Friday, 22 May 2009

See the little goblin

Due to some appalling drunken behaviour on my part on New Year's Eve I'd given up drinking. My intention was to give up forever, but failing that for as long as possible. As it happens I lasted three months and then, at the beginning of April I was in the pub, surrounded by old friends, on my birthday and I just thought, "This is ridiculous" and had a few drinks. Nevertheless, I think New Year's Eve was a watershed and I can't see myself drinking like that ever again.

Anyway, yesterday I met up with an old school friend for a drink. Drinking in London, while on one hand (due to the vast number and variety of bars and pubs) is an absolute pleasure, but on the other it does present problems. The sheer size of the place means that you can't just pop into a pub on the off chance and expect to find your friends in there - everything has to be planned with military precision. And again the size of the place usually means that everyone lives miles from each other and so evenings tend to end earlier just so that people can get home. I've always had a morbid fear of the dreaded nightbus and as a result only ever caught it once. Funnily enough that occasion was one on which I had by chance bumped into someone I'd known at college. I hadn't seen him for about ten years and we were only really friends of friends but one thing led to another and we had a fairly mental night. I've caught the last train out of Waterloo loads of times and there's normally a really good atmosphere - too many people (or witnesses if you like) for there to be any real trouble. The nightbus in comparison was, I thought, strangely muted, but on reflection it made sense - everyone on it was absolutely hammered.

And now, my top five London pubs:

The Cittie of Yorke
Sam Smiths so dead cheap and, like its spelling, a bit medieval looking. Great little booths to sit in.

The Lamb, Lambs Conduit St
Where I was headed last night and where I seem to have most of my central non-work related drinks. Just very cosy.

The White Cross, Richmond
It's always nice to be able to see a river from the window. Added bonus: when the tide's in you are legitimately marooned in this pub.

The Intrepid Fox
I'm not now nor have I ever been a rocker but this pub (when it was on Wardour St) was an early refuge. Perhaps what appealed to me was that it was a Soho pub but terminally unhip. Oh, and it had pool tables.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet St
I like pubs to be dimly lit and this is the darkest most subterranean place I've ever drunk in. Samuel Johnson used to drink in here apparently.

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