Last Wednesday evening I was in London for a beer-related event (more about that in a later post). The function took place at a pub in Ladbroke Grove; a part of London which is not particularly easy to reach for those of us arriving in the capital by train, from Kent.
After enduring 45 minutes on the Underground, from Waterloo East, I was determined my homeward journey would be both easier, and more pleasant. Fortunately some forward research had revealed a bus option, and furthermore whilst walking up from Ladbroke Grove tube station, to the pub in question, I noticed a bus stop just two minutes away.
I took advantage of this on my way home, and after leaving the pub just after 10pm, I only had a few minutes to wait before a number 23 bus came along, going all the way to Liverpool Street, via Paddington and Charing Cross. I of course, jumped on. Now I don’t know about you, but there is something about travelling by bus which beats being squeezed into an underground train, dozens of feet below the city. A bus allows you to see where you are going, and to take note of the constantly changing surroundings as the journey progresses.
As the time was well past rush-hour, the traffic was light and I enjoyed my journey through the relatively quiet central London streets. As the bus turned down Haymarket and towards Trafalgar Square, I realised there was sufficient time to jump off for a quick pint of Sam’s in the Chandos. I mentioned this imposing pub in my recent post about Samuel Smith's, alluding to its closeness to Charing Cross station; the central London terminus for trains to and from my part of Kent. I was feeling thirsty; due more to the food I’d eaten than the beer I drunk earlier, so the prospect of a nice cool, refreshing pint of Old Brewery Bitter was really appealing.
I walked across the more or less deserted Trafalgar Square; something I haven’t done in ages. The fountains were shut off for the night, or possibly for winter, and apart from a couple of smooching young lovers, and some dare-devil BMX riders, I had the lions and Nelson all to myself.
The Chandos too was winding down, but there was still a half hour before my train was due to depart. I walked up to the bar and ordered a pint of Old Brewery Bitter, marvelling as the creamy looking, post-pull beer cleared in the glass. £3.10 a pint was a little more than my last visit, but still a bargain for central London. I made my way to the far end of the pub and sat at one of the strategically placed, high “posing tables” taking in the view back along the pub, whilst making short work of my pint.
The beer was excellent (NBBS 3.5), and I was really glad I’d taken the decision to call in. I caught my intended train and settled down for the journey back to Kent. I wasn’t quite so glad the following morning about stopping off for that final pint, but I am pleased to report both the Chandos and the Old Brewery Bitter were as good as ever!