Posts from 25th January 2012

Jan 12

Old Fountain, Old Street

FT + Pumpkin Publog//5 comments • 481 views

It never looks like this when i'm outside! it's always dark and rainy...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

William Mayne (1928-2010): or what if the greatest* 20th-century children’s author were to present us with an intractable moral knot?

FT2 comments • 3,640 views

(*in the English language since I read no others)

The disgraced children’s author William Mayne died in 2010, some 57 years after the publication of Follow the Footprints, the first of his more than a hundred books, none of them for adults. A final book came out the year of his death, Every Dog (puissant title in the circumstances), and I haven’t read it yet, though I will. I’ll talk a little about his downfall at the close of this post, and doubtless more later, but what I actually propose to undertake is a gradual reading of these books, such as I can track down, starting with a rereading of the 20-odd that I own and know.