I feel like every blog I have is about intending on getting up early, only to disappoint myself and everyone associated with me, by letting them know that we slept in again.
We slept in again.
It’s Australia Day though, so thats ok.
We head down for brekky, before heading to get some coffee and bludge some wifi while Bec finds the best places to drink in London.
We head to a coffee shop, and Bec plans our route through an incredibly complex algorithm of apparent pounds per pint, multiplied by distance to each other, divided by time before our dinner date.
Originally created by Isaac Newton, the algorithm is incredibly accurate.
We pack up our gear at the cafe and make our way to the first pub. By this time, it is getting fairly late in the afternoon. I mean, the equation takes ages to compile, so by the time it is done, we are looking at around mid-arvo. Not too shabby, but we really shoulda got up early.
At our selection of pubs, we will be travelling all over London’s suburbs.
We head to our first pub, which coincidentally, is in the iconic Brick Lane. We have had numerous people tell us that Brick Lane is 100% where you should go to experience a quality British day out. There is food, culture and plenty of great eateries. But! That should all happen on a sunday when they lock down the streets so that you can wander around and check out everyone’s goods that they have to offer.
Today is not a sunday.
There are no markets.
But there are always pubs.
We head to our first spot, which is called “The Pride of Spitalfields”. What is the Spitalfields? Its a market, Google just informed me. An old market. Ok… Go ahead and stake that claim. There is probably a reason why that name was free. I wouldn’t go calling a pub “The Pride of The Boulder Markets”, but I can’t fault you for originality.
We head inside, and there is this beautifully lit fire place with the pub’s mascot cat curled up in front of the fire place.
The only Aussie beer they have is Fosters. Being that it is Australia, I figure that my first beer has to be an Australian one. Its just unfortunate that Fosters is the only one they have available.
We sit order our drinks and sit down.
The locals come and go, and all make commentary on how the cat looks pissed off today. I have no idea how they can tell. I can barely tell when I am pissed off or just hungry, let alone determining a cat’s emotions, moreso a cat at the pub that I frequent.
It’s name is Len.
Not a bad name for a cat, I say.
Everybody seems equally as concerned for the cat’s unhappy disposition, which by international cat standards, means that it is just perfectly fine. But, this doesn’t stop the barmaid coming over and getting Len’s special cat brush out and pulling up a little chair for him to jump up on, so that she can brush him effectively.
Its cool, but really over the top.
I have to say, Brits and their animals in pubs is a really friggin cool thing, and so far Gez’s comment about telling how good a pub is based on whether they let animals in, is working well. We drink our drinks and everyone is doing their own thing. This place is like another little world.
There is a great little community of people who come and go during our time there.
We finish our lagers and move on to our next pub, which is a good 30 min bus ride away. We climb onto the bus, and as you must do, we head straight up stairs, and perch ourselves right at the front of the top deck. Its great. What is impressive though, is how accurate the drivers are. We will be hooning along and they will slow only at the last minute, to then only pull up what feels like only 50cm away from the bus in front of them.
I am sure that there is a bigger gap, but right now, that is pretty much what it looks like. There were plenty of times that it felt like we were about to take our a pedestrian, and other times that the driver should have taken out a pedestrian. All in all, UK bus drivers go pretty bloody well.
Our route takes us past the tower of London, and the bridge itself, is pretty impressive, to say the least. Its amazing, all this old architecture and the things that they were able to create so long ago. 10 points, London. We weave through London’s streets, and talk and ready papers left by people before us.
We arrive at our next pub, which is called “Stormbird”. This place isn’t so much it’s own little world, with emo cats and locals that know each other by name. In fact, this place looks as though it has just opened.
All their beers on tap have a different handle. Some come with the supplier, but a lot of them are just made by the guys in house. They have even gone as far as using a giant chicken foot for one of them. Well done guys.
We order our beers, and I am feeling adventurous, so I try a coffee infused beer, or something like that, which is surprisingly better than you think. We book into a little table by the window, and get stuck into our beers after tag-teaming the use of the toilet. We broke the seal at the first pub, being that we didn’t pee all day, and now we are suffering for it.
As in any good English pub, a bloke walks in with his dog still on the leash. Absolute bloody hero. This still hasn’t lost it’s novelty just yet. We drink away with our hipster beers, and admire the hipster-ness of the handles at the bar.
We wrap up here after good chats, take another leak and make our way to some unknown (to australians) little suburb, and tuck into our next pub. This one is called “The Priory Arms”. Its a great little suburban pub. Can recommend, and the staff are pretty dope. We order our drinks at the recommendation of the barmaid, and sit to enjoy another instalment of beers, of course, after we visit the toilet again.
We spot a few games hiding in the corner, so we choose to kill our time with a little bit of Guess Who for Kids, which is like normal Guess Who, except it takes 3 questions to guess who the other player’s character is, instead of about 20. The games are over fast, but you feel more accomplished as a human being, so I’m not complaining.
We wrap up our drinks, thank our waitress, and move on.
Our last place is called “The Coffee House”, and is located right in the centre of London. We get off the train, and we are met with all the glory, which is London. You are surrounded with what seems like endless buildings, all with this old-world architecture. Its seriously impressive. We said in NYC, that we should decide to head into the centre of the city whenever we reach a new place to get a really good ‘wow factor’ feel for the place first.
We should have done this.
This really feels like London.
We follow our maps, all the while, being shrouded with these monstrous iconic buildings everywhere we look. Its worth checking out. We reach our pub, and this time, we are chockers full of people. We visit the toilet again, and stare at someone awkwardly until he offers us the seat. “Oh thanks mate. You champion”.
I have a seat.
I have a beer.
The world is a beautiful place.
This place has its own thing going on. It’s funny cos all pubs seem to have the same colour bar tops, same kinda seating, but they all have their own vibe going on. This was no different, except everyone really seemed to like this vibe.
We wrap up our drink, and we head to our dinner booking, which is another Groupon voucher (unsurprisingly). We get unlimited meats from this Brazilian carvery for both of us for 30-something pounds.
And it was worth every single bloody penny.
We sit down, and if you haven’t been to one, you should go. 100%. You have a little cylindrical piece of wood with red on one side, and green on the other. If green is on the top of the piece of wood, they will bring food to your table. If it’s red, then they wont. Pro-tip though… Dont pig out on the first few rounds, cos they load you up with the b-grade gear, and then bring out the sirloins and stuff.
Naturally, being Australia day, when the Lamb came out, Bec and I made sure that we represented Australia well.
All the meats.
We did it.
All of it.
It was the best thing we could have done. We finish up, give the guy our codes, and dont even need to get our wallets out. Pretty much feels like we were just given the VIP treatment. Head home, loaded with people from the tube, and a guy with his dog in a bag on the tube, and head home to fall asleep.
Great Australia Day.
Come back tomorrow,