Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Resolution: If I Open a Pub, It Will Have a Library with a Fireplace.

It's luck of the draw: What's the nearest Podge pub near our hotel?* Well, we're just north of Hyde Park, near the Bayswater tube station. Let's see... Looks like the Victoria. Oh. I think that's a famous one.

So we go to see why. Christmas trees and lights on the exterior soften us up before a full blast of warm holiday spirit when we walk in the door. Friendly hello. Fire blazing. Fellas in suits taking long lunch breaks and talking about shopping. Hops hung like holly and strung with more lights. Real Christmas pudding with brandy written on the chalkboard. (Gotta love any dessert that makes you unfit to drive.)

The full range of Fullers beers are here on cask, including the crisp and hoppy Chiswick Bitter and rich ESB. Both help me make short work of some bangers and mash. We pass on the pudding, since a big dinner is planned for later. (I still can't say if it was the right decision.)

We have a look upstairs and realized we should have been drinking up here all along. One room has decor saved from the Gaiety Theatre, a long-demolished London institution. Or so I read. Then there is the library room. Books. Comfy chairs. A fireplace. Just the spot for a goblet of ESB and some contemplation.

Look, there's Yvan now. Pondering, pondering, pondering the lack of a beer in his hand.

The Victoria is convenient to those of you who come to do touristy things in central London. Address: 10a Strathearn Place, W2 2NH. Go on in and warm yourself.

*Podge pub being the universally accepted shorthand for any of those found in the incredibly useful Around London in 80 Beers, by Chris "Podge" Pollard and Siobhan McGinn, available from Cogan & Mater.

1 comment:

  1. Tell Yvan to stop being a slacker and get himself a beer