Pumpkin Publog supports responsible drinking
If you are reading this, there is a very slight chance that you might be drinking too much. Find out here.
This is my kind of competition. Play “Spot the Pint” and win some beer. Lovely.
The Old Dairy on Stroud Green Road holds two quizzes each week. Their music quiz is held every Thursday but we were there on a Tuesday for the general knowledge quiz. The crowd was youthful and lively (i.e. brash and drunk), with the exception of a very conspicuous pub starer (older, dishevelled, half of bitter) who was traipsing around before the quiz started.
There were five rounds of ten questions (News, Pictures, Music, General Knowledge and Top Ten), one pound per person for entry. “Men with Beards” was the theme of the picture round. The music section was a Bits ‘n’ Pieces round and worked well because the quality of the PA was excellent. I imagine this is a godsend for their music quizzes. For the Top Ten round, you had to name the top ten, in any order, of the category they gave you. This time it was the top ten gold medal winning nations at the Commonwealth Games – damn you Fiji!
Sounds fine so far but the Old Dairy quiz turned out to be rather an uninspiring experience. The geography of the pub caused the most problems. Because the pub is full of corners and snugs, it was all too easy for teams to cheat, as the chorus of ringtones proved. The quizmaster herself was tucked away in snug and responding to questions from a disembodied voice over the loudspeaker didn’t add much to the atmosphere. There were also the usual gripes – huge teams, a few dodgy questions and a bunch of quiz bastards scooping the prize (booze?). It’s not one I’ll be returning to in a hurry. The music quiz might be worth a go, if it wasn’t one of a hundred quizzes in the area being held on a Thursday night.
Week of Quiz continues at The Shepherds on Archway Road. No sign of any minor celebrities this evening but still the place was packed out. Those attending were “treated” to a pre-release listening to Coldplay’s new album which was rather a shame, as the jukebox in The Shepherds is normally quite good.
The quiz comprised the usual 30 unthemed questions, cost a pound per team and a gallon of beer was given to the winners. The quiz feels a bit basic – no picture round, no jokers and no PA system (the landlady does a very good job of shouting over the raucous horde of drinkers). Our team came in second or third which I attribute purely to the number of questions requiring pure guesswork (“How long do the oldest cows live; 25+ years, 35+ or 45+?”). Cheating also seemed to be rife – why exactly did that guy step outside the pub with two mobile phones and an answer sheet? It’s by no means an outstanding quiz but is probably worth a go once in a while, if you get there early enough to bag a seat.
NIght three of the Week of Quiz and things go a little awry. Despite having several chalkboards saying that the quiz was on Wednesday night, it turned out that the Winchester, on Archway Road, holds its quiz on Thursday. The Winchester was much improved by its recent refurbishment but we weren’t there to admire the decor; we wanted some Quiz, so Plan B was enacted.
Bailey’s Corner on Holloway Road is, I assume, the little brother of The Bailey, visited earlier this week. The quiz was popular and very competent, although many of the questions were tests of vocabulary rather than knowledge. Ten pictures, thirty unthemed questions, and if there hadn’t been an unfortunate Mark Knopfler/Neil Innes identification problem, we would have bagged another win. The only bad moment was hearing someone at the bar reciting “I’m Alan Partridge” dialogue at great length. It was funnier the first time, mate…
Week of quiz – Night Two A well supported night of quiz ends with limited success. First, we went to the Settle Inn on Archway Road. The last time I went to the Settle Inn, it proved to be a particularly enjoyable quiz, which was why it was disappointing that it turned out they were taking a summer break and there would be no quiz til September. A real shame.
As a result, we headed over to Crouch End for the quiz at The Railway Tavern. The quiz was seemingly marred by one team shouting out the answers+abuse throughout, although I can’t say I really noticed. The landlord made a point of telling this team off, which I thought was good form. The quiz itself was sound enough. The format tonight, as usual, was six rounds (“including an unthemed picture round”) plus an accumulatator (aka attend this quiz for ten weeks in a row and there’s a chance you’ll win a hundred quid).
Good questions overall, although the categories did not really play to our strengths (“sport”, “current affairs”, “around europe”). A respectable joint second place was achieved. Hangover is pending…
Leicester Square is generally a very poor place to try to get a drink. Pete is right that De Hems is your best bet in this area. Further options range between the limited number of other OK-but-very-full pubs or the numerous unspeakable-but-full pubs. Particular offenders are the chain pubs in the vicinity (ABO, Wetherspoons, Hogshead), which offer both a crowdy, noisy and smoky drinking environment and offer you the chance to buy THE THREE POUND PINT.
The Pumpkin Pubs Cnut-like campaign against THE THREE POUND PINT starts here.
Why hasn’t this been done before? Quizlist – The London PubQuiz List is an invaluable resource to both the casual quizzer and anyone attempting a Week of Quiz. Useful reviews, helpfully North London-centric, with full details of timings and format for over sixty London quizzes. Good stuff indeed.
[BTW The answer to the current quiz question on the homepage is Stephen Baldwin, in a film that I won’t mention…]
Week of Quiz It has long been threatened but now it actually seems like it might happen; seven quizzes in seven nights. Last night we were off to a flying start at The Bailey on Holloway Road. I’d not been to the Bailey before, although I passed it on the bus on many occasions and thought it might be worth a look.
On arrival, I was a bit worried that the quiz might not be on. There were no signs up and everyone seemed engrossed in the TV – Sky Sports on one telly, World War 2 in Color(TM) on the other. Some loud and unnecessary indie music was being played too (inc. The Farm and Dodgy – not even “Good Enough”, they played “In A Room”!) We decided to sample the Thai food (delicious!) and see what developed.
Fortunately for us, the quizmaster (known as “The Fat Controller” to regulars) arrived and the quiz commenced. No entrance fee, ten pictures for the first round, three rounds of ten questions in categories to follow and a jackpot question. Whilst the topics appeared easy (“adverts”, “movies of the 90s”), the questions were of a good difficulty level (i.e. we got some of them right). One or two questions were a bit sloppily worded (“Which soft drink is advertised using oranges”?!) but the rest were good. The atmosphere was most cordial and there wasn’t too much aggro when two newcomers (us) scraped the victory plus cash prize. Highly recommended.