Archive for the ‘fish and chips’ Tag

The blog in the rear view mirror   Leave a comment

New-Belgium-Slow-Ride-Session-IPA

Warmest regards to Fatty from Tucson for spotting this beer label (if anyone knows where to get Fat Tire in Swindon or Oxford please get in touch)

 

It has been a good run — one of nearly 6 years, nearly 1300 different pubs, a few marathons and a bunch of halves (and shorter races), good entertainment, fulfilling work, and a couple of laughs.  But, it is over … at this address, anyway: I’ll continue on in much the same vein at the Endless British Pub Crawl (continues) but this site will just be an archive for the first 1292 pubs and memorial to itself and a lot of ill-advised fun that went into gathering the material herein.

EBPC1 hits 2015-01-03

I want to do a retrospective of this blog’s 6 years but it deserves better than what you have before you.  Them’s the breaks…here it is in tedious detail.

delivery-at-stretham-local-shop

In 2177 days, there have been 2537 posts.  Of those, 1292 were specifically for 1st time pub visits, 367 were for last year’s Daily Tipple (with added Haiku), 210 have been for the Chippy Challenge and the Kebab Challenge, and 169 were for the 2012 Yellow Beer Challenge.  The remaining 499 involved running, mocking the serious beliefs of others, laughing at the weak, bitching and moaning about one thing or another, obituaries, and other things that serve to strengthen my bona fides of Britishness.  According to WordPress, these pages have been visited just over 350,000 times…get a life, losers.

pigeons

Most frequent pub names so far (and how many of each):

43 Red Lions
24 Crowns
22 Ploughs
19 (tie) Bells, White Harts
15 Greyhounds
14 (tie) Black Horses, King’s Arms, Queen’s Heads
13 (tie) Rose and Crowns, Swans, White Horses

in-free-press-4

Best names: Five Mile From Anywhere No-Hurry Inn, Far From The Madding Crowd, Cafe Rene, Sally Pussey’s Inn, The Bee’s In The Wall, The Roaring Donkey, Who’d A Thought It

Fuck that place: The Angerstein Hotel, The Woodman Inn, The Black Horse

London Marathon last mile

Personal favourite pub write ups: The Chequers in Cottenham, hangover after a night in the King’s Arms in Ely, handing the puzzle over to the Dog and Duck in Linton (Cambs), the Crown in Penzance (a low-key 25th anniversary), the Glue Pot in Swindon after my first Wildcats Hockey match, the Blackfriar in London (not so much the write up as the architectural details), and the Rose and Crown in Chippenham for the fantastic people watching.  Certain there are other decent ones but this list contains the two or three I’m really pleased with.

dog and duck puzzle

 

Other pubs worthy of mention (good or bad):

The Red Lion in Southampton for architecture and Henry V connection
The Hop Inn for the locals’ alternative names
The five Red Lion Run back in 2010
The New Inn, Blists Hill (a historic museum town)
The Goldfinger (accidentally found Ian Fleming’s grave on run to this one)
The Blue Boar, Aldbourne (Dr. Who link)
The Blind Beggar, Whitechapel (Kray Brothers link)
The Red Lion, Aston (a town of ‘tards)
The Brass Monkey, Teignmouth (George W Bush on their sign)
Wernham Hogg’s, Slough (The Office tie-in)

wernham hogg slough office

The writing isn’t brilliant but it was never meant to be stunning. I have occasionally stumbled into something I’m happy enough with (to mention here) but never anything I would attach a real name to.  Some of those are:

What a Bunch of Dicks”  (September 2011)
Our Ex-Neighbours”  (September 2011, with links to the whole saga)
Risk Assessment: Proper Use of Bins”  (October 2012)
British Citizenship Exam”  (November 2012)
My Pet Leeches”  (September 2013)
Me and the Queen”  (June 2012)

closer magazine leech orgasm story

It wasn’t all drinking and knob jokes.  Occasionally I ran, sometimes quite a lot (although usually whilst stopping regularly for drinks and to tell inappropriate knob jokes).  I even race a bit with some of my favourite racing efforts here:

Grunty Fen 1/2 Marathon and general thoughts on the finisher’s medal (September 2009)
Snowdonia Marathon pub crawl (October 2009)
The River Run — Cantabrigiensis HHH (October 2009)
New Year’s Eve 10K Little Downham (January 2010)
Historical notes on the 30 Pack Marathon (April 2010)
Thame 10K and morning chunders (June 2010)
Florence Marathon (December 2010)
Bupa 10K plus bailout for the London Hash (May 2011)
Run For Heroes 5K or thereabouts (August 2011)
Chippenham Half with a sponsored pub stop (September 2011)
Swindon Half whilst hitting every pub within 1/2 mile (October 2011)
Cricklade Half + 8 mile warm-up (October 2011)
London Marathon pub crawl (April 2012)
Great British Beerathon Like the 30-Pack only smaller and including food (August 2012)
Great Bustard 5 or getting there’s half the fun (July 2013)
Beat the Bore at Night (September 2013)
Malmesbury Carnival 10K done twice to hit some pubs after  (August 2014)
Isle of Wight Marathon pub crawl (October 2014)

11:58 My big head notwithstanding, this is the Joe Strummer Subway

11:58 My big head notwithstanding, this is the Joe Strummer Subway

In fact, I started the blog for people in the States that already knew about my running idiosyncrasies (i.e., running to get to a bar, drinking heavily there or at one or more other bars, then running home).  So, for them the “racing” entries are no surprise nor are some of the other efforts, which I enjoy as much or more.  These three Birthday runs are typical:

2010
2013
2014

I also used to ‘hash’ before I found the one true way; my life as a hasher came long after I started drink-running (and drug-running, for that matter) and that it has become just a passing fad baffles some of those folk although I still encourage hash virgins to go to a hash as a kick start to Hashlam.  I would, indeed, encourage all of you to go hashing at some point.

We saw some good shows and bad shows and some shows.  I saw Springsteen in the Atlanta Fox Theatre in the 70’s but Jackie never had so we booked a trip to Maastricht to fix that…and it was awesome.  We causght Neil Young in Hyde Park and Paul Simon there as well another year.  Two of the best shows were Lloyd Cole in Stroud and George Thorogood in Cambridge, and you can’t go wrong with the BeatHoles.

beatholes poster from sunday

Tourism ideas:

No trip to Wales is complete without a ride down this highway. (November 2009)
Find out why they refer to Oxford as the City of Dreaming Spires. (September 2010)
You can wait for English Heritage or the National Trust, but the loving family fits their own plaques (like this one to Arthur Stanley Eddington).  (August 2011)
If you get to Germany, indulge in the local folklore like the Bremen Musicians. (June 2012)
Nothing is more fun than old buses. (June 2014)
Get out on the street furnishing trail, maybe starting with post boxes. (November 2014)
And, to be serious, here are a few ideas for London.

shark house oxford

Recipes and food:

A friend that travels in China sent some delectable menu items to look for but I still haven’t found them in any Chinatown restaurants.  On the other hand, you can find the most interesting spices in the Caribbean markets, here.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you shouldn’t shy away from complicated recipes like this one.  Or, as an alternative you could start your day with one of these.
There were, of course, a lot of booze recipes, but these are worth the efforts involved and better than the pictures would suggest:
Lupini
Cassoulet (one of several versions blogged herein)
Rabbit

chinese menu 1

Finally, no look back wouldn’t include obits.  Mostly, I obitted people I don’t know but knew of but on occasion I actually had a relationship with the deceased (Rest in Peace, y’all):

Vic Chesnutt (December 2009)
Bus Job (October 2010)

Andy Holden (whom I did not know but feel a special connection to, January 2014)

This blog (January 2015, which you are reading right now)

 

 

The Codfather, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

Codfather Trowbridge cod

The 2014 Chippy Challenge ended New Year’s Eve but I was hungry and had a half hour to kill and I’m still not sick of fish and chips so I popped into the Codfather as I wandered around Trowbridge.  The fellow cooked the small portion (at least that’s what I ordered albeit a very generous “small”) to order in the packed house and by the time it came up all succulent and steaming the queue was out the door.  Brilliant.

Codfather Trowbridge

 

2014, The Year of Fish and Chips (recap)   32 comments

2014-12-31 end of year chart

“You’re going to swell up like a tick.”
–Work mate when he heard about the Chippy Challenge.

“No, he did the same thing with kebabs, last year…he’ll be fine.”
–Another colleague, in response.

Actually, I lost weight, starting the year at 178 lbs (12 stone 10 or, for the metric-minded, 81 kg) and spending most of the last 6 months dead on 154 lbs (11 stone even or 70 kg).  This was grand, as I drank more this year than usual and ran only about the normal amount (maybe even less than, but I haven’t tallied the runs yet).  I would highly recommend this diet at least to those who normally live on the 2013: Year of Kebabs Diet.  I’m looking forward to seeing what drifting back toward normal alcohol and food intake will do to the weight.

Of the 126 qualifying meals, 75 were at a chippy, 40 in a pub, 3 at the house, 1 at a Dutch fish stand, and 7 others (cafes and dining halls).

I didn’t travel much this year so geographically they are pretty tightly clustered around home and work. I nailed a couple in mainland Europe and a few down at the southern coast, as well, but I had 36 each in Oxford or Swindon so I have favourites in those two localities.

Top 10 in Swindon:

1 tie York Road Chippy
1 tie The Frying Fish
3 Trident Fish Bar
4 Britz Fish and Chips
5 Mr. Cod
6 Bobby’s Fish and Chips
7 Gill’s Fish Bar
8 Pinehurst Fisheries
9 J&J Fish Bar
10 Wong Kee Fish Bar

2014 Swindon chippy challenge

 

Top 3 in Oxford (Chippies in Oxford are generally shit, but seek these out):

1 Carfax Fish and Chips
2 Mediterranean Fish Bar (the one in Marston)
3 Three Goats’ Heads (pub, but very good)

2014 Oxford chippy challenge

 

The 5 most dreadful:

-1 Treasure Chinese Takeaway Shrivenham, Oxfordshire
-2 Simon’s Fish & Chips Oxford, Oxfordshire
-3 Seafoods Bath, Somerset
-4 Covingham Fish and Chips Swindon, Wiltshire
-5 Posh Fish Jericho Oxford, Oxfordshire

Best 5 of the rest:

1 Baker’s Arms (best pub F&C this year) Badbury, Wiltshire
2 Stotesbury’s Fish and Chips Newport, Isle of Wight
3 South Cerney Fish and Chips South Cerney, Gloucestershire
4 Robinson’s Traditional Fish and Chips Bowerhill, Wiltshire
5 Market Plaice Devizes, Wiltshire

 

george harrison cod

 

 

Birds Eye Battered Cod, House, Swindon, Chippy Challenge #126   Leave a comment

Birds Eye Battered Cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: chips
Evaluation: This was the third of the frozen cod from the grocer I’ve included in the list. It was, like the Young’s, pretty good if ugly to behold.  We were wolfing down some oily stuff as ballast against the pub crawl to come and I had these in the freezer as a back-up in case I couldn’t make the 7-day cut-off during the Year of Fish and Chips that ends today.

Unlike the Year of Kebabs immediately preceding this one, I don’t feel like I need to lay off the cod and chips for a full year; that was good to do, too, as I just started craving döner again a week or so ago.  No challenges on for next year which is probably a good thing.

BirdsEye Battered Cod Box

Days since last: 4 (Jolly Friar, Westbury)
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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The Jolly Friar, Westbury, Wiltshire, Chippy Challenge #125   1 comment

Jolly Friar Westbury cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Light but flavourful crust, large piece of perfectly cooked fish…on a cold day while sweat rapidly dries 8 miles into a 10 mile run there’s nothing more welcome.
Days since last: (Six Bells, Oxford)

Jolly Friar Westbury
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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Six Bells, Oxford, Chippy Challenge #124   2 comments

Six Bells Oxford

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: chips, mushy peas, Carlsberg
Evaluation: Tasty, generous plop of mushy peas, and cheap.  I’ve had worse pub F&C, believe me.
Days since last: 3 (Market Plaice, Devizes)
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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Market Plaice, Devizes, Wiltshire, Chippy Challenge #123   Leave a comment

Market Plaice Devizes cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Unbelievably delicious and I would have gone back for seconds, some chips, and mushy peas if a) I hadn’t promised to do a proper green curry from scratch when Jackie got home and b) the bus, which only runs hourly, wasn’t due.  The Pelican, two doors down and which allows you to bring in outside food, was a real temptation at this point; my resolve was later rewarded (great meal, good wine, lovely company) but I shall ever be nagged by what might have been.
Days since last: 1 (Leo Fish and Chips, Wootton, Oxfordshire)

Market Plaice Devizes
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
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November

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