In this edition of the archives, we will pay our final visits to Preston and Leicester, before climbing those apples n pears to London town once more, this time crossing the Thames a couple of times too, hope you enjoy .....
101 - OLDE DOG & PARTRIDGE, Preston - Part of the first GBG influenced trip to visit my dear sister at Uni in Preston, I'm now thinking it could have been as early as spring/autumn 2002 rather than 2003 but cannot be sure. This, along with the likes of Black Bull (booo!), Market Tavern, New Brittania etc was earmarked for a visit but I kept putting it off as everyone told me it was a 'bikers' pub, as though that meant trouble. As the current guide testifies, it is more of a rock pub for the long haired greasers, who might have worn leather jackets, had patches (not eye ones) etc, some may have been bikers, but they didn't threaten me with a switchblade knife or anything if that was the inference. I was pleasantly surprised, quite small and tight, with the kind of think table layout that reminded me of a school canteen, only a very cool rocking one. It had lots of interesting beermats on the walls from memory too, a quite impressive ale selection, and was quite smoky but probably not anymore!
102 - SLUG & LETTUCE, Leicester - To most York ale drinkers, the idea of getting a superb real ale experience in a S&L pub apart from a cloudy Black Sheep would be laughable. But on a cold 16th October 2011, "Uncle" Richard deemed this our first pub of the day with it's 10am opening time. We had breakfast here too and I had a very nice egg n sausage sandwich with a pot of tea thrown in, which I enjoyed alongside one of the 4 or 5 microbrewery ales on display. We weren't the only football fans in but most were just shoppers in for breakfast, whilst a few plasmas were showing sporty and music videos just to remind you you were in a Slug & Lettuce house, it was that easy to forget! Proof the chain can do it, so come on York's two, up your game to this level!
103 - LEYTON ORIENT SUPPORTERS CLUB, Leyton, London - Although it has been serving real ale since 1995 apparently, this multi-award winning club wasn't really on the radar or in the guide on our many early visits to Brisbane Road (the Appletreewick gang were interested I'd been here on my 500th pub trip last summer). So after drawing with them in the cup at the KC, 15th Jan 2013 gave us a great chance to put this right, and after a lame experience in King William IV, we were well impressed by this place. True, it was very busy and standing room only, but great hard working staff, a great range of ales, cheap filled rolls on the bar, and bumping into Chris D made for an excellent bonus pre-match experience. I'll look forward to popping back in here in two or three years time for a league game. I sampled a real cider and one of the ales I had was the regular Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde, very nice it was too.
104 - SNOOTY FOX, Canonbury, London - Dad and I came here pre-Arsenal away Wed 4th Dec 2013 but it was all a bit of an accident as the first two pubs we'd walked to didn't open til 5pm and we couldn't be bothered to hang around, so found this nearer the Emirates, on the corner of a busy main road, and it truly was one of the away pubs of the season. Save for a couple of Hull City fans who saw our colours and lingered to chat a bit too long (the Alan Bennett one was particularly annoying), this was a superb experience with some great ales (a pale from Camden was the pick, a decent Otter too) and the decor including a retro jukebox made it feel very cosy and 'lived in' despite the location. Untappd friend Clare recently was here, I commented, she told me the macaroni cheese was great too! I wanted to go back this year but the call of BRAPA was too great.
|Proof I didn't love all my beers in the Snooty Fox!|
106 - MARKET PORTER, Borough Market - Gawd bless London taarn and it's busy market workers - there can't be many GBG pubs boasting a 6am opening time! I'd love to come in here in fish stained overalls at 6:01am and see if I got served a pint. It was closer to lunchtime when I met Tom in here pre defeat (isn't it always?) at Millwall on 7/4/12, as we waited for Dad who was doing something cultural. The amount of tourists here was ridiculous, not many pints of real ale seemed to get served and despite hard working staff getting frustrated, it took me an age to get served. The tourists were not just because this is a famous old pub but some of Harry Potter was filmed in the pub (the pumpclips adorning the ceiling impressed me more, but I still whored myself on Facebook about the HP reference at the time). The ales were a bit overpriced and once i delved deeper, I didn't find the range that impressive, but still a nice pub, if only we could've got sat down. We ended up in a German bierkeller for heaven's sake!
|Trying to blend in with tourist snappers at Market Porter, Apr 2012.|
|Normal away match service resumes and Ben & Tom arrive at Rose's.|
109. SPREADEAGLE, Croydon - 28th Jan 2014 and one of the last 'new' pubs I ever visited before I'd think of it as a BRAPA tick, though the seed was firmly planted in my mind at this stage. It had been a traditional defeat at Selhurst Park which leaves you with the ranging vitriol and before calling it a night at our Croydon Travelodge, we walked down the road to this glorious looking building. It was very good inside too, one of those where you can tell they keep great pride in keeping it clean, everything polished, and the fact it was a Fullers pub didn't bother us one bit, as friendly staff were surprised to see new customer's at this hour. I read they have a special Fuller's award for keeping their beer, and the quality of my ESB made the pain of defeat go away! As "Babies" by Pulp played on the jukebox, I could've settled here for another had it not been last orders.
|Great post match pint after another Palace defeat|