Archive for the ‘bars’ Category

Holiday Running Streak Day 29   2 comments


There have been days when meeting the 3 mile minimum for the Holiday Run Streak have been daunting (hangovers, bone idleness, actual injuries).  Today was a joy, though.

I caught the 9 o’clock to Devizes and headed south into the slimy mud, down one steep ridge and up another and emerging, eventually, in Market Lavington.  The timing was actually rubbish, though, as the only pub open before noon is the Green Dragon (no complaints, mind; it was a self-inflicted wound I would have avoided by taking the 10 o’clock bus instead).

2014-12-20 Devizes - Market Lavington - Great Cheverell

9.4 miles out, with a beer break in Market Lavington

2014-12-20 Great Cheverell to Devizes flat out no GPS

5.8 miles back after beer break in Great Cheverell


I thought I could kill a little time by inspecting the pubs on offer for another day and the Churchill in Littleton Panell looked worthy.  The Owl in Little Cheverell was turned into a private residence a year or so ago to the dismay of the old fellow I spoke with there and the Bridge downhill from the Churchill got a recommendation from a kind gentleman I met at the Bell in Great Cheverell which I wandered up to just as it opened.

To be honest, the 9.4 miles run up to then had been like forced labour but the longer than planned (and greater fluid volume than planned) stop at the Bell recharged me.  Although I thought I had restarted the GPS I arrived back in Devizes with no additional miles.  This was easy enough to manually map (5.8 miles) and the voice recorder — which I failed to turn off, as well, upon leaving — showed this last leg to be 40 minutes long.  There was a bit of sunshine and mostly good surfaces to run and I made the most of the opportunity…plus, I was afraid the chippy in Devizes would close at 2 and I really hankered for a bit of cod.

Good run, pleasant company, fine ales, and a treat at the end.  Not a bad way to start the longest night of the year.

DT #319, 15 November 2014 (Petit Monde French Red)   9 comments

Petit Monde French Red table wine


“Salaam alaikum.
Is this a muslim household?”
No, have a nice night.

Name: Petit Monde French Red table wine
Type: red wine
Venue: house, in the new ‘pub room’

Review/notes: The doorbell rang and I found four young men dressed for mosque and carrying a list of neighbourhood folk with likely names (our predecessors in this house as well as the landlord are Iranian).  Tempted to invite them in for tea I thought better of it not for the sake of the open bottle of wine but more for the disarray the dining and living rooms were in.

We got a carpet remnant that looks like it came from a pub refurbishment which, in fact, it had.  Hard wearing, plush and meant to hide stains from spilt beverages, vomit, or folks that wee themselves as they lean against the bar, we roughed it out to fit the dining room and started rearranging the space so that we could fit our bar in there.  It is now, unofficially, the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny pub…complete with bar cat:

Edie on the Pub carpet

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

October Recap: Pubs, Daily Tipples, Chippies, and the G-Had   81 comments


New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW

New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW


At first glance, October seemed a month of two halves — the first healthy and spry, the last stinking of death and decay.  Yet, closer examination reminds me that I’ve been ill more or less constantly since the 10th of the month despite making the Isle of Wight Marathon trip, another cancer surgery (and spillage from the same), and having a busier than usual month at work.  The weather has been spectacular, I’m told.

I added 11 pubs to the count entirely on the two-day trip to the Isle of Wight Marathon.  Two new ones appeared in Oxford (old ones but with major refurbishments and name changes) but they will have to wait until November.  The best of the new additions has to be the Red Lion in Southampton, but you could do a lot worse than The Crab and Lobster Tap (Ventnor), The Traveller’s Joy (Northwood), or most-up-my-alley The Painter’s Arms (Cowes).

The Daily Tipple list accurately represents the beer consumption for the month with a little more than half favouring darker varieties like stout, porter, and mild.  Choosing one per day was really the hard part as almost every new pub mentioned above supplied local brews that I have never tried before and the Swindon Beer Fest introduced 7 beers and 3 ciders new to me (and scores more I didn’t get around to):


DT #





274 01-Oct Thwaites Wainwright bitter Wheatsheaf
277 04-Oct Yates 130 Birthday Ale bitter Yates
296 23-Oct John Willie’s 100 bitter Four Candles
278 05-Oct Andwell Gold Muddler blonde ale Steam Railway
284 11-Oct Ale of Wight blonde ale Crab and Lobster Tap
287 14-Oct Old Growler dark beer Far From the Madding Crowd
291 18-Oct Trojan Horse dark IPA (IDA) The Savoy
297 24-Oct Edinburgh Pale Ale IPA The William Morris
285 12-Oct Theakston’s Mild mild Isle of Wight Community Club
292 19-Oct Colonel’s Whiskers mild The Savoy
293 20-Oct Moorhouse’s Black Cat Reserve mild Four Candles
298 25-Oct Plain Ales Inncognito stout 2014 Swindon Beer Festival
299 26-Oct Belhaven Black stout Beehive
302 29-Oct Marston’s Oyster Stout stout Four Candles


DT #





301 28-Oct Taylor’s Select Reserve port house
275 02-Oct Anciano Reserva Tempranillo red wine house
276 03-Oct Simo Crianza red wine house
279 06-Oct Trapiche Pinot Noir red wine house
280 07-Oct La Rabatte Chianti red wine house
282 09-Oct Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro red wine house
283 10-Oct Arpeggio Nerello Mascalese red wine Rustico, Swindon
286 13-Oct Desconocido red wine house
288 15-Oct Villa Garducci Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine house
289 16-Oct Morrison’s Claret red wine house
290 17-Oct Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache red wine house
295 22-Oct Featherstone Ruby Cabernet Shiraz red wine house
303 30-Oct Bin 99 Cabernet Franc red wine house
304 31-Oct Navarra Old Vines Garnacha red wine house
294 21-Oct Luis Felipe Edwards Rose rose wine house
281 08-Oct Inycon Pinot Grigio Grecanico white wine house


DT #





300 27-Oct John Lee Bourbon booze house


The Fish and Chips Challenge was in a lull partly due to the ongoing medical problems and partly due to the remoteness of new venues and my ability to reach them.  My spreadsheet updates my days-per-fish rate and the minimum number for the year (based on one every 7 days until year-end) after each fish.  The average of these two appears to be converging on 124.9 for the year (let’s say 125).  I’m going for a pub fish and chip lunch when I finish this post, so this looks like a fairly good prediction.

103 Yates’ Swindon, Wiltshire 04-Oct-14 Pub
104 Stotesbury’s Fish and Chips Newport, Isle of Wight 11-Oct-14 Chippy
105 Tottie’s Fish and Chips Cowes, Isle of Wight 12-Oct-14 Chippy
106 Morrison’s Battered Cod Fillets Swindon, Wiltshire 17-Oct-14 House
107 The William Morris Cowley, Oxfordshire 24-Oct-14 Pub
108 Swindon Beer Fest Food Tent Swindon, Wiltshire 25-Oct-14 other


Chippy Challenge 2014-10-31 prediction chart

The G-Had has started to make an impact.  In October, the site had more hits than in all months prior combined.  It also led to paranoid behaviour by North Wilts HHH when they tried to pretend a run wasn’t going to happen and then came up with a clever (but easy to defeat) trail marking plan to foil the IntifadHHHa.  With local attention piqued and health poor, the war became one more of propaganda than contact but a fresh scalp was added courtesy the Isle of Wight HHH.

Also, the subtleties of the Intifad-HHH-a versus a Calip-hhh-ate became a matter of record, over on the G-Had HHH site.


GHadHHH Hits


Los Gatos throws Old Town under a bus   2 comments

The owners of Los Gatos tapas bar have a weekly column in the Swindon Advertiser wherein they promote their business under a thin veil of general restaurant lore.  A few weeks ago they moved about 60 meters away and just around the corner from their old location.

This week’s column describes a post-apocalyptic hellscape on Wood Street compared to the bucolic safety of the new digs.  Again, about 60 meters away and just around the corner from their old location.

In promoting their business’ new location as yob free a welcoming to the middle-class pound, they have pretty much called their old one a loud, filthy death trap.  Albeit 60 meters away and just around the corner.

Summary: “That’s right. Fuck the neighbours, fuck the neighbourhood…we are the only venue worthy of your custom in this shithole, so come up for us then run for cover and best of luck to you getting past the war zone that is Wood Street.”

Swindon Advertiser 2014-10-24 Menu page 2


Why DO they have a weekly column, anyway?

Off the Rails, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Off the Rails Yarmouth 3

At the Horse and Groom, a couple at the bar suggested that I might hit the Off The Rails but I just thought they were insane (for loads of reasons, and fair enough they had loads of reasons to reciprocate). But, down the old rail path near Yarmouth and along the marathon route there it was: an old station converted to a restaurant or, at least, a snack bar.

“Is this place licensed?” I yelled up to some diners on the platform who laughed riotously (as did the race marshalls at the end of the platform). then, to drown out their laughter, I repeated, “no, really, do they serve adult beverages?” and one guy at a table near the entrance said yes. I hopped up on the platform and came in to find the staff unable to comprehend my request for beer until I pointed at the cooler full of lager and said, slowly, “Staropraman.” “You really want a beer, mate?” “Oh, yes please. That would be lovely.”

They were awful nice after that, as I went out, draped my legs off the platform and started to boo runners I had chatted to before and calling others “freaks” and “losers” before returning my bottle and heading out to overtake them, again.

Off the Rails Yarmouth 1

DT #285, 12 October 2014 (Theakston’s Mild)   2 comments

IOW Community Club Theakston's Mild

DT #xxx, dd mmm 2014

The most important
Pint of the day is the first
Before the race starts.

Name: Theakston’s Mild
Type: mild
Venue: Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes

Review/notes: From my co-competitors’ reactions, you’d think that none of these people had ever run a marathon drunk before. Theakston’s Mild is a perfect nutritional supplement for the alcoholic endurance athlete: carbs, minerals, and fluids.

IOW Community Club Theakston's Mild tap

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes, Isle of Wight   1 comment

IOW Community Club

I know I bang on about the casual alcoholism of Brits but that you can’t have an event at a church or, in this case, a sports club without a bar involved speaks volumes. No complaints, just an observation.

It was a crowded venue due to the day’s big event.  It’s a good bar, too, well stocked and friendly. I was there for the Isle of Wight Marathon and it turns out I was the only one drinking at the start…so, take my observations with a grain of salt.  The Theakston’s Mild was colder than I would have served it myself, but otherwise everything was spot on.

IOW Community Club bar

Posted 2014/10/13 by Drunken Bunny in bars, pubs

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