Wowzer, what a week! Sorry for the lack of post last week, but as I mentioned, I was in Amsterdam, drinking lots of (in the words of The Wenlock) Fizzy Piss in the form of Heineken. I did get to drink wort on their brewery tour though, now that's a sweet experience.
Back in London, we went for a whisky tasting this time, at Cadenhead's, where whilst not being an expert on the stuff, I fooled the proprietor with taste buds that have been honed into accuracy through real ale sampling!
From whisky in Marylebone to Porter in Tunbridge Wells, courtesy of the fabulous Royal Oak. The perfect spot for a cosy Wednesday night, we enjoyed their new pie and beer deal with the beautiful Larkin's Porter- its so nice to try something different by them. Lovely. And they serve Ramos Pinto Port- this place knows their stuff.
And then to Wales, Swansea in particular. Despite forgetting my Good Beer Guide (potential ale on tour disaster) a soon to be relative filled me in on the places to be. He led us to The Joiner's Arms in nearby Bishopston, which, as well as being a gorgeous homely pub full of friendly locals celebrating Friday afternoon, it's also the home of The Swansea Brewing Co. We made our way through their available range; the Bishopswood Bitter and Three Cliffs Gold (which admittedly, whilst tasty, were spookily similar to each other) and the stronger Original Wood, with a real lump of carved wood for a pump clip. We also popped into one of Swansea's Wetherspoons where, despite huge wine/ cider hangovers, we were able to sip down some more Welsh ale, this time from the Rhymney Brewery. I wish I could say it cured the hangover, but it stood no chance after I'd witnessed all those cockles in the market. I was feeling better, however by the time we headed to a Sizzling food pub, which was just as well, as they were serving Brains Bitter for £2 a pint.
Now, last time, I said the Southampton Arms was enough to make me want to move to Kentish town and I had a feeling it would'nt be long before we returned. Yesterday was the first opportunity we had, sneaking it onto the end of the Kentish Town Crawl recommended by those nice folks we met last time. The sublime Pineapple and the busy Junction served us well on the ale front, each place allowing the three of us to try a different ale. The Dartmouth Arms, whilst being a fun pub with an amazing board game selection, was a bit disappointing on the ale front, so we drank cider and Erdinger. And so to the super Southampton Arms- an amazing pale ale from the new Redemption Brewery, a rich Porter (or was it a stout) from Bath's Abbey Ales, and Fraoch's Heather Ale were the tastiest of a superb selection, and we nibbled on the world's best Scotch egg.
Oh, and between arriving back from Swansea mid afternoon and our evening crawl in Kentish Town, I managed to squeeze in a trip to The Old Coffee House in Soho for this week's Brodies fix- yummy stuff, the West End Best. Looking forward to the Easter Festival.
Indeed, what a week. Think I need an ale from the cupboard to help me recover.