Archive for the ‘tourism’ 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)

 

 

DT #354, 20 December 2014 (Pecker Wrecker)   2 comments

Pecker Wrecker

“Is this for Christmas?”
“No, Love, this is the Solstice.
“It’s something for REAL.”

Name: Pecker Wrecker
Type: bitter
Venue: Green Dragon, Market Lavington

Review/notes: I got on the bus to Devizes and sat near the front hoping one of the large-window seats would become free in a few stops only to immediately recognize the couple in the left-most seat were trapped in a moronic conversation with the Tardette to their right. The bus pulled up to the very next stop and a middle-aged dude in biking leathers toting a very large backpack and reeking of campfire smoke (he must have kipped the night on the rail trail below) found his way upstairs.  We met as I was moving back a row or two for leg room and he seemed to be thinking the same thing as me: “who let this old freak on the bus?”

The old couple escaped at Wroughton and Mr Natural pounced on the seat only to face the Tardette’s interrogation, which he suffered with great humour (the haiku is made from direct quotes of their conversation). He was heading to Avebury for the celebrations along with countless old hippies and New Age tossers you could see milling about with their billowy garments and self-satisfied countenances.

I like the Solstice well enough but I don’t get any sort of spiritual kick from it.  I hadn’t even clocked that it was tonight until this moment on the bus, but during the run through muddy trails to Market Lavington with the Sun blinding me, hung as low as it gets all year this time of day, I kept thinking about how nice it is that the days will now extend a little every day for 6 months.  Well, that and the fact that I could get a beer soon.

Pecker Wrecker pump clip

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

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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):

BEER

DT #

Date

Name

Type

Venue

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

WINE

DT #

Date

Name

Type

Venue

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

BOOZE

DT #

Date

Name

Type

Venue

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

 

Chequers Inn, near Godshill, Isle of Wight   Leave a comment

Chequers Inn Godshill IOW sign

Only about 3/4 mile into the G-Had run for today, the Chequers loomed and I felt compelled to enter.  The conversation stopped dead as I ordered a Ramsbury ale (there were four Ramsbury’s on tap), but once I plopped into a plush chair near the cold wood stove the chat resumed.

Chequers and Chillerton run

Run route, 4.3 miles of misery with the exception of this pub stop

I was sweating profusely, again, and my brow felt like it was on fire while the rest of me shook from chills…I guess I was still sick, too sick to attend the wedding everyone kept banging on about.  I was not very impressed, overall, but I was in no condition to judge.

 

Chequers Inn Godshill IOW

The Red Lion, Southampton   6 comments

Red Lion Southampton

Most of you know this scene from Henry V wherein a plot to murder our dear King Harry is uncovered nearly on the eve of the invasion of France and the villains brought swiftly to justice.  Let me quote the words of Exeter, as the Bard would have them:

—I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Richard, Earl of Cambridge.
—I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Henry, Lord Scroop of Masham.
—I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.

When I say justice was swift, think of this…the plot was revealed to our Hal on 31 July, the trial held, and the condemned were beheaded on the 2nd of August (Grey) and 5th of August (the other two). And, today I am drinking a pint of Flack’s Double Drop in the Red Lion in the same room the trial of these would be assassins took place.

Red Lion Southampton 2

Red Lion Southampton 1

I awoke this morning remarkably ill having developed an upper respiratory infection that left me with no equilibrium, nausea, a raging fever and a headache just this side of a migraine. A handful of codeine before the train journey (too late to back out of the trip now) helped me suffer the walk to the pub and I took a few pictures along the route which included the Bargate outside of which the executions took place.  Here is the city-side of the gate:

Bargate inside Southampton

and the Quay-side:

Bargate outside Southampton

Originally, while I was scouting a route from the train to the Town Quay, I spotted the pub on Google maps and thought it looked like a better than average (albeit touristy) mock Tudor house only to find that it isn’t mock at all.

The publican was a real gent, serving me even though I was early and made him repeat everything he said because my ears were still suffering as my sinuses slowly equilibrated.  The music was a mix of the Ramones and Sly and the Family Stone and very suitable to my state of mind.

But, soon enough the tourism side trip was over and I had to head off to my boat.  Once more unto the breach, I reckon.

DT #276, 3 October 2014 (Simo Crianza (Rioja))   Leave a comment

Simo Crianza (Rioja)

 

Someone tell the Brits
It’s not fucking re-OAK-ah.
I blame cheap airfare.

Name: Simo Crianza (Rioja)
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: Where the fuck do they get ‘ree-OHHH-carh’ from Rioja (the Spanish wine)?  Probably the same place deep up their asses (‘arses’) that they dug out toe-MAHR-toe from the New World fruit pronounced (otherwise universally) as ‘toe-MAY-toe.’   Oh, well, the tomato sauce I made for the pasta went well with it.

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

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Posted 2014/10/03 by Drunken Bunny in Daily Haiku, Daily Tipple, food, wine

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DT #264, 21 September 2014 (Topaz IPA)   1 comment

Topaz IPA Carter's Rest

 

Beautiful Sunday
With a wee run and a beer
And Asian pulled pork.

Name: Topaz IPA

Topaz IPA pump clip Carter's Rest
Type: IPA
Venue: Carter’s Rest, Wroughton.

Alfred Williams monument Ridgeway

Review/notes: Great little run today (19.67 miles).  Hit a hash in Chiseldon and then headed toward the Ogbournes before turning up the Ridgeway where I spotted a weird memorial to Alfred Williams (a workingman poet) isolated on a hill.  Thinking I had run farther I stopped at the Carter’s Rest which, as usual, had a challenging roster of beers and ciders to choose from.  The Topaz was like the thinner in shoe polish which is to say: quite good.

Alfred Williams monument Ridgeway detail

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

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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