his actual birthday (presents, meal etc.) but I also took him out to one of my new locals in Bexley Village to buy him his first pint, which turned out to be a couple of bottles of Budweiser 😒 I however, had a couple of pints of ale.

It was quiet in the pub for a Saturday night, but that was fine with us as we just chewed the fat and he ranted about how much he hated his part-time job. Kids eh?

Beers drunk on this visit:

1) Palaeolithic (3.8%) - Caveman Brewery, Swanscombe, Kent - a hoppy, citrusy light session beer

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Temple Brew House

The Temple Brew House - Friday 11th August 2017

46 Essex Street, London WC2R 3JF

Here's a short missve to the first actual visit to a pub in August. The last few entries have been for July events that I just haven't had time to update until now due to my recent house move.

SH and I decided on a night out to catch up with each other and chat about Oktoberfest this year (amongst other things). I was at a bit of a loss for pubs to try until my work colleague PH suggested the Temple Brew House in Essex Street. He mentioned the Toat and Burnt Toast ales that were brewewd on the premises and that sold me on this little gem of a location.

It is laid out very much like a bierkeller; well, it sells beer and is in the basement of a building. It is very noisy in here, but this may be becuse it is a small, underground, enclosed space with nowhere for the sound of conversation to dissipate. The crowd was very young on the evening we visited, but no less friendly for it. There is a huge array of beers on tap or cask, as well as wine and other drinks for those that prefer those for a tipple. The menu is a little limited and quite expensive, so it put me off a little from eating there. SH and I decided to just grab some cheesy chips to line our stomachs, and these were very tasty indeed. If these are anything to go by (and PH's recommendation), then the food would be worth trying out if your wallet is not quite so tight as mine at the moment.

I would definitely like to come back again to try a few more of the on-premise brewed beers, so may book this up again quite soon as I know a couple of chaps that would enjoy the place. There was only one downer to my experience: I ordered a pint of Gavel which turned out to be very cloudy, and a quick sip proved it to be off. The staff were very good at replacing my pint with something drinkable, but they did not take the pump out of service - some people would wake up with very sour stomachs the next day.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Very Pale Ale (4.2%) - Essex Street Brewery, Aldwych, London - a light hoppy session pale ale (Vegan)
2) M.A.C. Pale Ale (4.5%) - Essex Street Brewery, Aldwych, London  - a hoppy golden pale ale (Gluten Free)
3) Mosaic Mandarina Bavaria Pale Ale (5.5%) - Kernel Brewery, London - a very easy drinking, but strong pale ale. One of the tastiest beers I have drunk

Due to the small nature of the breweries I have found it difficult to find decent sized beer tap labels to put onto the blog below. Hopefully as these breweries become more competitive they will get a larger footprint on the web and more photos of their wares will be forthcoming.

The Great Welling Beer Festival - Day 2

Guy Earl of Warwick - Saturday 29th July 2017

I had only booked this day in advance with MB, but I managed a last minute scrabble with my running chums yesterday. The Guy Earl of Warwick pub was heaving again tonight despite the poor weather. The live entertainment carried on, as did the food being offered at the small stalls. I was intending on getting some noodles as MB had had some the night before and they looked mighty tasty, but they had sold out by the time I decided to eat, so went for a burger instead. It wasn't too bad, but did well at soaking up the alcohol.

I started off on the menu where I left off the day before and worked my way down again. This time I managed five halves before having to head off home again. MB and I caught up as we had not seen each other in a few weeks (the previous night we didn't get to put the world to rights as we chatted freely amongst our groups of friends instead). Quite a few of the beers had sold out by the time we got round to them this evening, but I managed to get to a few I wanted to try, and a few I have had before and enjoyed.

Beers drunk on this visit:
6) Blonde (3.8%) - Brentwood Brewery - a hoppy blonde ale with a spicy finish
8) No.7 (3.8%) - Gadds Brewery - a hoppy, consistent pale ale
10) Porthbud (4.0%) - Bude Brewery - a fruity pale ale with a hoppy finish
17) Gold (4.3%) - Brentwood Brewery - a very fruity golden ale
21) Hopspur (4.5%) - Redemption Brewery - an amber ale with citrus aromas and sweet hoppy taste

The Great Welling Beer Festival 2017

Guy Earl of Warwick - Friday 28th July 2017

I missed this event last year, but decided to make up for it a little bit this year by visiting twice. It was held at the usual venue, the Guy Earl of Warwick pub in Welling. They had the usual live music and entertainment on a new stage as well as several other stalls selling a variety of foods. The beers were in abundance this year and I was able to order all four of the ones I wanted this time round.

Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1TB
I started off at the top of the menu and worked my way down. I managed four halves before having to go home and getting some rest before my run the following day. It was well attended again this year and I was lucky in meeting up with two of my circles of friends: MB plus five of his workmates (many of whom I have been drinking with before) and NW, TJ, CM and a couple of others from my Saturday Parkrun collective.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Plateau (3.5%) - Burning Sky Brewery - a pale gold full-flavoured, zesty ale
2) Golden Braid (3.7%) - Hop Daemon - a refreshoing, golden session bitter
3) Fine Light (3.7%) - Goachers Brewery - a medium sweet, light bitter session ale
4) Jeff Hudson Bitter (3.8%) - Oakham Brewery - a light bitter with hoppy and fruity finish

The White Horse

The White Horse - Tuesday 25th July 2017

20-22 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR
The trip to this pub came as a bit of a surprise. My gaming buddy RM from the Roleplay Haven got in contact out of the blue and asked me out for a beer. I obviously responded in the affirmative and agreed to meet him at the same pub we met at last time.

This time around we sat outside on the benches in the front beer garden and chatted the evening away. We had a lot to catch up on as we had not spoken for many a moon. Mostly it was about gaming but a little about real-life too.

There was the usual four pumps on the go, so I opted to start at the left and work my way across. I managed three out of the four before it was time to leave. All went down really well in the light, bright summer evening.

I was tempted by the food on offer tonight, but as I had grabbed a large chicken fillet burger from Morley's just up the road before arriving at the pub, I decided against eating for the sake of it. Maybe next time?

Beers drunk on this visit:
Pale Ale (4.1%) - Brockley Brewery, Brockley, London - a fruity, full-bodied pale ale
Wandle (3.8%) - Sambrook's Brewery, London - a hoppy, well-balanced golden ale
Commonside Pale Ale (5.0%) - Belleville Brewing Co., Wandsworth, London - a fruity, easy-drinking session pale ale

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Battle of Medway 1667

Upnor - Sunday 11th June 2017

For the 350th anniversary of the last attack on British soil by the Dutch, English Heritage put on a re-enactment weekend for its members (and other casual visitors) to commemorate the daring deed. It was a brave attack that was most successful in its outcome: several Royal Navy warships were fired and/or sunk, a few were towed off as trpohies. However, most importantly of all for the Dutch, they had carried off a daring raid on a naval depot that was supposed to be well-defended and burnt the beard of King Charles II. At the time, this was the worst defeat of the Royal Navy in terms of cost - £200,000 at the time, with the loss of around 13 ships, of which four were Ships of the Line.

What has this to do with beer, I hear you ask? Well, GW and I had all the best intentions at heart to go watch the re-enactment, but we got caught up at the Tudor Rose by a fine Sunday lunch and a few ales to wash it down, and missed all the action! Still, at least we heard the gun shots and cannon fire.

The Tudor Rose
31, 29 High St, Upper Upnor, Rochester, Kent ME2 4XG
We arrived at the pub in high spirits and, after ordering a beer and some pork scratchings at the bar, we headed out into the garden for a chat. The chat led to another beer, and that led to lunch whilst all hell was breaking loose just over the castle wall behind us. Oh well, we still had a great day in the beer garden.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Whitstable Bay IPA (3.9%) - Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham, Kent - a light, sweet, malty pale ale
2) Whitstable Bay Red IPA (4.5%) - Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham, Kent - a deep red pale ale with a malt and citrus flavour

Although both beers are listed as being Whitstable Bay ale brewed at the Faversham Steam Brewery, they are actually brewed by Shepherd Neame. Still, pedantry aside, I like the subtle distinction in brand name.

Romans and beer

Richborough, Reculver and Upnor - Saturday 3rd June 2017

GW has recovered well from his various illnesses and is now up for heading out and exploring again. Today we went to a variety of archaeological sites and a couple of pubs for refreshment. It started out as an overcast day, but soon the sun poked its head through the clouds to make for a fine afternoon.

After visiting Richborough Roman Fortress and buying some lovely English strawberies from a roadside farm shop we decided lunch was in order. We made our way along the coast to Reculver where we grabbed a meal and a pint before exploring the old church on the promontory.

The King Ethelbert
King Ethelbert Inn, Reculver, Herne Bay CT6 6SU

This pub is situated in a lovely area, with the sea and ruins to one side and a captive audience (a caravan park) on the other. It was very busy outside when we arrived but the restuarant area inside had a few spare tables available.

The pub boasts three ales on tap and a fantastic menu. I chose a pint of Bishop's Finger (a favourite of mine that I haven't drunk on draught for a while) and the home-made steak and kidney pudding - yes, that's right, a full-on home-made pudding complete with thick suet pastry and crammed with large pieces of steak and kidney in a rich gravy. The accompaniments of steamed, rustic vegetables and potatoes filled me to the brim and stopped me from grabbing a full-on suet-laden Spotted Dick and custard for dessert. If you wish to visit this pub for lunch or an evening meal, I thoroughly recommend building a big appetite and maybe visit in the colder seasons, as the food is rib-stickingly good, and there is plenty of it. There are other meals on the menu that would cater better for those with smaller appetites or a non-carnivorous palate.

I think this pub would be a very lively one in the evening and in the heart of summer, so I think GW and I got there at exactly the right time and season to experience it without too much of a crowd.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Bishop's Finger (5.0%) - Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham, Kent - a nut-brown, ESB with a touch of sweetness
After a stroll along the beach to walk off some of the large luncheon, we jumped back into the car (GW was not on the alcohol today) and made a trip to one of our most regularly visited pubs in Upnor...

The Tudor Rose
31, 29 High St, Upper Upnor, Rochester ME2 4XG
GW and I have been in here on many an occasion. We like the laid back atmosphere and choice of beers on tap - they usually have three or four ales on five taps. This is another Shepherd Neame pub (I am so lucky to come from the county with the longest recorded brewing tradition in England - Kent) and the choice of beers suits most palates.

After grabbing a pint at the bar, GW and I walked down to the bench by the riverside and sat there whiling away an hour or so watching the boats come and go.

Beers drunk on this visit:
1) Master Brew (3.7%) - Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham, Kent - a mild, brown bitter with a hoppy aroma

Monday, 29 May 2017

Another Comic signing

Forbidden Planet - Saturday 27th May 2017

179 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JR

Today was the turn of 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine stalwart, Judge Anderson. This comic details what happens to Cassandra after the events portrayed in the 2012 movie Dredd. Rebellion have released several of these follow on titles now but this is the first one I have bought on release and at a signing. I have met Alec Morley on previous 2000AD signing occasions, so it was good to see him again. I grabbed a couple of each variant of the comic and got them signed. It would have been nice if the artist was there too. Simon Davies, the Slaine artist was there but I could not afford the graphic novels on offer which he illustrated (perhaps when I am back in employment?).

These signings only come along two or three times a year, so I make sure I have a good day when I go to one by indulging in as many of my hobbies at one time as I can. This event was no different; I arrived at the signing in readiness for the 1pm start time. After I had indulged in a little bit of fanboy behaviour, it was onto the beer and then some food.

Pillars of Hercules
7 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 4DF
After the signing I had a few hours to kill until MB arrived. I popped into the usual haunt I now use to unwind after a long afternoon of queuing. There were the usual four or five beers on offer, but I stuck to just the one this afternoon as I had tried all on offer on several occasions previously.

Grasshopper (3.8%) - Westerham Brewery, Westerham, Kent - a dark, malty session bitter

The Golden Lion

51 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 5BH
After finishing my beers and comics (as well as finishing a book of Cthulhu Wars short stories that had been hanging around on my Kindle for several weeks) I decided to stretch my legs and see if I could get to see the rugby results. I found just the pub but I only got to see the final few minutes of extra time; unfortunately, Wasps (the team I support) were beaten at the end of the session by a last minute penalty. Ho hum. I stayed in the pub supping an ale and watching the world go by until MB arrived.

Bow Bells (4.2%) - Truman Brewery, Hackney, East London  - an orange and lemon infused pale ale

Truman's Brewery was one of those that closed down a few years ago when ale drinking went out of fashion to lager. The brewery was founded in 1666 and brewed until 1989. Luckily for us, the current owners re-opened the site and began brewing again in 2010.

MB met me in The Golden Lion just as I finished my drink, so we headed straight out to grab something to eat as it was now gone 7pm. We visited a burger bar recommended to me a while back by an Aussie friend - in his opinion, the best chain restaurant burgers in London are to be found here...

Honest Burgers, Soho

4a Meard Street London W1F 0EF
This restaurant gets an honorary mention due to the fact it sources at least one beer on its menu from a local microbrewery. Honest Burgers literally sell half-a dozen burgers, a few sides and a few choices of drink - that's it. MB and I indulged in their local brewery ale. It would have been rude not to!

St. Reatham (4.6%) - Inkspot Brewery, Streatham, London - a refreshing Munich style lager

17 Manette St, Soho, London W1D 4AS

So, today ended up being a great day of indulgence. I managed to get to a couple of pubs again, culminating in a trip to rockers' paradise The Crobar. I also managed to get to a new (for me anyway) burger joint foir my evening meal and also, not mentioned above, a trip to the rudest Chinese restaurant in town - Wong Kei - for my lunch (before I hit the pubs). I used to go here a lot with my friend GW to line our stomachs before heading to rock bars back in the 80s and 90s. We always had a won-ton soup, followed by beef fried noodles washed down with jasmine tea. Today, though, my appetite was not so great so I just had the noodles and tea. Unfortunately, maybe because it was relativelty quiet in the restaurant, I was not subjected to being rushed or any rude behaviour, which was a shame as that is part of the restaurant's charm. I remember on occasion turning up when the place was heaving and having to split the party over three floors of the restaurant! I also recall an American tourist trying to impress his new girlfriend who ended up being chased out by a meat cleaver-wielding chef. His crime?  Not ordering quickly enough!

Anyway, back to the Crobar; their choice of ales is rather limited (to bottles and cans only) and as I have mentioned this place on several previous occasions I won't go into much detail except to say that one of their wall murals has changed in the few weeks since I last went. It was not very busy in here tonight though, perhaps due to the Iron Maiden concert on in London this evening?

Trooper Ale (4.7%) - Robinsons Brewery, Stockport, Cheshire - a deep coloured malty bitter