Category Archives: Travel

Tilbage i Japan

I slutningen af 2017 tog vi på en lang og speciel ferie.
Hoveddestinationen var Australien, hvor vi for lang tid siden planlagde at tage ned sammen med Hans før han senere i 2018 ville bruge et år mellem IB og Universitetet på at rejse rundt. Nu bragte vi i stedet ½ af Hans’ aske med os for at sprede det over havet udenfor Queensland. Vi havde planlagt at være langt væk hjemmefra over julen og nytår og dermed også de smertefulde 1-års dage.
På vej til og fra Australien ville vi besøge gamle (kendte) og nye (ukendte) steder, og vi begyndte ferien med at tage til Tokyo for vi havde boet i midt 90’erne,

Vi fløj med SAS fra København og ankom efter en still og rolig 11 timers tur Fredag den 15/12/17 i Narita, Tokyo’s lufthavn. Immigration og told gik uden besvær; man skal ikke bruge visa for korte ophold i Japan, men man kan nøjes med at udfylde et landings kort.

Efter tolden stilede vi mod Narita Express/NEX skranke for at købe togbilletter til Tokyo, eller mere præcis Shinjuku hvor vores hotel lå. Som altid gik toget til tiden og efter en time og 20 minutters tur ankom vi til den meget travle Shinjuku tog station. 

Vi boede på Hyatt Regency, og de havde en bus-service, der kørte mellem Shinjuku og hotellet 3 gange i timen. Shinjuku station er meget meget stor, og vi brugte ikke meget tid på at finde bussen før vi bare besluttede os at gå de 25 minutter det tog at komme til hotellet. En meget pålidelig hotelmedarbejder havde vagt 20 timer om dagen, 7 dage om ugen. jeg går ud fra at medarbejderen skulle oplades de andre 4 timer. Her kunne man stille spørgsmål om hotellets tilbud eller om Tokyos generelle turist attraktioner. De lidt mere menneskelige medarbejdere var alle meget service minded og virkede som om deres ene mål var at gøre gæsternes ophold så godt som muligt.
Hotellet var udsmykket til jul, Japanere omfavner gerne udenlandske fester og traditioner. Julen bliver fejret stort og også Halloween er begyndt at fylde.
Planen for vores 5 dage i Japan var at prøve så mange af vores yndlings japanske køkkener som muligt og så at mødes med gamle venner og kollegaer.

Lørdag morgen tog vi til vores gamle nabolag for at gense “vores” hus, det lokale tempel og vores yndlings restauranter i området. 21 år er lang tid, og vores fantastiske lokale yakitori var desværre lukket, ligesom den pizza restaurant der over de tre år godt nok fik leveret mange pizzaer til familien. Nakameguro hovedgade lignte sig selv og vi gik ind i flere af de gamle forretninger ud af hvilke et par stykker blev kørt af de samme mennesker som for 21 år siden. Vi genkendte dem, men jeg tror ikke de genkendte os 🙂
Nakameguro tog-station var til gengæld blevet moderniseret og så flot ud i forhold til den lidt slidte og trætte staion vi kunne huske.
Fra Nakameguro tog vi til Akihabara – den elektriske by. I gamle dage kunne man købe elektronik og foto udstyr meget billigere end andre steder, og i sidegaderne kunne man finde spændende og nye hjemmelavede dingenoter og dimsedutter. Desværre synes jeg priserne på kamera udstyr var sammenlignelige med dem derhjemme, og der manglede lidt cowboy og sjov og ballade i sidegade boderne.
Nogle forretninger havde ikke ændret sig. Bagerne solgte for eksempel stadig poser med mellem 3 og 10 skiver brød. Det er et fint koncept at kunne købe hvad man har behov for – ikke mere og ikke mindre. 

Vi besluttede os for at spise sushi om aftenen i hotellets egen restaurant, Omborato. Vi lagde ud med en Japansk gin og tonic i hotellets bar. Måltiddet var virkelig godt, men man betaler for ikke at ville forlade hotellet. Det er klart muligt at få lige så god og meget billigere sushi ude i byen.

Søndag den 17/12 var vores 34 års bryllupsdag. Om morgenen  tog vi turen til Meiji Shrine, et sted vi ofte besøgte medens vi boede her.  Munkene der holdt til her stod historisk for ar fremstille sake, som typisk blev leveret i 25 liter junger. Jeg har faktisk en sådan junge derhjemme – jeg fik den i afskedgave fra min afdeling. Den er forseglet i beton, vejer som ind i helvede, og skulle efter sigende kunne holde “evigt” så længe den er uåbnet. Når den først er åbnet skal den drikkes hurtigt, og da ½ liter sake er pænt meget at drikke på en gang, afventer jeg at have tilstedeværelsen af 50 sake entusiaster før jeg åbner tønden! Ved Japanske/shinto templer og shrines kan man nedskrive ønsker/bønner til guderne og hænge dem op på en slags guddommeligt opslagstavle.
Ved Meiji shrine har de 2 Kamfertræer der er vokset sammen. De kaldes “mand og kone træet” og det synes vi jo var meget passende på vores 34 års bryllupsdag!

 

 

 

 

Den sene frokost blev indtaget på en lille intim restaurant med ris og nudel baseret gryderetter skyllet ned med spændende lokale økologiske øl.

Om aftenen tog vi til vores favorit restaurant i Tokyo, robatayaki restauranten Inakaya, som ligger i fest distriktet Roppongi. Restauranten har to sektioner, en større med to kokke og en mindre betjent af en enkelt kok. Kokkene sider bag maden og gæsterne sidder så rundt om det hele i en rektangel. Mad bliver tilberedt medens man ser på og leveret til ens plads af kokken på en lang paddel. Jeg kan varmt anbefale red snapper, men alle grøntsagerne og svampene er også vidunderlige og bliver tilberedt til perfektion. Temperaturen i Tokyo medens vi var der kom aldrig over 5C så vi følte os fuldt ud berretiget til at bestille varm sake (atsukan) til at drikke sammen med vores øl. På vej tilbage til hotellet kiggede vi op af Roppongi hovedvej hvor Tokyo Tower står stolt – deres egen kopi af Eiffel Tårnet.
Om mandagen skulle vi så på indkøb. Vi skulle ikke have så meget, udover nye lakskåle og spisepinde ville vi bare kigge rundt. Japanske stormagasiner er kæmpestore med et meget varieret udvalg af stort set alt. De har alle vestlige toiletter, som vi kender dem, velholdte og rene hvilket man som turist kan drage fordel af når man er i byen hele dagen. Ikke alle japanere ved hvordan et vestligt toilet fungerer, så man kan til tider støde på sjove skilte.  Til frokost tog vi på en typisk frokost restaurant – det er her de arbejdende fra de omkringliggende kontorer kommer for deres nudler eller ris frokost retter. Sangokuichi er en kæde af sådanne restauranter og maden var præcis så god, hurtig og billig som jeg huskede den. Denne type restauranter har typisk plastik modeller af deres retter udenfor, så man kan se præcis hvad man kan få.

Om aftenen skulle vi mødes med gamle venner og kollegaer. Det var igen en typisk repræsentant for den type restauranter man tager til med kollegaerne efter arbejde før man socialiserer videre på en karaoke bar eller natklub. En af mine tidligere kollegaer havde fundet et sted, der kunne levere på et lidt specielt ønske jeg havde: Jeg ville meget gerne igen prøve bashimi, som er rå hest. Vi fik som gruppe en fast menu, men jeg fik min side bestilling af en portion rå hest, som sagte vidunderligt. Det var virkelig dejligt at gense gamle venner og høre hvordan det var gået de forskellige siden vi skiltes sidst for så mange år siden.

Før vi tog til lufthavnen om tirsdagen skulle vi mødes med en mere kollega, som desværre ikke kunne møde os andre aftenen før. Vi mødtes på en Okonomiyaki restaurant – typisk et aften måltid, men kan selvfølgelig også spises til frokost. Det smagte endnu bedre end vi kunne huske det gjorde. Okonomiyaki kan nemmest beskrives som en krydsning mellem en omelet og en pizza, hvor hoved ingredienserne er kål, mel, æg og fisk. Ordet betyder “som du vil have det” og det bliver tilberedt på varmeplader ved din plads.

Restauranten lå i nærheden af Hotel Gracery, som har en Godzilla på ydermuren. Ude af restauranten på vej mod lufthavnen på vores vej til Australien, kunne vi gennem højtalere høre den brøle et sayonara.

 

Circle Line Pub Crawl Tour 2013

Circle Line Pub Crawl tour

The Planning

We were 5 adventurous guys who wanted to try a pub crawl with a difference. The idea was, that we would take the London Circle Line, getting off at each stop, finding a nearby suitable pub in which to have a beer, before venturing back into the underground system and heading for the next pub and beer. This would happen on the Friday of a long weekend away from our daily duties as husbands, fathers and earners. It would be the centerpiece of a boys away weekend – taking in some football, brewery visits  and other appropriate London based culture as it presented itself, of course.

As for the crawl itself, there are 27 stations on the circling bit of the Circle Line. Starting and finishing at the same station would make it 28 drinks. As beer drinkers and lads, we have the deepest respect for the concept of “The Pint” and obviously considered doing the whole crawl consuming nothing but. However, simulations run using the most modern technology revealed an expected  final blood alcohol level above 3.0 which by most people is deemed to be a bit too much on the high side. Going around on ½-pints, however, would push the alcohol level to somewhere between 1.8 for the larger of us and 2.2 for the smaller guys. It would make us unable to drive (legally at least) but we anticipated that we would still be able to find our way up and down an escalator and onto a train.

Using various web-sites we researched pubs in the vicinity of the Circle Line stations. We were looking to get around the full spectrum of tied and free houses, chains and stand alones etc. etc. Walking distance between station and pub was obviously important, but we would be willing to sacrifice a bit of walking in order to achieve what looked like a better place or even more importantly a better (half) pint.

Having found 27 pubs and using Google maps and other guides’ directions from the stations to the pubs, we also identified 27 backup pubs. You just can’t be too careful!

Based on distance between station and pub, we calculated the time it would take to walk from the station to the pub and back. Based on the frequency of the trains we calculated the average waiting time for a train and TfL (Transport for London) had a guide for train travel times between stations. Adding all that time together and subtracting the total from 12 hours (11:00am to 11:00pm) we then had the total time we could spend in the pubs. It came out a surprisingly low 9 minutes per pub! This could prove to be a little harder than we had thought. We also considered that we would be queuing at the bars around lunch time and again at dinner time, and thus gave ourselves between 5 and 12 minutes per pub.

We had on the internet found pictures of each pub as seen from the outside hopefully helping us identify it as we came out of the station, and all the info was put into a guide with a page for each pub and estimated times for arrival and departures. Ensuring each member of our crawling team had a copy of the plan and with a few contingency ground rules, we anticipated that in case one of us got lost from the flock, he would be able to re-join again further down the route.

As training for the event, we drank ½ pint of water every 25th minute for a 12-hour stretch on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We hoped it would help the stomach expand when it came to the real stuff, but in my case I am not too sure it had any particular effect other than making me piss like a racehorse for 3 days.

Hotels, flights etc. was a breeze to organize in comparison, and come time of departure, we felt as ready, as we would ever be.

London

After work on Thursday the 24th October 2013 we ventured to Copenhagen airport, checked in and met up at the bar. They serve a 75cl Carlsberg draught which we had a couple of – a fitting send of for our adventure, we thought.

Arriving at a relatively cheap and cheerful hotel on Cromwell Road near Earls Court we ventured to a very nice Indian restaurant, “Karma”, on Blythe Road. We had a few Cobra beers with our curries and arrived back at the hotel for an early night; we knew that we had a long, hard and strenuous day ahead of us!

Friday is crawl day

We woke up to a cloudy but dry day. So we ventured to Earls Court and bought our 1 day travel cards for Zone 1 and 2. At £7.30, they were going to be an absolute bargain compared to the alternative 28 single tickets 🙂

We picked up sandwiches from the local Pret and had them in our freezer bag together with some bottles of water. Dehydration from drinking so much beer should not be ignored.
All set, we took breakfast at a … well … where else but pub near Earls Court. The Prince of Tech.

We had planned to start and finish at the same pub, namely the split-in-two Ship and Shovel pub near Embankment Station. We would do one side of the pub at the start and the other side at the finish.
We were, as planned, outside the pub around 10:45 ready to go as soon as it opened at 11:00 when we noticed that the pub across the street, “The Princess of Wales”, actually seemed to be open. As we were fearing in only 12 hours we wouldn’t have quite enough time to complete the whole crawl, we decided to improvise from the start and go there instead for the first pub. And thus, at 10:51 the crawl began!

The crawl

Stop 1

Station Embankment
We turned left after the ticket barriers leaving the station heading away from the river. Heading straight up Villier Street after leaving the station, Princess of Wales came up on our right. Opposite the Princess of Wales is a shopping arcade. For the back-up AND finishing pub, Ship & Shovel, head down here and keep going you’ll eventually come to the pub in two halves. One half on the left and one on the right.
Arrival at pub 10:51 27 Villiers Street, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 6ND – (Mon-Sat 10:00-00:00)
The Princess of Wales – ***
Brewery/Beer: Nicholson, Nicholson Pale Ale, Time at pub: 9 minutes

Leaving pub 11:00, Blood-Alcohol level 0.19, Walking time to the station: 1 minuteArrival at platform: 11:01,
Waiting for train: 2 minutes, Alternate tube east to Temple: DistrictTrain departing: 11:03, Train Train journey time: 2 minutes
This was a nice pub to begin with and a pale ale was a good beer to get us started. We weren’t really yet into the swing of just getting a move on and thus we took far longer than needed to drink up. Eventually, after 9 minutes, we emptied our glasses and headed out for the station and second stop. One of our tourists came straight from the airport and his flight was late, so we had actually started without him.

Stop 2

Station  Temple
You come out of the tube station with the river to your right and you see a set of steps to your left. Go up those steps, cross the road and keep heading in towards the city up Arundel Street. Take the first right between the office blocks – or around the building site, if they are still building. Twist left on Milford Lane and there it is, Cheshire Cheese, on the right!
Arrival at pub 11:09 5 Little Essex Street, WC2R 3LD – (Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00)
Cheshire Cheese – *****
Brewery/Beer: Tribute –Cornish Pale Ale/St. Austell Brewery, Time at pub: 7 minutes
Leaving pub 11:15, Blood-Alcohol level 0.28, Walking time to the station: 5 minutes
Arrival at platform: , Waiting for train: 1 minute, Alternate tube east to Blackfriars: District
Train departing: 11:21, Train journey time: 2 minutes
We all agreed that if this was not the best pub on the crawl, it was certainly among the top 3. Very interesting deco, great selection of beers and a very friendly landlord. We met up with our late tourist and all 5 of us signed the pub’s guest book before venturing onwards on our journey.

Stop 3

Station  Blackfriars
You should follow the underground sign to The Blackfriar and take the tunnel on the right which runs under the road. You’ll appear out of the station entrance directly in front of the pub. It’s so hard to miss, that if you manage to do so anyways, you should probably treat your guide dog better.
Arrival at pub 11:26 174 Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 4EG – (Mon-Sat 10:00-23:00)
The Blackfriar ***
Brewery/Beer: London Pride (Fullers) and Guiness, Time at pub: 3 minutes
Leaving pub: 11:29, Blood-Alcohol level 0.40, Walking time to the station: 3 minutes
Arrival at platform: 11:32, Waiting for train: 3 minutes
Alternate tube east to Mansion House: District
Train departing: 11:35, Train journey time: 1 minute
A very interesting pub which is far more spacious when you get inside it than the outer appearance eludes to. We were getting into the swing of things – 3 minutes from entering to leaving; we were on a roll now and had already started to build up a nice time buffer in case we ran into trouble later.


Stop 4

Station  Mansion House
Come out of the station entrance. Look down the road to the right and the pubs are in front of you!
Arrival at pub 11:39 28 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2BA – (Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00)
The Hatchet
Brewery/Beer: Green King IPA, Abbott Ale and Fosters lager, Time at pub: 2 minutes
Leaving pub: 11:41, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.45, Walking time to the station: 1 minutes
Arrival at platform: 11:42, Waiting for train: 7 minutes
Alternate tube east to Cannon Street: District, Train departing: 11:49, Train journey time: 1 minute
We had a bit of a disagreement on what to drink here, and thus went our own particular ways. I know for sure, that I did not have the lager knowing that it’s a very bad idea if you want to be able to pour a lot on board.

Stop 5

Station  Cannon Street
Come out of the station entrance. Turn right up Cannon Street and Bush Lane with The Bell appears on the right.
Arrival at pub 11:53 29 Bush Lane, EC4R 0AN – (Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00)
The Bell – ****
Brewery/Beer: Sharps Cornish Coaster, Time at pub: 5 minutes
Leaving pub: 11:58, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.56, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 12:02, Waiting for train: 0 minutes, Alternate tube east to Monument: District
Train departing: 12:02, Train journey time: 1 minute
We were originally looking for The Cannon; a pub which (it seems) has not been seen since it was torn down several years earlier. Where the pub was supposed to be was now a building site for one of London’s new fantastic and weirdly/oddly shaped skyscrapers. The rest of the team seriously began to have their doubt about the quality of my planning, having missed THAT one! However, The Bell was a charming alternate and after the disagreement at the previous pub, we all went for the Cornish Coaster.

Stop 6

Station  Monument
Pop out of the station entrance and turn right down the round. On the left is the monument itself, usually encircled by tourists, and on the right the pub, usually full of them.
Arrival at pub 12:05 18 Fish Street Hill, London EC3R 6DB – (Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00)
Monument (Hogg’s Head) – *
Brewery/Beer: Heineken lager, Time at pub: 7 minutes
Leaving pub: 12:12, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.68, Walking time to the station: 1 minute
Arrival at platform: 12:13, Waiting for train: 2 minutes, Alternate tube east to Tower Hill: District
Train departing: 12:15, Train journey time: 3 minutes
What an absolutely awful pub – a real tourist trap. Next time we’ll try the Britannia on the other side of The Monument. Could be just as bad, really, but can’t see it being any worse. Also, lager again… We learnt a lot during this crawl, and one of the things was, not to get any democratic ideas like taking turns choosing what everyone should drink. If someone doesn’t want to drink ale or bitter, let them, but do not let yourself get tricked into drinking lager.

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Stop 7

Station  Tower Hill
When you get out of the station, look around to get your bearings. Come out to the right of the station and follow the pavement round to the right. The pub is in front of you.
Arrival at pub 12:22 64-73 Minories, EC3N 1JL
The Minories – ***
Brewery/Beer: Wychwood Hobgoblin (Funny name, flashing-light-label but sub-standard beer)
Time at pub: 8 minutesLeaving pub: 12:30, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.74, Walking time to the station: 3 minutes
Arrival at platform: 12:33, Waiting for train: 10 minutes, Train departing: 12:43
Train journey time: 3 minutes

Stop 8

Station  Aldgate
Turn left out of the station. This is Aldgate High Street. The easiest of the three pubs to find is the Still & Star; cross the extremely busy road, and do it at the pedestrian crossing (or you’ll probably die). Look toward the right and ’round’ the back of the buildings in front of you lies the pub.
Arrival at pub 12:49 1 Little Somerset Street, E1 8AH – (Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00)
Still & Star
Brewery/Beer: Fullers’ Pride and Youngs Lighthouse, Time at pub: 6 minutes
Leaving pub: 12:55, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.84, Walking time to the station: 2 minutes
Arrival at platform: 12:57, Waiting for train: 15 minutes
Alternate tube east to Liverpool Street: Metropolitan
Train departing: 13:12, Train journey time: 4 minutes

Stop 9

Station  Liverpool Street Station
Come out of Liverpool St. Railway Station and into the main square. You’ll be near a McDonalds. You should be able to spot the backup pub Railway Tavern on the corner of a junction and just over the road is the target pub Lord Aberconway.
Arrival at pub 13:18 72 Old Broad Street, The City, EC2M 1QT – (Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00)
Lord Aberconway
Brewery/Beer: Fullers London Pride, Thwaites 13 guns IPA
Time at pub: 6 minutes
Leaving pub: 13:24, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.89, Walking time to the station: 1 minutes
Arrival at platform: 13:25, Waiting for train: 4 minutes
Alternate tube west to Moorgate: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City, Train departing: 13:29, Train journey time: 2 minutes

13 Guns is a highly rated Ameriucan Style IPA – certainly worth trying.

Stop 10

Station  Moorgate
Out of the station and head right. Both “The Globe” and “Keats at the Globe” pubs are on the right hand side.
Arrival at pub 13:35 85 Moorgate, EC2M 6SA – (Mon-Fri 10:00-23:30)
Keats at the Globe
Brewery/Beer: Nicholsons Pale Ale, Time at pub: 14 minutes
Leaving pub: 13:49, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.96, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 13:53, Waiting for train: 0 minutes
Alternate tube northwest to Barbican: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City, Train departing: 13:53, Train journey time: 1 minute

Keats at the Globe can be viewed as being the “Bar Area” of “The Globe”, which then itself is the “Public Area”.

Stop 11

Station  Barbican
To get to “The Shakespeare” head left out of the underground entrance. Follow the main road down. You’ll shortly see the pub on the right hand side.
Arrival at pub 13:58 2 Goswell Road, EC1M 7AA – (Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00)
The Shakespeare
Brewery/Beer: Sharps’ Doom Bar, Time at pub: 8 minutes
Leaving pub: 14:06, Blood-Alcohol level: 0.99, Walking time to the station: 3 minutes
Arrival at platform: 14:09, Waiting for train: 1 minute
Alternate tubes northwest to Farringdon: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City
Train departing: 14:10, Train journey time: 1 minute

Stop 12

Station  Farringdon
Come out of the station entrance. Look left and head that way. At the first junction facing you is “The Castle“.
Arrival at pub 14:13 34-35 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6DB – (Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00, Fri 12:00-01:00)
The Castle
Brewery/Beer: Andwells’ Krystalweiss & Fullers London Pride, Time at pub: 6 minutes
Leaving pub: 14:19, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.10, Walking time to the station: 1 minute
Arrival at platform: 14:20, Waiting for train: 4 minutes
Alternate tubes northwest to Kings Cross: Hammersmith & City + Metropolitan
Train departing: 14:24, Train journey time: 4 minutes


Stop 13

Station  Kings Cross
It’s possible to pop up anywhere in this area and find a pub. We had originally put O’Neils on the schedule. O’Neills pubs are found everywhere, and we had included it, as a sample of a chain driven down-market pub. Location of O’Neils is on the main Euston Road junction with Judd St. opposite St. Pancras Station. However, we chickened out and didn’t want to go, so feeling adventurous we carried on a bit down Caledonian Road where we found The Flying Scotsman on our right.
Arrival at pub 14:39 2-4 Caledonian Road, N1 9DT – (Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00)
Flying Scotschman M
Brewery/Beer: 1664 Kronenberg, Time at pub: 11 minutes
Leaving pub: 14:50, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.15, Walking time to the station: 10 minutes
Arrival at platform: 15:00, Waiting for train: 10 minutes
Alternate tube west to Euston Square: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City
Train departing: 15:10 Train journey time: 2 minutes
Little did we know (honest guv) that it is a strip bar. We were unprepared for the stark naked girl on stage wringing around to a seemingly different beat from what was playing rather loudly from some cheap speakers. One of us –obviously a tragically deprived individual- suggested abandoning the crawl all together and set up camp here.

The majority opinion of getting out fast won the day, however. Like Sir Gallagher and the other Monty Pythons knights we were on a mission. Not for something as boring as a stripper or for that matter a holy grail. No no no!! We were on a mission for beer!

Stop 14

Station  Euston Square
Be sure to take the exit on the north side of Euston Road by turning right after coming through the ticket barriers. Turn right out of the station, and right again into North Gower Street. After 100 yards you will find the Crown & Anchor on the right.
Arrival at pub 15:19 137 Drummond Street, NW1 2HL – (Mon-Sat 10:00-00:00)
The Crown (& Anchor)
Brewery/Beer: Hobgoblin & Doom Bar, Time at pub: 30 minutes


Leaving pub: 15:49, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.23, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 15:53, Waiting for train: 2 minutes
Alternate tube west to Great Portland Street: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City
Train departing: 15:55, Train journey time: 1 minute

We were at this stage almost an hour ahead of the original schedule, so we decided to sit down and relax and enjoy the pub. The Crown and  Anchor is a very nice pub.
   
Half way through the tour, it was very nice to rest our feet and catch our breaths.

Stop 15

Station  Great Portland Street
Turn right at the top of the stairs to pass through the barrier. As you leave the station, the Green Man is directly opposite.
Arrival at pub 13:59 383 Euston Road, NW1 3AU – (Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00)
The Green Man
Brewery/Beer: Windsor & Eaton Canberra, Time at pub: 11 minutesLeaving pub: 16:10, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.26, Walking time to the station: 1 minutes
Arrival at platform: 16:11, Waiting for train: 3 minutes
Alternate tube west to Baker Street: Metropolitan + Hammersmith & City, Train departing: 16:14, Train journey time: 3 minutes
   

Another pub sporting the Halloween topical Hobgoblin, but this time we declined and went for a rich chestnut coloured beer from Windsor & Eaton brewery. Nice full bodied with rounded and rich flavours that stays pleasantly with you.

Stop 16

Station  Baker Street
Take the main exit from the station, onto the loading road at the front. The Globe pub can be seen directly across the road.
Arrival at pub 16:22 43 to 47 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 5JY – (Mon-Sat 10:00-23:00)
Globe
Brewery/Beer: Nelsson Brewery: Vengeance, Time at pub: 9 minutes


Leaving pub: 16:31, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.29, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 16:35, Waiting for train: 4 minutes
Alternate tube west to Edgware Road: Hammersmith & City
Train departing: 16:39, Train journey time: 2 minutes

The Globe along quite a few of the other pubs were all made up for Halloween. Once bitten, we continued to stay clear of the Hobgoblin and instead went for Vengeance, a 4.8% blonde. Maybe just a little sharp for my taste, but certainly drinkable.

Stop 17

Station  Edgware Road
Turn left out of the station and follow Chapel Street for around 150 yards. The Chapel is on the right at the far end, at the junction with Old Marylebone Road.
Arrival at pub 16:45 48 Chapel Street, NW1 5DP – (Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00)
The Chapel
Brewery/Beer: Peroni, Time at pub: 11 minutes


Leaving pub: 16:56, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.28, Walking time to the station: minutes
Arrival at platform: 16:59, Waiting for train: 3 minutes
Alternate tube west to Paddington: District Line + Hammersmith & City, Train departing: 17:01 Train journey time: 4 minutes

Peroni lager. OK, pleasant enough, but again not the right beer for a 28 shot pub-crawl. Anyhow, let the Italian do Amarone, Barberesco and Barolo and let the British take care of the beer. Please.
              

Stop 18

Station  Paddington
Come out of the station on the south exit of Praed Street. Head to the right and turn down London Street. The pub is on the left on the corner of London Mews and London street.
Arrival at pub 17:10 25 London Street, W2 1HH – (Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00)
Dickens Tavern
Brewery/Beer: Thwaites Lancaster Bombers, Time at pub: 8 minutes
Leaving pub: 17:18, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.30, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 17:22, Waiting for train: 1 minutes
Alternate tube south to Bayswater: District Line
Train departing: 17:23, Train journey time: 2 minutes
Thwaites Lancaster Bomber, for all of its pompous and bombastic name, is the kind of beer I really like. I have to admit, I can’t remember whether this is the case, but I venture a guess, that it was my turn to decide what we should be drinking at this pub!

Stop 19

Station  Bayswater
Turning left out of the station, walking about 30 yards down Queensway we reached Moscow Road on the left, and Bayswater Arms on the near corner.
Arrival at pub 17:27 Bayswater, W2 4QH – (Mon-Thu 09:00-23:30, Fri-Sat 00:00)
Bayswater Arms (Rat & Parrot)
Brewery/Beer: Hobgoblin, Guiness, London Pride, Time at pub: 19 minutes


Leaving pub: 17:46, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.34, Walking time to the station: 1 minutes
Arrival at platform: 17:47, Waiting for train: 2 minutes
Alternate tube south to Notting Hill Gate: District Line
Train departing: 17:49, Train journey time: 1 minute

A round of free choice. We had a tourist getting caught up in the Halloween spirit and coming back for another Hobgoblin. Then there were the Guiness drinkers. Anywhere and anytime. In opposition and against the odds, I had Pride.  Always have pride…


Unfortunately, we lost one of our tourist after Bayswater. He became a little too tired and emotional and felt an urgent need to rest his weary legs back at the hotel. We were down to four for the rest of the crawl.

Stop 20

Station  Nottinghill Gate
Coming out of the station we went a little east on Notting Hill Gate (A402) and around the corner to the right on Kensington Church Street (A4204). The pub is across the road on your right.
Arrival at pub 17:55 206 Kensington Church St, London W8 4DP – (Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00)
The Old Swan
Brewery/Beer: Cottage Brewery Trick & Treat, Time at pub: 18 minutes
Leaving pub: 18:13, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.50, Walking time to the station: 37 minutes
Arrival at platform: , Waiting for train: minutes
Alternate tube south to High Street Kensington: District
Train departing: 18:53, Train journey time: 1 minute
We have now each had 10 pints of beer over a 7 hour period of time. We felt fine, but on the way back to the station we also felt in serious need for salty food and a Kentucky Fried Chicken place seemed perfect to fit the bill. On a tight schedule we quickly scuffed down the food and got up and onwards on our quest. Well, 2 of us did. We didn’t notice that the other 2 were waiting behind – for what, I have no clue. We discovered that we were two men down as we went through the ticket barriers. The ensuing SMS conversation, went as follows:
Me: Where the hell are you? We are through the ticket barriers at Notting Hill Gate!
Slacker: At KFC.
Me: Why. The. Fuck?!
Slacker: <No answer>
After a few minutes our happy group was again complete and ready for the next challenge.

Stop 21

Station  High Street Kensington
Out of the station, we passed straight ahead through the arcade to reach the High Street, then turned right. After 150 yards, at the traffic lights, we crossed the road into Kensington Church Street, where we almost immediately saw the Prince of Wales on the right.
Arrival at pub 18:59 8 Kensington Church Street, W8 4EP – (Mon-Sat 11:00-12:00)
Prince of Wales
Brewery/Beer: Sole Bay Brewery’s Explorer, Time at pub: 11 minutes
Leaving pub: 19:10, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.53, Walking time to the station: 5 minutes
Arrival at platform: 19:15, Waiting for train: 1 minute
Train departing: 19:16, Train journey time: 26 minutes
It was a nice pub with a different beer. An American style blonde ale at 4.3%. Blondes are not exactly my favorites… eh… if we’re talking beers, that is, but this was actually really nice Coming out of the pub we definitely had the feeling of being on the home stretch and in no doubt we would make it. We were making good time, had no problem finishing the drinks and didn’t feel particularly influenced by the alcohol intake. It can therefore only be put down to poor signage on behalf of TfL that we managed to get on the train in the wrong direction! Back to Notting Hill Gate we went, off and onto different platform so we could pass first High Street Kensington again and then get to next stop, Gloucester Road. This was the second significant hiccough we encountered (“The Cannon” being the first), this time not with the planning, but with the execution.

Stop 22

Station  Gloucester Road
We came straight out of the station entrance and headed off to the right. The pub was in front of us just across the road.
Arrival at pub 19:45 97 Gloucester Road, SW7 4SS – (Mon-Wed 09:00-23:30, Thu-Sat 09:00-00:00)
Stanhope Arms
Brewery/Beer: Fullers’ London Pride, Time at pub: 7 minutes


Leaving pub: 19:53, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.56, Walking time to the station: 2 minutes
Arrival at platform: 19:54, Waiting for train: 1 minute
Alternate tube east to South Kensington: District + Picadilly
Train departing: 19:55, Train journey time: 1 minute

It had been over ½ an hour since we had been in a pub, and we had been on a long journey. We also needed to recoup some pride from having gone the wrong way, so the beer choice was really given, right?

Stop 23

Station  South Kensington
At the top of the stairs, we turned left to reach the street. Across the street we went, aiming slightly to the right to the central island, then cross again to the right so as to be able to walk down the right hand side of Old Brompton Road. Carrying on, crossing Glendower Place, for around 100 yards. The Zetland Arms is found on the near corner at the junction with Bute Street.
Arrival at pub 20:01 2 Bute Street, SW7 3EX (Mon-Sat 11:00-00:00)
Zetland Arms
Brewery/Beer: Portobello Star (Too bitter) and Green King IPA, Time at pub: 11 minutes
Leaving pub: 20:12, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.61, Walking time to the station: 3 minutes
Arrival at platform: 20:15, Waiting for train: 3 minutes
Alternate tube east to Sloane Square: District
Train departing: 20:18, Train journey time: 2 minutes
We split up our choices and two of us decided to try the Portobello Star which we in the end agreed was too bitter. The other half of the group went for Green King IPA which was a safe choice made several times along the crawl.

Stop 24

Station  Sloane Square
First of all, the pub we had lined up was supposed to be on Sloane Square but neither it nor the back-up pub were in existence any longer. Next day we located the Queens Head.
Arrival at pub 20:27 25 Tryon St. SW3 3LG
Queens Head
Time at pub: 7 minutesLeaving pub: 20:34, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.65, Walking time to the station: 6 minutes
Arrival at platform: 20:40, Waiting for train: 1 minute, Alternate tube east to Victoria: District
Train departing: 20:41, Train journey time: 2 minutes
Around Sloane Square there are now only wine-bars and cafés. We originally went to the counter of a wine-bar but is was truly so ghastly we left before ordering, in order to locate a proper pub. Failing to do this, we returned to the original wine-bar so we could at least fulfil our ½ pint obligation but this time we were refused entry because one of us had volunteered the information, that we were doing a Circle Line Pub Crawl and they didn’t want “that sort of clientele”. Right… I have later been informed that there are two pubs around the back of the station which we will try next time we do the crawl: The Fox and Hounds on 29 Passmore Street and Duke Of Wellington on 63 Eaton Terrace. For completion, we went around the next day to look for a pub and after some searching found the Queens Head. We went in and had lunch and a few pints. On my return I was informed that Queens Head was known to be a “gay pub” and some reviews I have found mention that straight customers were not treated as being welcome. I got the impression the pub has moved away from being very gay-specific, and we had a very pleasant lunch there.

Stop 25

Station  Victoria
Follow the signs for the mainline station as you leave the underground ticket hall. As you reach the main station concourse you should go round to the right of W H Smith and then up the small escalator. At the top you will find Wetherspoon’s
Arrival at pub 20:48 Concourse on Victoria Station
Weatherspoons
Brewery/Beer: Pumpkin Ale, Time at pub: 17 minutes
Leaving pub: 21:05, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.71, Walking time to the station: 5 minutes
Arrival at platform: 21:10, Waiting for train: 0 minutes
Alternate tube east to St. James Park: District
Train departing: 21:10, Train journey time: 2 minutes
Weatherspoon. I mean… enuff said, right? Had to be the worse “pub” on the crawl, right? Well, let’s get the facts straight. Yes, it has no pub atmosphere, it’s literally placed on the concourse of one of the busiest stations and the tables and chairs are more or less made of plastic. However, after the Sloane Square experience, it was at least not pretentiously trying to cater for a finer crowd. The pumpkin ale was fine, and we had a full pint of it to make up for Sloane Square. At this stage, I was getting into difficulties. With a blood/alcohol level of 1.71 I was of course feeling the effect, but that was not the main issue. I was running out of room to put the beer. I could take the glass to my mouth, open the mouth, but my body was telling me, there was nowhere to put the beer. I have to take the blame for the 17 minutes spent – that’s how long time it took to the get the pint down. I absolutely blame the lager I was tricked into having at earlier stops.

Stop 26

Station  St. James’ Park
Exit the station towards north to get on Broadway. Pub is across the road to the right of the mini roundabout.
Arrival at pub 21:15 66 Broadway, Westminster, SW1H 0DB – (Mon-Fri 11:00-23:00)
The Old Star
Brewery/Beer: Abbot Ale, Green King IPA, Time at pub: 11 minutes


Leaving pub: 21:26, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.78, Walking time to the station: 2 minutes
Arrival at platform: 21:28, Waiting for train: 4 minutes
Train departing: 21:32, Train journey time: 2 minutes

Abbot ale is a malted barley beer. Being back to ½ pints from the full pint at Weatherspoons on the previous stop was psychological a good thing. I was still struggling but it seemed less of a whole elephant to be consumed. I can’t remember if it was one or two who just wanted to finish and rather than experiment with some unknown brew, they went for the safe haven of an IPA.

Stop 27

Station  Westminster
After the ticket barriers, do not go directly to the street but head to the far right corner of the ticket hall, which should be signposted as an exit for Parliament Street/Whitehall. Go up the first stairs on the right and continue straight on up Parliament Street. The Red Lion is on the right after about 100 yards, on the corner with Derby Gate.
Arrival at pub 21:40 48 Parliament Square, SW1A 2NH – (Mon-Sat 10:00-23:00)
The Red Lion
Brewery/Beer: Fullers’ ESB, Time at pub: 15 minutes
Leaving pub: 21:55, Blood-Alcohol level: 1.85, Walking time to the station: 5minutes
Arrival at platform: 22:00, Waiting for train: 1 minutes, Alternate tube east to Embankment: District
Train departing: 22:01, Train journey time: 2 minutes
Even though it was only the penultimate stop, as we were getting back to the starting point, The Red Lion had a distinct feeling of finishing line over it. Another good pub with Fullers’ beers and we felt cocky enough to celebrate with the ESB. The Extra Strong Brew or Pride on steroids if you wish. Very nice at 5.9%. We knew for certain at this stage we would make it and we had plenty of times to spare. So we sat down, enjoyed the beer and completed some of the notes we had made along the way.


Stop 28

Station  Embankment
Turn left after the ticket barriers to leave the station heading away from the river. Head straight up Villier Street after leaving the station. Opposite the Princess of Wales is a shopping arcade. Head down here and keep going you’ll eventually come to the pub in two halves. One half on the left and one on the right.
Arrival at pub 22:07 1-3 Craven Passage, WC2N 5PH – (Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00)
Ship & Shovel
Brewery/Beer: Hall & Woodhouse Tanglefoot, Time at pub: 28 minutes
Leaving pub: 22:35, Blood-Alcohol level: 2.05, Walking time to the station: 4 minutes
Arrival at platform: 22:39, Waiting for train: 2 minutes, Train departing: 22:41
… and we had made it!

It was at this point obviously dark, and we were tired, so the outside pictures of the pub were those taken earlier in the morning as were were waiting for the pub to open.