The Washington, Belsize Park

Despite being named after a place in that most septic of countries, the Washington dazzles you with its charms from the moment you enter. The moment I entered was delayed somewhat whilst giving some cheery young moppets a two pound coin in exchange for six pieces of silver (three fifties, two twenties and a ten). There is something about Belsize Park which suggests that they were not going to mug me the moment I got my wallet out.

That said The Washington is not your typical Belsize Park boozer. This is to suggest such a thing exists – and we are far to close to Swiss Cottage for there to be more than one pub per mile radius. This is a big old fashioned boozer, plenty of booths and a horseshoe shaped bar which allows for ample serving. The place was full and only a bit of ingenuity and down-right cheek got us a table (hint – if you are ugly sit on a table with Face readers, they will soon leave for fear of being seen with you). It was Quiz night, a solid thirty questioner where there is the same winning team every week and that team is called “The Team With No Name”. At least they were until last night when they were called “Smart Arses Who Can’t Think Of A Name”. Can’t imagine who marked their sheet.

Anyway the gist of this ramble is that the Washington is a very nice pub, which does average if over priced food and if you lived in the area it would almost certainly be your local (if you were an arse you would go to the Adelaide instead). However the place bigs itself up a touch by suggesting that it is the Best Pub In The World on its facade. And in all conscience I cannot agree. Its nice enough, even with the Maori behind the bar, but any pub which allows three unattractive and sardonic Australians to sully my evening is already fighting a losing battle.

Picture this, you have just won a small victory to claim a booth from two fashion victims. It is a two table booth which said Face readers were straddling. We rationalise to one table as our canteen style curries arrive. Followed by Aussies who proceed to remove outer garments, chat on mobile phone, scratch balls and get out laptop computer. Not for them the “one man goes to the bar” proceedure of getting drinks in. Instead they continue to sit there for nigh on twenty minutes without purchasing a beer. It is an outrage, and one which should not be allowed to continue.

We actually did quite well in the quiz coming a strong third – which the quiz master patronized us with. The Aussies – needless to say – did appallingly when they weren’t copying us. But maybe their halves of lager went to their heads. Whatever : I like the Washington, but it needs a door policy. Bonus question below from the quiz for avid punters of this type of thing:

What was the first TV Theme tune to go to number on in the UK?