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:
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
Sherlock Holmes does give the reviewer plenty of options on the Holmes based puns. In probing the homoerotic subtext we even get the Guardian crying about Holmesophobia (nice work – cheers). And all of this is hung on some sort of idea that the film either is, or isn’t, faithful to the source and that this is important. My take on this is as follows:
a) It is not important
b) It is not that faithful
c) It is as faithful as other versions
d) It is very entertaining.
And d) is what matters right? So what has surprised me in reading reviews, particularly British reviews, that fiathfulness to the book be damned. FAITHFULNESS TO LONDON is to be demanded. And whilst much has been said about them capturing a certain kind of grimy historical Victoriana, they lose every humanities brownie point for all of its assaults on geography.