Posts from 15th March 2001

Mar 01

The London

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The London is halfway up Ludgate Hill, and is tolerable enough in its way. Its way is a Youngers / S&N pub which likes to pretend it’s more traditional than it is. It was closed the other day when I was considering nipping in for a swift snifter: they appeared to be putting in some kind of air conditioning into the cellar room. This could be a good sign (the cellar will be cooler) or a bad sign (the management may decide to make the cellar ‘cooler’ – i.e. into some terrible bar-type place).

It seems fairly reasonable for an area within a city to have a pub named after it: I was recently a-drinkin’ in the Sherwood Tavern in Sherwood (Nottingham) while the Edgeley Arms (Stockport), the London Fields and the Stoke Newington Tup offer themselves for consideration. I think The Lambeth Walk and the Surprise At Pimlico go too far, though. Sometimes the process works in reverse, of course: most famously Elephant and Castle (can the name really derive from the Infanta Di Castille?) is an area named after a pub. A less well-known qualifier in this category may be Blue Anchor, an area of Bermondsey now often referred to simply as “Blue”.

Many village pubs bear the name of their village alone, and for that I think we can forgive them, because often the local inhabitants have trouble with remembering lots of different words (this may be why many villagers have the same surname, but that might be something else). The Bay Horse in Bay Horse, near Lancaster comes to mind, although there are those who claim that the Bay Horse is not in Bay Horse at all, but rather in nearby Dolphinholme. On Dartmoor there are two villages on the River Tavy named Mary Tavy and Peter Tavy. One has a delightful boozer which bears the name of its village. Can I remember which village? I cannot.

Not strictly musical

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Not strictly musical: anyone who misses Blue Lines may be interested to know that I’ll be returning to the ‘weblog community’ for one week only, taking over Wherever You Are while Vaughan has a rest. From this evening, or tomorrow. I quite like the idea of ‘guest bloggers’ as they are known, the session musicians of the personal publishing world, brought in to lay down some ‘tasty licks’. Maybe I could end up like Johnny Marr and do nothing but fill in on other people’s sites. (Except Johnny Marr has that new band now. Oh dear.)

Hopefully bringing this to a conclusion

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Hopefully bringing this to a conclusion, I feel I should draw your attention to a couple of pubs in Brighton – the Brighton Tavern (fair enough) and the charmingly named Doctor Brightons (not fair enough). According to my researches, it has “INDIE every Tuesday” and is “popular and cruisey” – although probably not on Tuesday.

A Pumpkin Publog correspondent informs me that the

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A Pumpkin Publog correspondent informs me that the Cambridge Blue (on Gwydir Street, round the back of Mill Road, where there are a couple of great balti restaurants) is quite a good pub. Apparently, it has a welcome no-mobile phone policy and is also non smoking.

Although I spent my formative years in Cambridge, I have never been to the Cambridge Blue. However, I was a regular visitor to what I thought was the only totally non-smoking pub there – the Free Press on Prospect Row. This is a cracking little pub which is always busy, despite it being tucked away on a back alley behind the shopping centre. It’s only serious fault is its wealth of rowing memorabilia on the walls.

Are there (m)any non-smoking pubs in London? Although I’m a non-smoker, I’m generally against them because (i) they tend to encourage family attendance (+inevitable kiddies) and (ii) I don’t think it feels the same to enter into a pub which doesn’t stink of fag-ash.

Pop Eye

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Pop Eye: thankyou to Pete, who sent me Pop-Eye extra early this week and reckoned without idleness, AICON and the pub. It’s up now – Westlife, Gorillaz, et al. and two polls.