Monday, 24 January 2011

Public Service

This weekend, I had a visitor from Up North. He travelled down on Saturday in order to go out for dinner with myself, Him Indoors and a couple of friends who lived on the commuter belt who were celebrating their birthdays. My chum arrived at around lunchtime, so, over an omelette courtesy of Him Indoors, we discussed what our plan was for the rest of the afternoon. My friend didn’t fancy a museum. Him Indoors wasn’t in the mood for a film, and I couldn’t really afford another shopping trip. There was only one solution. The pub.
Thank the lord for the good old fashioned pubic house. Where I live there are several to chose from, ranging from the Prince Albert (which makes the Queen Vic on Eastenders look like The Ivy) to the Landseer, which offers a full range of beers in an atmosphere that isn’t all that different from your front room.
That’s what I love about London. Whether we are talking shopping, art or music, there is something for everyone. I myself like the shabby chic kind of establishment with a range of premium lagers (if they stock Frulli, Staropramen and Crabbies, I am in pretentious beer heaven) with worn William Morris-style wallpaper and scuffed, squashy leather sofas. Throw in an extensive menu of good honest pub grub and some authentic indie on the jukebox and I am a happy bunny.
There have been a couple of recent developments in my favourite watering holes that I favour even more than their extensive range of hand cooked crisps. I’ve always appreciated a pub that stocks a selection of broadsheets, but now a number of places offer free wifi. Yes, I can take along my laptop, do my internet grocery shop and chat on Twitter over a Saturday afternoon pint. But my personal favourite? A stack of board games in the corner of the bar. Ah, now you’re talking! As a kid (and, let’s face it, as an adult), I’ve always enjoyed a hand of cards or a tournament of Monopoly, Cluedo and Guess Who. Now you can enjoy a good game, not in the comfort of your own home, but somewhere you can meet your mates and not have to worry about stocking up on Salty Dogs and choosing a selection of beverages to suit everyone’s tastes.
So, on Saturday afternoon, we wiled away an afternoon playing dominoes, drinking beer and watching the world go by in the Angel Inn at Highgate. Two pints and whisky ginger later and I was certainly feeling rather warm and fuzzy inside. That’s the great thing about London pubs. They cater for your every need, whether it’s a Sunday Roast, a boogie on Saturday night or the obligatory mid week Pub Quiz. Either way, I will no doubt be setting up my Scrabble board in a pub near you soon.


  1. I feel a monopoly tournament coming on...

  2. Arrrrgh! Noooo! Too dangerous with Him Indoors and Eddy...