24/01/2012 at 00:32 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Soho – 12 Jun 2009
A fabulous summer evening crawl weaving in and out of famous and infamous haunts in the very heart of London.  We started in the Dog and Duck – “I’m sure we had 2 pints here as about 12 of us gathered for the crawl…!” recalls Jules with slight exaggeration.  Next the Ship on Wardour Street, which has a great interior (although we were outside near the entrance to a trendy Soho hotel) and I read somewhrere this is the only Fullers pub in Soho.  This was follwed by The Endurance featuring stuffed animals around the walls including a bear in the corner…!  Triv inlcuded the Trident recording studio on St Anne’s Court where Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Transformer and several tracks by The Beatles including Hey Jude, not to mention the street in “Whats the Story, Morning Glory” (Berwick Street).
Next the Star and Garter on Poland Street after listening to the story of John Snow, former newsreader (not really…!) turned local physician who in 1854 made the connection between Cholera and water supply and removed the handle from the water pump in Broadwick St.  Then onto Glasshouse Stores and the bar billiards table in the back room, that we never played on.
Last but not least the Old Coffeehouse – Full of old pub mirrors – on reflection, a perfect end to the night!

Aldgate East

24/01/2012 at 00:27 | Posted in Crawls | 4 Comments
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Dimo took us round an unexplored area of London, starting us off near a roundabout, east of the City. 

Here’s the list

St Giles

24/01/2012 at 00:23 | Posted in Crawls | 1 Comment
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Gerald led a crawl in the historic area of St Giles with pubs stretching from Holborn to Soho.  It wasn’t the first one where Jez had smuggled in a softback book with pub crawls listed out (see St James – Westminster) .  It included the vast Princess Louise (as it had re-opened by then – on previous Holborn crawls it was closed and not included).  The mirrors and period features were so memorable (before they closed it).  Also included was the Bloomsbury Tavern, a great looking pub on a corner site overlooking the busy streets around Centre Point; The Angel, an absolute gem with three separate bars, if you like period deco, next to St Giles Church; the pub near Soho Square where Guy Ritchie used to take Madonna (I think) who’s name escapes the memory and The Newman Arms on Rathbone Street (the pie shoppe – serving only pies at lunchtimes).  The stone floor and the well kept Fullers London Pride is worth a detour for.  This pub featured on the Fitzfovia crawl.  For a better description of the rest you need to find the book he was using because a great time was had by all !!

South Kensington

24/01/2012 at 00:20 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Richard remembers this one as “becoming rather messy after bumping in to a number of people working for London Fashion week and the arrival of Alan’s other half (and friends).  As such I think we only managed a handful of the pubs on my list.”

We met in the Hoop and Toy, buying enough beer in maybe even 3 rounds to qualify for a free t-shirt, not that anyone would have wanted it.  To be fair there aren’t that many decent pubs near South Ken station but this one is the best of the rest.  This was followed by the Drayton Arms, the Bunch of Grapes (on Brompton Rd) before heading up to Tea Clipper (on Montpelier Street) where we met Jessica.  And that was it.  Everyone left for home happy but soon got lost looking for a kebab shop in clearly the wrong neighbourhood.

London Bridge / Borough

24/01/2012 at 00:18 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Dimo’s first ever pub crawl in the series went down the Borough High Street and back again.  The following list of pubs featured but the order is fairly uncertain

  • the bunch of grapes
  • the globe
  • the wheatsheaf (old one underneath the bridge, before it moved)
  • the market porter
  • southwark tavern
  • Old King’s Head
  • the george inn
  • southwark tavern (ended here as it was opposite a tube entrance)

High Street Kensington

24/01/2012 at 00:15 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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High Street Kensigton to Notting Hill Gate

John (friend of Paul’s) led us around the illustrious streets of Kensignton, starting at The Builders Arms (near Wodka), and moving on to the Greyhound, Prince of Wales, the spledid and extensive Churchill Arms, ending up in the quiet Uxbridge Arms.  Some of us stayed on after time in Sun in Splendour for a few late drinks.  We may also have gone to the Windsor Castle, as I seem to remember us noticing how well heeled the locals were, no scruffy students in this neck of the woods!  This crawl is listed as Kensington I think.

Holborn Pub Crawls

24/01/2012 at 00:13 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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The first person to tap the rich Holborn area was Gerald.  There were some memorable moments on this one, we met at The Ship Tavern and then walked past the soup kitchen to the classic The Seven Stars.  It was there where we had a massive debate about Prncess Diana and Captain Cook.  Some local had claimed that Captain Cook was born in Essex, or something mad like that.  Gez recalled the story from his Australian days and remembered he was from the North East.  The pub itself is said to date back to before the Great Fire of London and the bar has a “front room”. Following this we went to (tucked away) The Blue Anchor and after that up to The Cittie of York (more on that later), The Enterprise, The Rugby Tavern and finished up in the sublime Lamb on Lamb’s Conduit Street.  This victorian-style Youngs pub still has snob screens that move and etched glass everywhere, a real pleasure I recall.

Holborn was visit again about a year later – Jimbo did this one – he was over from Australia on a six month trip but had participated in a few and deserved a turn.  He took us around this well-trodden area but some different pubs.  We went back to the huge the Cittie of York, not a problem, its medieval style room at the the rear of the pub is huge and it’s hard not to be impressed, even if the beer is the restrictive Samuel Smith.   Some of the other ones I remember were The Bountiful Cow (really did smell of cooked beef this one) and the Old Nick – we are still trying to remember the rest, perhaps another visit to the area will help jog the memory.

Victoria Pub Crawls

24/01/2012 at 00:09 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Well we’ve had a few of these criss-crossing the area.  In the early years Paul took us on two crawls that appeared to end and start in the same place.  Below is an attempt to piece it together:

The Victoria cr@wl started in the classic Shepherd Neame “Cask & Glass“, one of the smallest pubs in town and yes we did stand outside, not a pub to meet in if the forecast is rain.  It’s nowhere near New Scotland Yard, as Paul would say.  As the rain started to fall we moved swiftly on.  It’s on Palace Street and you can’t miss it for the hanging baskets.  Next was a pub called Colonies (where a bloke followed us from the Cask & Glass claiming to be an odd-job man for the Queen).  This “banter” ended using the old toilet trick, i.e. swiftly drinking up and moving on when the stalker had disappeared to the loo!  Next up the fine Buckingham Arms, appearing in every edition of the GBG, finishing in the Old Star.  Finally a break with tradition – we went to Zanzibar as we were running late and it was still open.

The St James cr@wl a few months later (also led by Paul) started in the now familiar Old Star, Adam & Eve, The Albert, The Strutton Arms-  at which point Paul fell ill, leaving us with a map.   We managed to find The Two Chairman and finished in the Westminster Arms, around the corner from the Abbey.  But it turfed us out abruptly after the bell and that was it

The area was covered by Gez on his St James’ crawl and also Paul himself capped off the area with his “Passport to Pimlico” crawl, which sounded different until we realised we were in the shadow of an all too familiar Victoria Station.  At least we had been spared some of the pubs closer to this hub!


24/01/2012 at 00:07 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Jules gathered the group for one of our earlier pub crawls near Southwark tube in The Ring – Site of a bare knuckle boxing ring and where it is reputed that the Marquess of Queensbury set down the rules of modern boxing.  following this we called in for one at the Charles Dickens, then the White Hart on Great Suffolk Street- where one crawler was joined briefly by his wife (shock, horror, damnation) for an impromptu drink.  This was followed by the Rose & Crown, an intriguing 3 storey free-standing oasis in the middle of “nowhere”, which featured on a later crawl

We finished up in the King’s Arms, a lovely old pub on Roupell Street and stayed there for a few, could have been something to do with one of the bar staff wearing a Kiss T Shirt.
Jules’ closing remark was “I think this really was only five pubs…  I’m sure we had two pints in at least two of the pubs 😉  Good memories of planning these nights out even if memories of the nights themselves are a bit vague…!”

Old Street West

24/01/2012 at 00:03 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Early crawler Ian started us off on a rainy night in January in the Artillery Arms on Bunhill Row and ended up in the glorious Sekforde Arms and a curry.  Where we went inbetween is lost in history, even Ian himself can’t remember.  One or two of the bars were not real ale pubs as the format had not been completely established but the one thing it did do is open our eyes to the possibilities.  Not knowing exactly where we were and discovering new places appealed to the explorer genome.  It was only the second time we had done it but we realised being at the mercy of a pub crawl master in an unexplored part of London was a fun experience and it made us want more.

Additional trivia – Archie and Phil struggled to find even the curry house, which was extremely good, until we stumbled across it on the Clerkenwell crawl some years later!!

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