Day 2 cntd (25th Oct 2008)
The Mill Hill (Acton Town) ½ Guinness, ½ Red Stripe £2.75
Not only was this pub another long walk from the station, but it was UPHILL. Very tough conditions. But in the name of our mission, we battled on, putting one foot after the other using the familiar left-right combination, in a gallant bid to find our next destination. Interesting little pub, The Mill Hill, or at least we thought it was little, until we noticed that it opened out considerably at the back, down a little corridor past the loos.
It seemed somehow slightly “chainey” as a pub, but got plus points from me for having Red Stripe on tap, which tasted great. One telly in the corner was showing QPR vs Reading, scrapping their way to a typical 0-0 bore draw. I guess it’s fair enough putting QPR on though, considering the area of London we were in.
I am happy to say, that at this point we finally felt free from the presence of low-altitude aircraft. Although maybe that’s only because it was getting dark and we couldn’t see them anymore…
Jono’s (Ealing Common) 2 x bt Corona £5.90
Finally, a pub right opposite the station! You can’t imagine the relief we felt when checking our research and seeing an address that said “Station Parade”. Hope of a rest for our weary feet. And yes, we are aware of how pathetic that sounds!
Jono’s was everything that The Brogue wasn’t – an Irish Pub with genuine charm, atmosphere and even customers! It did
have some slightly twee touches perhaps – there was lots of netting attached to the ceiling, with seashells all tangled up in it; there were rocks glued to the walls; and there framed Gaelic Sports shirts, in and out of frames, all around the room. Somehow, however, Jono’s manages to pull it off without looking like an “Oirish” theme pub. Just about.
There was a decent buzz about the place, and everyone seemed intent on just having a good time, although I’m not sure how feasible this is with some frankly miserable sounding Snow Patrol playing on the stereo.
Very pleasant pub all round (despite, yet again, the lack of proper cask beer). And not a Racing Post in sight.
Chandlers (Ealing Broadway) ½ San Miguel, ½ Broadside £3.20
Oh we’re on a roll now. The second pub in a row in the immediate vicinity of the station, and our feet were definitely feeling the benefit.
Chandlers is a tidy wine bar, which seems to buck the usual wine bar trend by serving a bit of ale as well. Lauren was the barmaid who served us, a local student, and the second person of the day to say nothing more than “Why?” when we explained our marathon to her. We probably need to get better at answering that question. She was also mysteriously camera shy – literally running the full length of the bar to get away from us when we suggested a quick picture. Maybe it was just the prospect of a photo with me that she didn’t like. Or maybe she’s got something to hide……
On the day in question the folk at Chandlers were, like many other pubs we had seen, getting ready for a Saturday night Halloween party (a distinct lack of partygoers in fancy dress so far though). Decorations and cobwebs abounded, but we weren’t sure whether the large ladle behind the bar was going to be used for serving Halloween punch, or for Lauren to rap punters over the head with if they got out of line.
We decided not to find out.
The Greystoke (West Acton) 2 x ½ TT Landlord £2.80
Dear God, why are we doing this? After our last two “over the road” successes, this bad boy was a marathon in itself. The map we had checked seemed to suggest that The Greystoke was literally “just around the corner and then along to the traffic lights” – whereas in reality it was a soul destroying trek through miles and miles of deepest, darkest suburbia, with poor streetlighting and hulking great mock tudor houses set way back from the road. Ok, maybe not quite miles, but it did seem like a very long way – in fact we had to walk past North Ealing tube before we arrived at the pub (which also means that we are definitely coming here again).
The pub itself was fine, if nothing to write home about. Which is a shame, because quite frankly, if you know you’re gonna have to visit a pub twice, you at least want it to be a good one. It’s a big old site, with a sign marking it as part of the John Barras chain. At least it had plenty of different cask beers on, as is usual in this sort of site.
Carla served us our TT Landlord, which was absolutely fine, while the actual Landlord of the pub wandered around in a cardigan which looked older than most of the bar staff.
It had some of the other usual stuff from these chains, such as slightly desperate looking food offers – “two meals for £8 on Monday-Thursday!” – plus it had spectacularly bad carpets. There had been an awful lot of those today.