It seemed appropriate to return to writing with a piece about the refurbed (although that’s an understatement) Fitzroy Tavern and my continuing love/hate relationship with Sam Smiths. Huge swathes of the pub writing on FT is about Sam Smiths back to, at least, sixteen years ago (Was our Pete the first pub blogger? Yes, yes he was) and six of our twenty five Pubs of the 00s were Sam Smith’s houses, but I’ve not set foot in one of their establishments for a couple of years and not been a regular visitor for much longer. This is partly having more money to spend on beer, partly the increase in excellent places to drink excellent beer in central London but mainly a disdain for Sam Smith’s actions as a company (and Humphrey Smith in particular), whether it was closing a pub on New Year’s Eve because the landlord was selling full pints, kicking people out of a Soho pub for kissing or just replacing the wheat beer glasses so they are pint to brim. And that’s before we get to the farcical situation in Tadcaster where the brewery objected to replacing a bridge (which they’ve just backed down from).
I’d heard that the Fitzroy had reopened after a year and then Eve’s blog post about Sam Smith’s popped up in my twitter feed (thanks Boak & Bailey!). So when we were deciding which pub to go to for our regular Friday evening drinks I suggested we met there.
The 16th Annual Freaky Trigger Between Christmas and New Year Pub Crawl: The Kennington Catapult Arm
Pub crawl time once more and it is about time we went South (or actually East) of the river, and to celebrate the Crawl being able to join the army we are heading to Kennington for a gentle wander from the river to Kennington Station. As ever its on the 29th December, and starts at 3pm (er – apologies for forgetting this key info, but its always on the 29th apart from when it wasn’t).
So your route for the day is as follows:
Leslie Knope: Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?
Ron Swanson: People are idiots, Leslie.
Michael Bluth: What have we always said is the most important thing?
George-Michael Bluth: Breakfast?
Michael Bluth: Family.
George-Michael Bluth: Oh right, family. I thought you meant of the things we eat.
I almost never have breakfast on weekdays. Given the choice between even five extra minutes of delicious, nourishing sleep or some toast, I’ll always go for the sleep. When I get to work, I’m straight onto the coffee and now my brain considers this a meal.
Weekends are different. Weekends are for doing not-work things like ignoring the housework, failing to reply to personal emails and thinking really hard about going outside for a lovely walk. Therefore I end up going out to breakfast most weekends and am always on the lookout for somewhere new and interesting.
Louis CK introduced me to the glory of the bang-bang: going for a meal at one restaurant and then immediately going to another for a second full meal. This idea is insane; the episode of Louie featuring the Indian/Diner bang-bang was impossible and therefore hilarious. Lou’s a big dude but there’s no way he could have managed to eat that mountain of food. A breakfast bang-bang, on the other hand, is achievable and only slightly gluttonous.
The 15th Annual Freaky Trigger Between Christmas And New Year Pub Crawl : The Kentish Town Ducks Arse
Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s FTBCANYPC time!
This year for our 15th crawl we will be having a little saunter around Kentish Town. or at least down the hill from Gospel Oak to Kentish Town West, taking in Vines, pineapples and Tapping An Admiral or two…
Every year, on the 29th (except when it wasn’t) we go an a merry trail around a list of pubs, many of which may be closed, to appreciate the architecture, and, you know, maybe drink. This year’s route takes us from the foot of Parliament Hill to the heart of Kentish Town in our bid to never actually do a crawl in Camden.
The Route is as follows:
3pm Bull and Last (why not get a scotch egg?)
4pm The Southampton Arms
4.45pm The Vine
5.30pm The Pineapple
6.30pm The Oxford
7.30pm The Grafton
8.30pm Tapping The Admiral
There is a Handy Google Map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zYR9Ng15Ymbs.kfOdKF4nYYvI
Look forward to seeing you!
We went to Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green for the first time last night (it’s only been open a couple of weeks) and it’s LOVELY! Twenty-odd taps of well-kept keg (including seven last night from De Molen), six fridges of well selected bottles and red, white and fizzy wine on tap too!
The space (why yes, it *is* in a railway arch) is bright and airy, the tables well spread out (I suspect this may change as it becomes more popular, there’s certainly room for more) and on a spring evening it feels just right.
Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s FTABCANYPC time!
This year for our 14th crawl we will be having a little saunter around Islington.
Every year, on the 29th (except when it wasn’t) we go an a merry trail around a list of pubs, many of which may be closed, to appreciate the architecture, and, you know, maybe drink. This year’s route takes us from one end of Penton Street to the other, but via a somewhat circuitous route (not as bad as when first planned when we were going to go via The North Pole!)
The route is as follows:
3pm: The Lexington
4pm: Shakespeare’s Head
5pm: Earl Of Essex
5.45pm: Wenlock & Essex
6.30: Camden Head
7:30: Steam Passage
8:30 Craft N1
Although, as always, this is a rough timetable and route as It Is Written that at least one pub on the planned route shall be closed (hopefully we’ll do better than last year when I think we ended up losing three of the original pubs…). If you’re following me or pete on twitter I’m sure we’ll keep up a running commentary of where we are if we go off-piste.
The other week when we were planning I got a bit bored so you can now see the glory of all 13 previous crawls in one handy google map. I think there may be a couple of inaccuracies, as several of these were based on planned routes, not actual (for some reason there’s not a lot of Reporting Back compared to planning, even in the Imperial Phase of ilx) particularly the Marylebone (2008) and City (2010) ones where I’m pretty sure I’ve got a couple wrong. I think it’s kind of more interesting where we *haven’t* been, although Fitzrovia and Soho were covered extensively by Trig Brother (and were our usual early 00s haunts).
Welcome back to part 2! See here for part 1.
5.58pm. A quick beverage pH check before the next round of experiments: the acidity of prosecco is 3, Badger’s Fursty Ferret is 4, a substance known as ‘Sainsbury’s Craft Brewed Lager’ is also 4.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend your band of trusty FT regulars held (by our reckoning) the SIXTH Freaky Trigger Food Science Day, a combination of careful experiments and shockingly bad puns, dedicated to our friend and FT poster Liz Daplyn.
2pm. Scientists begin to arrive at Laboratoire Crouch Hill, carrying with them various alcoholic liquids, pastry ingredients, gothic substances and a metric fvcktonne of cheese (or at least a close approximation of cheese). Time for the first experiment!
To say at the start, I did eventually enjoy my Saturday afternoon at London’s Brewing and I have definitely been to events more badly organised (Glastonbury 2007 springs immediately to mind), but to my mind some of the criticism has been a bit rabid, I’m not sure what place Trading Standards have in this discussion? I’m not sure why people were expecting to be able to swan up to the bar at a sold out event, and one that they’ve probably only paid £4 to get into (£15 ticket minus 3 pints at £3.80-£4.00) at that.
All that said, the first two hours were a shambles, here’s why:
Actually, I’m not sure this is totally universal to the site; some of our most esteemed contributors fall into the strangely misguided category of ‘mustard hatas.’ Even so, I would hope that even the most vehement detractor of the second most important food group would say that there is something brilliant about cress-that-is-actually-mustard.