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Arthur’s Column

Well here we are then…

This column will henceforth work from Monday to Monday (I usually only get around to writing on Sunday evening quite late).

Pubs covered in this issue:

  • Blackfriar
  • The Albion
  • Punch and Judy
  • The Ship
  • The Roebuck
  • The Anchor Bankside

So there we were yesterday, along with zillions of others, doing the “watch the Oxford Cambridge thing”. Rumour has it that this is the most watched televised sporting event in the world. I guess its brevity contributes to this status! Cambridge won (cost me a few quid…)

The Ship was unbelievably crowded. A great pub on a summer’s day, its position on the bank of the Thames close to Chiswick Bridge (the finish) makes it a dead cert for “where to watch the race from”. There were huge amounts of people, queues a mile long for the toilet, and altogether the makings of a huge party. All this for 2 rowing boats passing by for all of 30 seconds is a bit thick… but that is what it’s all about. Still, have to recommend The Ship as a great pub on any vaguely decent day.

Eventually the crowds got too much for my about-to-have-a-baby wife and we adjourned to quieter surrounds at the top of Richmond Hill outside The Roebuck. Richmond is a rather nice, rather expensive part of London about 6 miles west of the West End. The Roebuck is on the top of a hill where (so I’m told) Mick Jagger and Michelle Pfieffer took up residence at different times (and different places). Richmond Park is close to The Roebuck, and is full of deer, hence the name. A truly stunning park, I would recommend that anyone visiting London for longer than a day or two goes for a walk (or drive) around the park. The pub was originally built in 1749, so I guess it has about 250 years of practice at selling beers to those who want to soak up the sun at the top of Richmond Hill. I should mention that the weather was really warm yesterday, totally out of keeping with the rest of the week…

Monday dawned with that look of “snow’s about”. And so it was. Snow and sleet through most of the morning just made it miserable, none of the romance of a real snowy day, and definitely none of the warmth of a spring day.

Tuesday evening saw me delve into the depths of the Punch and Judy in Covent Garden. There they were filming some sort of rubbish about girls drinking pints (something to do with a new beer called “femme fatale”). Now if you see me on film saying I think girls drinking out of pints is bad, please ignore it. I have no opinion either way over whether girls should drink out of pint glasses, actually I think the entire argument is silly. Just had to stir the film crew up a bit…

Wednesday lunchtime saw a steak in The Albion (Ludgate Circus). Advertising itself as a “Big Steak Pub” it held out promise for a memorable lunch. Alas, it was not to be. A rather mediocre steak in a rather mediocre pub.

The Blackfriar is an altogether different kettle of fish. Now I have to ask… what exactly is a kettle of fish?!?! The Blackfriar has the most amazing decor, and is a really interesting pub for a drink. Situated opposite Blackfriar’s station it usually has a fair crowd drinking outside it on a sunny day. The King Lud also got a look in this week. Really good pub.

Many great advances in the Mall this week. Mark McCormack has written many very interesting books, so its good to see his group the IMG joining the Mall. I personally am working as hard as I can toward the day when I can spend 9 months on a boat running my business from the sea! IMG run a whole bunch of interesting events, and we will be featuring many of them, starting with the Hampton Court Festival.

Well today was the London Marathon. I don’t know who won, but I have an enormous amount of respect for all those who took part, particularly the slower ones who were battling to keep up with the garbage trucks at the back. Running a marathon is no mean feat, and I would be proud to be able to say that I had done so. Well done all who took part! We had a particularly enjoyable time near Tower Bridge thanks to a band playing Blues Brothers tunes. This was followed by a rather enjoyable lunch at The Anchor Bankside between Southwark and London bridges on the south side of the river. There you can sit outside in the sun (when it shines!).

That’s all for this week. Why not send me an email? Always great to get ideas from you readers out there. Next week I will let you know about the London Mall bash. I have been a bit recalcitrant because I am likely to be in hospital with the wife watching her do the old baby thing next week, and I hate to miss a party. Anyway, watch this spot!

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