Malcolm’s hymn to a Long Liquid Lunch (hereafter 3L) is now offered to the world.
Back to the Stag
Which has appeared previously in these meanderings; and is now something of a regular pilgrimage, particularly when there are daughters to be fed and watered, or — as yesterday — when the Lady in Malcolm’s Life is restless and feels nomadic.
Finchley High Road
Costs not a penny
From Muswell Hill
With your Freedom Pass …
And about the same if you are going to outlying places such as Finchley Central and Golders Green: which brings up again the serious matter of the GNLP.
The GNLP, Malcolm?
As previously explained, you idle toad (click the hot-link next time: it helps Malcolm’s stats and makes him feel good) —
The Great Norf Lunnun Problem is best summed up by the Alan Klein/Geoff Stephens lyric for the New Vaudeville Band, back in 1967 — and, astoundingly not still not included in Time Out‘s list of 100 best London Songs (which manages to embrace some real stinkers):
At Finchley Central, ten long stations
From Golders Green, change at Camden Town.
I thought I’d made you, but I’m afraid you
Really let me down …
About the time that ditty was current, Malcolm was “involved” with a person in Hampstead flat-life, and so acquired a close interest in the failings of the Northern Line. For the record she is still the Lady in Malcolm’s Life, so cast no nasturtiums, please.
The Northern Line has improved, but that’s a matter of degree. In those days the rolling stock was pre-war, signalling was Edwardian, and punctuality and reliability were … not taken seriously. The lifts at Hampstead tube station were venerable antiques: since Hampstead is the deepest tube station on the network, that involved too-frequent resource to the 320+ stairs up to street level.
Even today getting anywhere between the two forks of the Northern Line involves the dubious joys of a change at Camden Town, where you are truly at one with your neighbour (who was then and still is invariably an odiferous alky nutter).
So, the Finchley Central/Golder’s Green conundrum solves itself by the 82 bus route: eleven stops, every five minutes, takes twenty minutes (half the time of that tedious tube journey), tops.
Err … the Stag?
Easy: buses 102 or 234 from Muswell Hill Broadway, which stop right across the road from the Stag. And there’s a very convenient controlled crossing.
No, Malcolm. Tell us about yesterday.
The Stag is part of a small chain of gastro-pubs which makes a virtue of offering products from independent brewers. For Malcolm the main event came courtesy of the Cottage Brewing Company of Castle Cary, Somerset: Blaze of Glory, a “special” 4.1% golden ale.
Let’s be frank here: Malcolm has a “thing” about those over-inventive beer-engine clips. The “wittier” the decal, the more the beer may disappoint. And here we have an awful warning of the type. Cottage Brewing make a fetish of their “mascot”, Jack the Whippet, and here he is in a frightener of a “seasonal” special.
Still, we’ve made the trip. We’re here for the beer. And what a surprise! A clean, crisp southern beer, served in a jug, and with just enough head to be decent. So Malcolm had another. And another …
And on the way home from his 3L was moved to compose the epic verse that heads this post.