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.
I shall quietly grumble about this no more. The time has come for a wobbly to be thrown ungracefully across the laminated floor tiles of the internet about a terrible injustice being done to our nation’s fauna and flora.
As the hedgerows are decimated, another important ecosystem is dying. An unsavoury and slightly scary one and one I would not want to put my face near (then again I’m not that keen on having my nose bitten off by a badger, either) but one that is necessary for certain aspects of modern life: the pub carpet.
Here at FT Towers we enjoy a tipple or two – inevitably this often turns into One Too Many and fate finds your hapless correspondents firmly planted within the bin.
Ah, the bin of ruin! Some of us have visited the bin so many times we could get our own Bin Passport and live there for ever.
BUT! If you’re permanently in the bin, what do you do when you sober up?
One of the pubs unfortunately missed from our ‘tween christmas and new year pub crawl, for to because it was shut, partly due I suspect to lack of passing trade over the festive period, but also to finish off their very nice renovation work, The Old Fountain, tucked away between Silicon Roundabout and Moorfields Eye Hospital, could secretly be one of the best pubs in London. OK, so it’s been in the Good Beer Guide for five years, but I think it’s massively come on even in the last 18 months. East London CAMRA have been praising it for a while, but it barely gets a mention in Hip Guides To London’s Great Pubs.
The beer is, of course, excellent, with usually 6-8 taps on, but they seem to really push the boat out in getting the specials from Darkstar, Brodies, Ascot and others, although occasionally this can lead to hop bomb overload, there’s usually a decent mix. The bar food is also pretty special, the salt beef sandwich (and I realise this may be regarded as heresy) is as good if not better than the Royal Oak’s, and certainly the equal of the erstwhile Wenlock buttie. They do pulled pork buns too, and a couple of other things, but i’ve never managed to order anything that wasn’t the salt beef…
Oh, and did i mention they usually have around FOURTEEN different kernel bottles in the fridge? it’s the biggest range I can think of that doesn’t involve visiting a railway arch…
You can see what they’ve got on the bar at @OldFountainAles
I am not in the business of wishing Christmas away already, but there is one festive highlight which is still not done to death by the BBC, namely the annual festive pub crawl. Between Christmas and New Year the thoughts go to drinking, and what is now the Eleventh Annual Between Christmas and New Year Pub Crawl. And after last years frankly tiny journey around the City, we thought we would have a bit more of a challenge. So the longest physical walk of any of our pub crawls Stretching from Angel to Shoreditch, up and down the City Road, and yes, in and out of the Eagle. And this is what it looks like (click through for a bigger version).
You can see the shape up there and it almost completely mirrors the movements of the FTSE share index this year.
Another year, more whizzy ideas from the big international beer companies. Yet again returning to that old bugbear, why don’t women drink more beer? Of course you could just give up on trying to make people drink stuff they don’t want to drink, but the big brewcos would rather spend a million dollars trying to develop a beer they do like. Which is exactly what Molson Coors and Carlsberg have done as this Morning Advertiser article suggests, next to a stock picture of four women enjoying beer (so they clearly wasted money). As Kerry said looking at this stuff, she like the discussion of “targeting females” as if they were skittish creatures running around in the underbrush.
Friday 29th April – an auspicious date for many British residents up and down the land, as we celebrate and berate an age-old tradition harking back to a time when our empire spread across the globe from the Falklands to Falkirk. Yes, your perma-sozzled FT correspondents were undertaking an IPA Tasting.
After the success of last year’s Imperial Stout Orgabooze, we thought that this year we’d try out a different style of beer. India Pale Ale (ha! And you thought we were talking about the International Phonetic Alphabet) traditionally had a bunch of hops shoved in it to help it survive the voyage to India in the 19th century. For the purposes of this tasting a beer counts as an IPA if:
1) It says ‘IPA’ or ‘India Pale Ale’ on the bottle
2) It’s a pale ale with a name that has something to do with India, e.g. Proper Job, which apparently is named after the ‘proper job’ a Cornish regiment did in putting down the Indian Mutiny (despite the the queasiness that such associations may induce).
Just off the Lauriston roundabout in Hackney, near Victoria Park, stands a handsome pub on the corner of a residential street. It used to be something else. Didn’t they all? Not that its previous incarnation was any great shakes. In fact, it was terrible. But crucially, it was also ignorable. Now, BEHOLD. The HEMINGWAY.
So the Government say that they will abolish our time honoured bizarre rules on drinks measures to tackle BINGE DRINK BRITAIN. It will make it easier to serve people in the smaller glasses THEY DEMAND despite there being little call for such a measure (see what I did there). Everyone knows that the time honoured tradition of serving in measures of a pint, half pint or third of a pint was designed by GOD himself to make the mead floweth more readily. Do we really want to live in the confusing Australian world of pots and sevens?
(Front page bump)
It really may well be the tenth anniversary of the Annual Between Christmas And New Year Pub Crawl (FTABCANYPC or as we like to call it Fat Abs Canny PC). Every year since 2000 the drinkers of Freaky Trigger have spent the 29th December in a pub. Well, at least seven pubs infact, as it’s the quietest pub day of the year, so we do our bit for the licensed trade and try to bolster their coffers.
Past crawls have taken in the Euston Hexagon, the Mornington Crescent, strange arcane routes across the river and last year a foray into Pimlico. The pubs are always interesting and at least one is always shut. This will almost certainly be the case this year as we have boldly decided to hit the City – and area we never normally drink in. We know that there are lots of pubs, some may even be good, and we are taking advantage of the downtime between Christmas and New Year to see some of them. If they are open.