Brewery crawl in the Times

30/07/2011 at 10:03 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m rather fond of my London pub crawls, as you’ll have gathered, but this week the Times went one better and did a London brewery crawl! What a cracking plan. It’s behind the Times paywall but the Meantime brewery has kindly posted the clipping on their website for your perusal…

Pentonville pub crawl

11/07/2011 at 22:11 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment

In July 2011, it was Dimo’s turn again, and this time we headed for the Pentonville area of Islington, north London.

The meeting point was the York on Islington High Street, which had a decent range of ales and is handy for Angel tube, which of course boasts the longest escalators in Europe, and which should definitely not be mistaken for a ski slope.

From here we headed east, towards Boris’s house and following the route of the 900 m Islington canal tunnel below our feet. Sadly we should really have been heading south along Islington High Street, but Dimo forgot his map and couldn’t quite remember the name of the next pub! At least we got to walk along Duncan Terrace, a nice park now which marks the former route of the New River, and back past the old pre-1990s Angel tube station to the main Angel junction, then south, where hazy memories of Dimo’s recce came back and we found our way to the Red Lion, one of Islington’s theatre pubs.

Now back on track, after only a few minutes’ confusion we headed across St John Street towards Middleton Square and down the gorgeous Arlington Way to the Harlequin, beautifully placed in an 1820s terrace. The pub is small but perfectly formed, and our pints went down very well alongside an impromptu Trivial Pursuit quiz at which Tim excelled!

From here it’s just a short stroll to the Shakespeare’s Head, very close by Sadler’s Wells Theatre and accordingly bedecked with an impressive display of actors’ signed headshots. Sadly the first round of beers were off and had to be poured away, not a good start – although to be fair they were replaced without complaint, and the next were fine.

After these, we headed west and north to Filthy McNastys, “just a fuckin’ pub” in their own words but actually a reknown live music pub, and very lively on a Friday evening.

Next stop, the Lexington, just a couple of minutes north on the Pentonville Road, and also lively, though with DJ rather than live music.

Moving back towards the Angel along Pentonville Road, next stop was the Castle, which seemed decent enough to start with, and then got a whole lot better when we went upstairs to the roof terrace, which was great on a warm evening, and I wish London had more alfresco opportunities like this.

After this, it was time for more of Dimo’s special “three sides of a square” navigation to bring us back to the Hobgoblin, White Cross Street, where we did battle with the quiz machine; good fun, but it cost a few quid more than the old-fashioned paper Trivial Pursuit back at the Harlequin!

This being Islington, with a somewhat more enlightened licencing regime than Westminster, there was time for yet another pub, the honour of being 9th falling to the Nag’s Head, Upper Street, a stone’s throw from our starting point a few hours earlier. The quiz machine was attempted again, although by this time our senses may have been somewhat under the influence…

And therein ended the night, save for a couple of night buses back to the proper side of the river, and something of a headache the next day…

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