Sunday 7 February 2010

Pukka pints in Paddington

We managed to track down Fuller's latest take on IPA last night. Heading up to Paddington we went to the excellent Victoria for some Bengal Lancer and very good it was too. The beer was smooth and hoppy with plenty of body.

The second pint tasted even better, but at 5% ABV we were a bit worried we were guzzling too quickly. We had steak and Guinness pies with mash to help soak up the drink. Quite why the pie was made with Guinness when you can buy steak and ale pies made with Fuller's Golden Pride in my local Waitrose I don't understand but there you go. 


After eating it was time to stretch our legs so we wandered on to the Cleveland Arms

This is a run down looking boozer that looks like an old fashioned locals pub, complete with dart board and pool table. We were ordering pints of Harvey's Best when I spotted bottles of White Shield stacked up behind the bar. We've been trying to track this down since reading Pete Brown's Hops and Glory. A couple of bottles to take home were purchased and bag carrying duty passed over to me. Free peanuts were provided in this pub but after a brief conversation about the (admittedly dubious) stories about how many types of urine could be found on pub peanuts we decided to passed on them. Unbeknown to us these peanuts would cause problems later.   

Next stop was the Leinster Arms. This had the look of a chain pub about it, being owned by M&B, but the beer selection was good.

And they had jugs to serve the beer in which got me all excited. 

The lovely Lisa showing off her jugs.

There were some old beer adverts stuck up on the wall which I always find fascinating.

They knew how to name beers in those days.

One of them showed a beer with kola nuts as an ingredient.

I wonder if it tasted anything like Brewdog's Dogma?

A sign in the pub toilet let them down though, being microbiologically incorrect (Legionella is of course a bacterium). I tried not to let such a shocking scientific lapse upset me.

As Pratt's Celebrated Invalid Stout wasn't on sale we had Thornbridge Kipling, a very hoppy beer flavoured with the latest hip hop Nelson sauvin (Cascade is sooo noughties). Good stuff it was too but at 5.2% ABV our alcohol levels were pushed even up further so it was time to move on.

Our next port of call was a Young's pub, the Mitre.

I'm not generally keen on Young's beers but the Winter Warmer was on, an old style Burton ale which goes down very nicely. Lisa was slowing down at this point so only had a half and I decided to get in touch with my feminine side by doing the same. The Mitre's a rambling pub with lots of nooks and crannies where we found a sofa to sit on and delicately sip our halves. 

Posters were up advertising a meal deal with wine, which seems to confirm my suspicion that all the efforts at promoting beer and food pairing have got absolutely nowhere.

Lastly we staggered on back to the Victoria for more Bengal Lancer before heading home. We managed to get a seat in one of their upstairs rooms called the library which looked like somewhere out of a gentleman's club. We'll definitely be back here. 

We felt a bit grotty this morning, despite our modest intake (I mean, sometimes we even drank halves!). As green crisps or dodgy peanuts are the most common cause of feeling bad after a night out on the lash we wracked our brains for where we might have eaten anything we shouldn't have but drew a blank. Then I remembered the bowl of peanuts on our table in the Cleveland Arms. Though we didn't touch them I have no doubt we are now suffering from passive peanuts. I would urge the government and press to do everything they can to publicise these dangers, and surely further measure such as minimum pricing are necessary to protect us from this menace. 


  1. Passive peanuts - as it happens, my daughter (aged 10) has a serious peanut allergy, and only has to hold hands with someone who ate peanuts a couple of hours earlier to start getting puffy-eyed and blotchy - so "passive peanuts" isn't as far fetched as you might think …

  2. So... when's your beer book coming out, Ed? Is this blog a platform to garner some pre-publicity? I am hoping for a mix of anecdote and science, though mostly anecdote, of course.

  3. Zytho: that sounds like a nasty allergy, it seems passive peanuts are a bigger danger than passive drinking.

    Beth: No chance of a beer book, it's enough effort putting stuff on the blog so god knows what proper writing would be like.