14 March 2009

A good walk, good pubs and good companions

An evening out drinking with a friend turned into quite a physically long pub crawl with a few nice surprises along the way.

I wanted to go for a long walk, and my friend agreed, so we decided to start in Richmond in a pub that we had not been to for quite a while (there are not many of these!) and then head in the general direction of Twickenham.

Our first port of call was The Rose of York on the East edge of Richmond nestling under Richmond Hill.

It's bit in the middle of nowhere which is why I don't go there very often. It's also more than a little tired and dated which is another reason why I don't go there very often.

It's main redeeming feature is that it is one of the few Samuel Smiths pubs in London and so it does Old Brewery Bitter.

From there it was a reasonable stretch along the river, over Richmond Bridge and along the main road to Twickenham to get to the next pub, The Crown in St Margarets.

As the picture shows, this has been done up and now looks like a typical modern gastro pub, but all the times that I have been there it has just been a pub with little or no evidence of the gastro bit.

There was a DJ playing loud dance music to attract the Friday night punters. It was rather too loud to enable comfortable chatting but it was also a good mix so that did not matter too much.

They had two beers from the local Twickenham brewery available, Original and Sundancer, both of which are excellent. I chose the Original.

On to the heart of Twickenham. We chose The George because of the tempting promise of the three bouncers in hi-vi jackets standing outside.

Inside it lived up to its promise and was cavernous and soulless and clearly catered for the less discerning punter.

The only real beer on offer was Sharp's Doombar and while that is normally quite drinkable the one I had was almost unpleasant, just like the pub.

Our plan was to top up our wallets at a bank but somebody else had the same idea and the town centre was crawling with police and the Nationwide was cordoned off.

Having reached our target, Twickenham, we moved just a little along the road to our next port of call, what turned out to be The Three Kings (I had to go back outside at one point to check).

This looks more like a traditional pup inside and out and it provides traditional entertainment, like karaoke!

The welcome was warm and friendly and the beer, another Twickenham Original, was welcome too.

The karaoke was pretty awful and was made even worse when I was forced to join in to a group rendition of Delilah - I was, of course, thinking of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band version, not the awful Engelbert Humperdinck one.

The final pub of the even was The Red Lion, just a little further along Heath Road.

This is also the host for Filthy's live music club where Alix Anthony was delivering an eclectic mix of guitar music that included Jimi Henrix's Purple Haze and Hot Chocolate's You sexy Thing!

We ended the evening as we started, with some Yorkshire beer, and here we had the rather delightful Black Sheep Ale.

That was the last pub and the last drinking of the evening but there were two more little incidents that helped add a little sparkle to the evening. As we waited for a bus to Richmond a young lad asked for guidance on getting back to Crystal Palace (!) and I was able to take him to the appropriate stop in Richmond for his next leg on to Hammersmith. And on the 65 bus home I had a short but interesting chat with a Polish student who is studying photography at Kingston University.

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