Alex and James’ Almighty London Pub Crawl

2008 pub crawls

9th December 2008 – City of London (part 6)

We had some help from Darragh and Fran on this one. I met Alex in the Hoop and Grapes which is probably the most easterly pub in the City. I thought it was a ‘Nicolas’ pub (like the wine merchants) but it was a Nicholsons pub… Not important. We moved along to the Still and Stars which was down a strange little road with an entrance similar to a coaching inn. The place was dead when we arrived and had a faint whiff of urinal blocks. Darragh met us there having just eaten a rice crispie square for his dinner. Fran tried to meet us there but couldn’t find it. I found him wandering along Fenchurch St. By the time I had collected Fran, we were finishing our pints so we all moved on the Hennessy’s. According to the photos, it was re-built in 1939 just in time to be bombed during WW II! It was a proper Irish pub in the sense that the owners were Irish, so I imagine that Darragh felt at home. We doubled back on ourselves to head down Minores. We visited the Three Lords which was a nice Youngs establishment. We spotted some dirty herbert having a slash against a wall across from the pub (see photos) and contemplated whether the cellar door inside the pub would take our weight if we bounced on it (decided not to test the hypothesis) and then stood outside for a bit. We headed across Minores to the Chamberlain Hotel (Fullers) which was actually more pub than hotel (but they did have conference facilties downstairs. I went for a pee in the loo and heard what sounded like a tube train rumbling underneath (could have been the Bombay Badboy Pot Noodle I had for lunch). Darragh had to leave us at this point and we cut Crosswall to find another pub. We passed the Angle which looked like it used to be a pub but is now more of an empty restaurant and had dilemas about where to go next. We tryed to go to the East India Arms but found it was shut. We stopped outside for a photo opportunity and for some reason, I decided it would be ammusing to lie on the ground. This girl walked past and asked if I needed help and suggested that I listen to some music. She shoved her iPod earbuds into my ears at which point, I decided that I should really stand up as it was getting a bit wierd. We walked down London St (probably) and went into the Windsor. Despite the building being a bit grotty, it was not a bad place. Alex and I had a pint of Santa’s Tipple, not sure about Fran. We played on the quiz machines for a bit and then proceeded along Crutched Friars. It was somewhere along there that we saw a road called Savage Gardens which gave me a slightly nauseus recollection of the cheesey Aussie pop duet. There was another place called Ordinary French Court… Wierd names! We wound up back at the Chessire Cheese (that we had passed earlier). I had thus far failed to persuede Fran that having halves after the first few pints is a good thing but somehow the bar maid new this and asked us if we wanted halves. Maybe we looked like another pint would have finished us off. We went to the Cructhed Friar next which had it’s doors open but was empty. We were told that they were shut for the night (at 22:40). Fran needed to get back so we walked him to Tower Hill and pointed him in the direction of Monument. Alex and I went for one last one in the Liberty Bounds of which I recall virtually nothing other than it was a Weatherspoons pub. After that, we walked up Great Tower St and East Cheap, I got the 40 and Alex continued on to Liverpool St station. Hangover was 2/10. [Photos]

a) The Hoop & Grapes
47 Aldgate High Street, EC3H 1AL

b) Still & Star
1 Little Somerset Street, E1 8AH

c) Hennessy’s
36 Jewry Street, EC3N 2ET

d) Three Lords
27 Minories, EC3N 1DD

e) Chamberlains Hotel
130-135 Minories, London, EC3N 1NU

f) Windsor at Fenchurch
2 New London Street, EC3R 7NA

g) Cheshire Cheese
48 Crutched Friars, EC3N 2AP

h) Liberty Bounds
15 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AA

19th November 2008 – City of London (part 5)

I met Alex in the Hand and Shears, a lovely oldee stylee pub in a street just round the corner from Barbican tube station. For the first time in my life I was 15 min early. We moved on to The Old Red Cow on Long Lane. This recently re-opened and had a faint whiff of incense. We sat upstairs where there was a free Jukebox and free pens. Actually, I scored a pen from the barman on the promise that we would return for celebratory shots when we had finished all the pubs in the city. We moved onto the Rising Sun which was a Sam Smiths pub (cheeeep beeeer) and then wandered down Cloth Fair and up Barley Mow Alley to find that the Barley Mow was no longer. We decided to switch to halves from here on for longevity. We went to The Distillers which was another recently renovated pub. Someone had ordered a lot of chandeliers. There were chandeliers all over the place. It also had one of the more interesting mullets I have seen (see the photos). I think we went more or less next door after that to the Butchers Hook and Cleaver where we had London Porter (good). I cannot remember why we didn’t go into ‘Club Gascon’ but I think it was not a pub. Instead we went across the weird roundabout thing to the Bishops Finger. This, as you might imagine, was a Hook Shepherd Neame. After some bizarre discussion of how body mass index is too simple a measure to account for different body shapes, we moved onto The Cock. This was downstairs, a bit Student Uniony and had a worrying smell of furniture polish. Apparently it does open at 06:00 for the market if you fancy a tipple on the way to work? We went to 26 Smithfield next which had an unusual torso light. This was the point in the evening that I was declared officially drunk. This was evidenced by me trying to enter the City Raj which was definitely not a pub. We crossed under Holborn Viaduct and over Farringdon St to the Plum Tree. This was a posh place, more a bar than a pub. We had coronas here as i don’t think they had any draught beer. We crossed back over Farringdon St and went to the White Hart. I remember nothing about this place We finished off in the Viaduct which for some reason, Alex noted that this is ‘the original gin palace’. There were two customers in there when we arrived. Pretty quite and the bar maids all turned around when I tried to take their photo but I don’t remember much else about the place. We called it a day then. I was quite disorientated up on the Viaduct but Alex gave me directions. unfortunately, I missed the turn and walked up Grays Inn Rd and ended up in King’s Cross The mile walk did me good. Hangover was 3/10. [Photos]

a) Hand and Shears
1 Middle Street, EC1A 7JA

b) The Old Red Cow
71-72 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ

c) Rising Sun
38 Cloth Fair, EC1A 7JQ

d) The Distillers
64-66 West Smithfield, EC1A 9HE

e) Butchers Hook and Cleaver
61 West Smithfield, EC1A 9DY

f) Bishops Finger
9-10 West Smithfield, EC1A 9JR

g) The Cock
East Poultry Avenue, EC1A 9LH

h) 26 Smithfield
26 Smithfield Street, EC1A 9LB

i) Plum Tree
54 Farringdon Street, EC4A 6BD

j) White Hart
7 Giltspur Street, EC1A 9DE

k) The Viaduct
126 Newgate Street, EC1A 7AA

14th October 2008 – City of London (part 4)

It was just Alex and me this time. I met Alex in the Jamaca Wine House which was a very nice old pub with an incrediby worn threshold at the entrance. We moved on northwards to the Cock and Woolpack (a small Shepard Neam pub with some atmosphere) and then on to a modern bar called Phoenix. This has a no smoking sign hanging up with the witty statement ‘a pub with atmosphere’. This was also ironic as the place had virtually no atmosphere! After that, we stopped at the Telegraph which was possibly the most efficiently run pub I have ever visited. We were practically served beer before we even got there! From there we crossed the road to find the Old Doctor Butler’s head which was a very nice old pub indeed. As you can imagine, we were pretty wrecked by this stage so we swicthed to half pints for the next four pubs. We passed by the City Tup which was closed (for good) and instead went to the City Tavern. This place was empty and had really cheap beer. A bit of a worrying combo if you ask me. We did play pool though (after the machine swallowed Alex quid and we had to ask the barmaid to get the balls out with the key). From there we went on to the Golden Fleece (I don’t remember much about this place) and then the Green Man (which was in an underground shopping center). At this stage we went to get a McDonalds. After a bit of food, we were up for another (proper pint) and so finished up in the Red Lion. I owed Alex £10… [Photos]

a) Jamaica Wine House
12 St Michaels Alley, Cornhill, EC3V 9DS

b) The Cock and Woolpack
6 Finch Lane, EC3V 3NA

c) The Phoenix
26 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AN

d) The Telegraph
11 Telegraph Street, EC2R 7LL

e) Old Doctor Butler’s Head
2 Mason’s Ave, EC2V

f) City Tavern
29-30 Lawrence Lane, EC2V 8DP

g) Golden Fleece
8-9 Queen Street, EC4N 1SP

h) Green Man
1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ

i) Red Lion
8 Lombard Court, EC3V 9BJ

28th May 2008 – City of London (part 3)

We had a larger bunch that normal. Fran and I met Alex in the Cockpit which was a really great pub. Darragh and Nick joined us there later. We moved on to the Rising Sun and started a Kitty. Florian and Derrien arrived. Next we tried to go to the Goose at the Castle but could not find it. Instead we went to Ye Olde London, which was a place Alex and I visited (and later lost) on the first pub crawl we did. About 90% of the pub is down stairs. Dave joined us there. We then moved on to the Punch Tavern and next door to the Old Bell. We finished up in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (another pub from the first pub crawl). Thankfully, by the time we had decided to move on to another pub, time had been called. We walked down Fleet St looking for somewhere but found nothing. The hangover was about 7 out of 10. [Photos]

a) Cockpit
7 Andrews Hill, EC4V 5BY

b) Rising Sun
61 Carter Lane,EC4V 5DY

c) Ye Olde London
1 Old Bailey, EC4M 7BG

d) Punch Tavern
99 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1DE

e) The Old Bell
95 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1DH

f) Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
145 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BU

29th Apr 2008 – City of London (part 2)

Darragh had to bail on us for this one. I met Alex in The Ship, near Monument. The pub turned out to be down a loading bay, as many pubs round here seem to be. We moved on to the Swan Tavern which had the smallest bar you could imagine with a mirror at one end that appeared to double the size. Alex thought it was another part to the bar but upon realising the mistake, we had to leave the pub and re-enter to save face. We went upstairs whci had more room but we were the only ones there not wearing pin stripped suits. We moved on to the Ship Tavern which was a weird underground bar with an upsidedown canoe on the entrance ceiling. Only stayed for a half in there before moving on to the Grapes just up the road. This was not on the map but was a decent place. We stood outside and chatted with smokers under a very leaky shelter. Next was the Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market. Not a bad Youngs pub. We had proper pints there. We went round the corner and found the New Moon, on the edge of the market. The footy was on and it was rammed so we sat outside (covered in the Market) on what appeared to be 150 pint kegs. I remember very little about the Crosse Keys as by this point I was wrecked. I do remember something about the last place we went to (Counting House) and that was that it had an amazing glass ceiling resembling the dome of St Paul’s. We finished our pints, stomachs still full of beer and went home at about 9:45. I remember Alex saying you look like s**t. Still, at least I didn’t puke this time!

a) The Ship
11 Talbot Court, EC3V 0BP

b) The Swan Tavern
77-80 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0AS

c) The Ship Tavern
27 Lime Street, EC3M 7HR

d) The Grapes
14 Lime Street, London

e) Lamb Tavern
10-12 Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LR

f) New Moon
88 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0DN

g) The Crosse Keys
9 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0DR

h) Counting House
50 Cornhill, EC3V 3PD

1st Apr 2008 – City of London (part 1)

Darragh and I met Alex in Ye Olde Mitre in which is not within the square mile and is tiny and difficult to find but has been called ‘the best pub in London’. We moved on to the Melton Mowbray where we were served ESB in lame (not Gay) pint glasses. We went in to the backstreets at this point and stopped at the Castle. Darragh went to fetch Kevin, then we tried to go to the Printers Devil (98-99 Fetter lane, EC4A 1EP) only to find it closed. Luckily, the White Swan was just next door. After that, we cut down Greystoke passage and went into the Blue Anchor (23 Rolls Passage, EC4A 14U). We didn’t stop as there was a private function in progress. Instead we went on to the Old Bank of England. This is an amazing building inside but also a huge waste of space (30 foot high ceilings covered in murials). We headed back to the Knights Templar after which Darragh and Kevin departed for Boom-boom street. Alex and I left the square mile and headed for The Seven Stars. The bar maid in their was WWWierd. I had one sip of my pint and had to go outside to vomit. Alex finished his pint but was totally freaked out by the bar maid. No one remembers exactly how they got home… [Photos]

a) Ye Olde Mitre Tavern
1 Ely Court, EC1N 6SJ

b) Melton Mowbray
18 Holborn, EC1N 2LE

c) The Castle
26 Furnival Street, EC4A 1JS

d) The White Swan
108 Fetter Lane, EC4A 1ES

e) Old Bank of England
194 Fleet Street, EC4A 2LT

f) Knights Templar
95 Chancery Lane, WC2A 1DT

g) The Seven Stars
53 Carey Street, WC2A 7JB

26th Feb 2008 – round Fitzrovia (Noho) with Darragh

I Met Alex in the Crown, then Darragh joined us. The Jack Horner and Marquis of Granby passed without any issues. Things went pear-shaped when we marched into the Newman’s and somehow orders 6 pints when we wanted 3. I have little recollection of the Wheatsheaf and the Bricklayers except for this guy in one of them with some odd glasses that had prongs resting on is cheeks. The Burger King saved me from a massive hangover. [Photos]

a) The Crown
51 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1BL

b) The Jack Horner
46 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 2ED

c) The Marquis of Granby
2 Rathbone Street, W1T 1AH

d) Newman Arms
23 Rathbone Street, W1T 1NQ

e) Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place, W1T 1DG

f) Bricklayers Arms
31 Gresse Street, W1T 1QY