Sunday, 11 December 2011

Research trip to North London

We were in North London for more research on Saturday. But first we had to go to Covent Garden to check out a gear shop, and whilst we were there it was a good opportunity to have some refreshment at The Harp.

Despite the fact this is CAMRA pub of the year we've never been before so I was looking forward to this one. The pub's small and it was packed but eventually we manoeuvred ourselves into seats. As you would expect there was a good beer range and I started on Draft No. 5 from Marble Brewery. Like everything else I've had from Marble it tasted like concentrated hop juice, which I'm not totally averse to but I soon turned to the dark side with a Dark Star Original.

Then it was on to Kentish Town. Normally the lovely Lisa is chief pub crawl researcher but I was involved in planning this one. London Heritage Pubs had to be cross referenced with London Pub Walks and the Good Beer Guide. Then there was the checking on and using google map to do searches for places to eat. It was lot more work than I thought so I may have to leave it to Lisa in future.

Our first stop was The Southampton Arms, another packed pub with another fine selection of ales. It was definitely dark delights again for us and we had plenty to choose from. Our favourites were Bristol Beer Factories' Milk Stout and Redemption Fellowship Porter.

Next we wandered on to The Bull and Gate. This was a nice looking pub but it was suspiciously empty. The beer had a limited selection and tasted sour so we didn't stay for long.

Then we went for some food at The Guanabana, a Caribbean restaurant that the lovely Lisa's careful cross referencing had found. It didn't have a booze licence so Oreo milkshake was the drink choice for those that chose to drink with their food. I didn't bother with such distractions from shoveling food down my throat. The food was great and hopefully we'll be back before too long.

After that we wandered on for some more refreshment and stopped at The Assembly House. This is a big historic pub that would have been higher on our list had it not been Greene King beers. It was a bit of a barn but I quite liked the pub, and the well kept Old Speckled Hen washed me dinner down well. As it was getting late we headed home after that and didn't even stop for a swifty once we'd got back to Woking.


  1. a Google search for The Old Ship pub in Hammersmith led me your way. I'm a beer drinker and sampler of all kinds, and will browse more of your posts, but I have a different sort of comment than your usual.

    Do you know if The Old Ship pub was up and running in Hammersmith during WW2? My dad served w Canadian navy, had relatives near the pub, and stopped in more than once w his Uncle Wally Fenner. One day I'll do a tour of his favourite pubs and training sites and aim toward Old Ship Hammersmith if it has some history - and good IPAs and Porters. Cheers, GH

  2. The people you want to ask that question are the Brewery History Society: I'm sure they'll be able to answer it, though you may have to wait til it's gone in their newsletter.