Tuesday, November 18, 2008

London Calling: Remote Control

My first stop after the Coal Hole, was the Lyceum Pub, which was next to the Lyceum Theatre, naturally. This is by far the brightest bar/pub/tavern/club I’ve ever set foot in. The decor was charming and smart; nice wood paneled walls and unobtrusive carpeting. The barman looked like he was a member of our Beard Council, and seemed to fill a stereotype I’d yet to see on my trip. He was heavyset, early forties, hirsute, with rosy cheeks and an undying smile, that was only intensified by his guttural laughter.

Tavern? 

Why was it so fucking bright?

I had him pull me a Samuel Smith’s Best Bitter. Stored at cellar temp in oak casks, and costing a mere £1.86, this was the best deal in London for pints I saw on my entire trip. I was a fly on the wall for most of the time I was there; sitting in the corner minding my own. I only spoke to one group of people. They were a small band of young, urban professionals, and at one point they started talking about our beloved Sarah Palin, so I chimed in and asked a few questions about their thoughts on the election, etc. Frankly, the Brits are way more into our politics than most of the people I know in the States, which is pretty funny; speaking volumes of the difference in education and time on their hands.

After the Lyceum, I walked North into the area of Covent Garden. The large market was closing down, and the area was littered with pubs. I chose one, the White Lion, which was owned by the same people that owned the Coal Hole, and they had similar signage up, and a great selection of real ales. The pub itself was very dark and packed. I settled up to the bar, and ordered a Bear Town Bear Ass, which the bar tender made a funny face to.

The pictures got blurrier as there taker did likewise.

The Bear’s Ass was very malty, nutty, hazelnut notes, and nice hops character, as well. The finish was strong and malty; a bit biscuity. The color was darker than most real ales that I’d had, and had ruby tints. This was a very drinkable beer.

A man named John was waiting at the bar for his friends to arrive. We started to shoot the shit. He owned some kind of IT company, and was waiting on some former co-workers. He bought me a beer, and when his friends arrived, I went and sat with them. His cohorts were an older gentleman, and pretty attractive woman. It turned out that they had worked for a cooperative travel agency, and the older man had done like twelve years of board service as a staff member (out of twenty four years with the company). Their co-op was consumed by a larger co-op, and when put to a vote, the membership was down with this. Crazy. Very demonstrative of the small world in which we live in.

I went into the pub across the street upon leaving the White Lion. I think it was called McMullen’s, but can’t be certain. I had one of the smoothest real ales yet. It was a McMullen Cask Ale. It smelled of soft fruit, but tasted like hops, hops, hops. It had a light mouthfeel which added to the ease of its drinkability. 

I didn’t stay in this pub very long, but it was long enough to experience some high comedy. A woman at the table next me was arguing with her male friend. She turned round and looked at me, and said, “He’s a very bad man, and so are you.” To which I laughed long, and out loud.

This is how you pull it - this is how you pull it...

I ended up in Camden Town. I needed some food, and got a lamb doner. I was looking for the night bus back to Hendon, where I would take a mini cab back to Sian's house. The past five blogs chronicle one day (last Tuesday) of my trip. There are many more to come. That is all.

This just made me laugh.

1 comment:

Shadd Scott said...

I need me some booty wine....

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