Before I start, I liked the place, the people, and plan to stay here again.
“We booked a room,” I told the bartender at 10 minutes past 2.
“You’re very early. Check in is at 3,” he chastised me. This was strange because I had an email from the manager stating that I could probably check-in early and that they would prioritise our room. No matter, though, since they stored our bags and put us back on the road to our meetings.
We arrived back at 6pm and the next bartender rang Patrick (the B&B ‘manager’) to say we were here. “Would you like some drinks while you wait?” We deferred these till later since we already learned how important clockwork was to this establishment. Fifteen minutes later, Patrick ambled in and awkwardly directed us out and around to the B&B entrance and up to our room where he showed us the amenities and explained procedures.
We left the large room with our host to see the bathroom facilities down the hall (with no eye contact at any time from our methodical but somewhat surreal guide). Stepping in to see a shower room another Irishman (we were the only non-Irish there) dove past us with an armfull of towels saying, “DON’T GO IN THERE!” then after an awkward pause as he knelt with the bundle of towels, “another guest is using it.” It may just be my past life experiences, but I got the distinct felling they were called for our check-in mid-disembowelment of a corpse slated for disposal. I don’t have a problem with that, except for the lack of butchery professionalism…but I have to admit, the place was spotless the next morning.
Happy with the room, we headed out to find some food then returned for a night cap at the bar. Jackie went with the large V&T (of course) and I was going to do a Guinness as seemed appropriate but before I could place the order the barkeep already dashed off to make the cocktail…in order NOT to be rude, I went for the less-time-consuming lager option, which was just grand.
Our hostess wandered through will a giant mastiff which smelled something he liked on me and came over. As she started to apologise for the beast, I scratched his ears and he collapsed against my legs pushing me half a foot to the left. “You’ll never be rid of ‘im, now,” she said to either me or the dog.
I already mentioned the Irishness of the pub, but it seemed almost like a family place, as well. Everyone there in the initial visit was still there late evening as were everyone else in attendance when we finally checked in and the lot of them were leprechauns. Jackie wondered how they could stay open doing the business they were but I think with the cadaver disposal business they are probably doing fine.
Honestly, though, seek the Westport out. They are dead friendly, the pub is pleasant, and if you are staying in London and were going for a hostel you’ll get a better, private, and more, ahem, interesting experience here a quarter mile walk from the Northern Line (tube) and Hampstead Heath.