01/02/2015 at 17:36 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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To kick off 2015, Dave’s debut crawl started in the heart of the City, at the Telegraph, a Fuller’s pub between Moorgate and Bank.


The Telegraph proved to be a fairly typical modern City pub – large, busy, and full of men and women in suits who’ve spent the day yelling “buy, buy” or “sell, sell” etc. – well at least that’s what I’m led to believe anyway, although there is a chance that my stereotype is a little too much based on 1980s yuppie television dramas. Anyway the Telegraph was disconcertingly busy when we arrived on a Friday evening, although to be fair to the staff they were very efficient and obviously well used to the busy post-work period. The Butcombe was sadly not available but there was Pride, Chiswick and Seafarers, all of which were served efficiently and were perfectly OK, if nothing out of the ordinary. The pub itself was pretty busy, probably not helped by temperatures of around zero limiting the appetite to drink in the alleyway outside, though quite a few were braving the cold.

The second pub of the evening was a few minutes away on Liverpool Street – the George, a corner pub carved out of the Great Eastern Hotel and appropriately grand inside and out. The interior consists of one main room, very square and beautifully decorated, with a lovely high ceiling and a painting of Bishopsgate from some centuries ago, as well as a smaller side room. Sadly the beer lets it down; there are some ales, but only a couple, and the Deuchars was poor – I couldn’t finish mine, and the only other time I’ve been in I had to send both my pints back as the beer was off. So sadly I have to recommend against trying the ales in here – indeed according to the blackboard the George thinks Strongbow and Symonds are beers rather than ciders, so clearly they have given rather less attention to their drinks than their decor.

Back onto Bishopsgate now, and down a narrow alleyway with the interesting name of Catherine Wheel Alley, named after an old pub, the Catherine Wheel, sadly long gone now, itself named after a medieval instrument of torture (as is the firework of the same name). This brought us out close to the Shooting Star, another Fullers pub but with a more classical Victorian feel than the Telegraph earlier, with the same house drinks on offer as well as a couple of other Fuller’s beers, ESB and HSB.

View from the White HorseNext up, we headed back across Bishopsgate to the lovely hidden public square behind and above Liverpool Street station, where a temporary skating rink had been set up, and into the White Horse, another large modern pub on the lower level of a large office building. Looks very much like a fancy wine bar-type of venue but actually the beers were a pleasant surprise, with Truman’s Attaboy among a few interesting options on the bar which also stretched to better known ales from the likes of Adnams, Sharps Doom Bar and Young’s. Most of us plumped for the Attaboy and it was a delight, the best Truman’s beer we’ve had.

Despite the low temperatures we did actually go and drink outside to get away from the crowds, where we could admire the view of the station and the City skyline, so this must be a popular spot in summer.

flying horseWe headed to the west now, and in just a couple of short streets had crossed the boundary between the corporate City and more workaday surrounds, and in Wilson Street came to the Flying Horse. For the first time we were in what felt like a ‘normal’ local pub. It was as busy as the City pubs we’d been to already, but the crowd was more diverse, and the pub was very friendly with good service. There was a great range of ales on too, with most of us going for the Hackney ale with NZ hops, with a host of other beers available including a Flying Horse Ale.

Just a short hop from the Flying Horse to the Red Lion, a smallish traditional late Victorian corner pub at the bottom of Wilson Street now under the Taylor Walker banner. Although probably packed after work, by this time there was plenty of room for us, and a table for our large selection of crisps and pork scratchings, and the Truman’s Attaboy made another appearance alongside their Swift.

A short walk back across Moorgate brought us to the final pit stop of the evening, the Rack and Tenter. This is another large modern pub on the ground floor of an office building, probably heaving at lunchtime and after work, but somewhat emptier at the end of the evening, though still pretty noisy. Some decent ales and a table were all available, but the pub’s strongest card is probably the large pedestrian square out the front, which must be a huge boon in summer but was rather too cold to take advantage of in January!

And so for the awards, now separating the beer of the crawl from the pub of the crawl, given the arguments which have raged in the past about which is the more important criteria!

AttaboyThe Beer of the Crawl was unanimous – so congratulations to Truman’s for Attaboy, beer of the crawl.

And congratulations to the Flying Horse, also unanimous in winning this month’s Pub of the Crawl. Cheers!



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