A Nightingale Sang In Berkely Square

Well it had to happen. There I was in the Big Smoke when I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Yes, I was summoned to the presence of that Godfather of the beer blogosphere, Tandleman. Now I must admit to being a little nervous. With his recent history, I didn’t know what to expect. I had visions of us goose stepping, Basil Fawlty style, round Piccadilly Circus shouting “Don’t mention the war!” As it was, I had to settle for an evening’s drinking, instead.

We met in the Pommelers Rest, a JDW pub on Tower Bridge Road. It was one I didn’t know but was easy to find-once I’d negotiated the hordes of Japanese tourists using ten pound notes for origami practice. I had been assured that this JDW had a good reputation-it’s important to try and aim for a good start on any pub crawl and on this showing it deserves its rep.

Having been formerly the Tower Bridge Hotel, the Pommelers has more of a pubby feel than many other Spoons and had a good range of festival beers on. The Tandleman thermometer was produced and the beer was coming out at around 11C with good carbonation. Batemans Dragons Den proved quite tasty with the Challenger and Cascade hops working well together.

We decided to call in at the nearby Bridge House (an Adnams pub) to see if they had any East Green on. They didn’t and the taster we sampled of another beer was enough to see us scuttling out the door. It was warm enough to poach an egg and tasted terrible, as well.

Tandleman then decided we should try the Castle at Holborn. A mix-up over tube stations necessitated a phone call to his pubfinder assistant and in the meantime we called in the Penderel’s Oak. This is a GBG listed JDW and I found the interior somewhat dark and depressing. The ambience wasn’t helped by a crowd of drunken locals draped in St George paraphernalia. Luckily they were just leaving, taking their racist chanting with them*. Having said that, the beer was in good order and the Elgood’s CXXX Bitter was excellent, being moreishly bitter.

The Castle is an excellent boozer, albeit overtly keen on brown beer. The Seven Stars was very small and very busy but we kept ourselves entertained outside with pints of Darkstar Hophead. Skip forward to the end of the night and the Goodman’s Field. Not the best JDW (although I breakfasted here), but geographically ideal and it did provide an essential curry. A £4.95 bottle of Echo Falls then proved the perfect nightcap.

Next time Tandleman is in town, it’s my turn to lead the crawl. Hmmm. Better get doing some research then...

*Not confined to London. Some pubs in central Manchester closed after “patriotic” celebrations turned ugly.


Woolpack Dave said…
I don't understand this "Tandleman is a Nazi" urban myth. My impression is of somebody quite the opposite. I'm bemused and suspecting I'm safer remaining ignorant on the subject.
Tyson said…

My comments were simply a humorous allusion to his recent telling off by some commentators over his observation on a visiting German.

Is there really an urban myth about him? I doubt it-he's simply too well known for anyone to be seriously in any doubt. As far as I know, there is only one blogger who confuses him with Reinhard Heydrich!
Woolpack Dave said…

I fully understood and appreciated your humour. It's the history behind it I don't get and I'm not sure I want to.
Woolpack Dave said…
Oh, I've found the post, bit of a storm in a half pint I think. I must have been too busy with the run up to Easter at the time or something and missed the fuss.
Curmudgeon said…
Where can I get one of those beer thermometers? I know it might attract some odd looks in the pubs, but it would be interesting to see how my subjective views on the subject aligned with the facts.

This ties in neatly with the recently concluded poll on beer temperatures on my blog.
Tyson said…

I agreee a fuss over nothing but knowing Tandleman as I do, I couldn't help make an in-joke reference to it:)
He's not necessarily a "Nazi", but he's a "beer Nazi". Die Talismann Hurlimann Hess show as it's called now. The next one up is Tyson. Do you have any waterboarding experience?
Tyson said…
Waterboarding? Hmmm. Well, I've tried surfing off the coast of Cornwall...
Woolpack Dave said…
Curmudgeon, a standard food thermometer would do. About £12 each I buy them for. Nisbets do them but I don't know if they sell outside the trade.

I like this one
Tandleman said…
Curmudgeon - Mine came from Cask Marque and after I'd used it once, I forgot all about the bugger.

Woolpack Dave - My leanings are very much leftwards. Anyway I can't do goose stepping with my knees!
Woolpack Dave said…
Tandleman - "My leanings are very much leftwards" which is what I believed. That's nice, I was getting worried something strange was going on. Back to business as usual then.

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