A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for June, 2010

Carter’s Steam Fair

Posted by Alan on June 28, 2010

Given a sunny Sunday, what else to do but lounge in the park? Well… why not find a park with an Edwardian amusement arcade as well?

Steam powered pirate ships

Steam powered pirates

Helicopter Race

Helicopter Race - almost as good as England's race to victory!!

So after all that excitement, why not take in a bit of proper English cuisine – candy floss!

Dentist recommend flossing daily...

After that…well lie about in the park and do nothing.  When we did eventually go look at the football in the nearest pub, England were already being beaten. Quietly drinking our pints in a corner, we escaped before the end to make sure that we didn’t get beaten too! – but only back to the park for a picnic and a little more doing nothing. Brilliant. Wish more weekends could be like that.

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Epic Bike Ride

Posted by Alan on June 27, 2010

Having decided to stay at home for a change and save a bit of money… myself and the lovely Ruth embarked on an epic (for us at least) bike ride. Through CAMRA I’d heard about a CAMRA-award winning pub (The Duke of Hamilton) that may close and be turned into flats over in Hampstead. At around 10 miles (16 kilometres) this was about idea for finding out just how unfit we might be!

Our route took us through Walthamstow’s marshes just down from Tottenham under this really low bridge:

Low bridge under the railway - just 5 foot clearance!

Warning - Low Bridge!

I know at 5’8″ I’m not exactly tall – but this bridge has a clearance of just 5′ (c. 1.5m) – that’s got to be taking the biscuit on a national cycle route right?

Heading through Finsbury Park and Tuffnell park we finally came to Hampstead Heath where the gradient finally got the better of us and we had to have a rest.

Ruth under a tree at Hampstead Heath

Ruth rests under a tree on Hampstead Heath

About another half mile of mostly walking up a really steep hill… we finally arrived at The Duke.

Alan outside the Duke of Hamilton, Hamstead

Maybe one day I'll figure out this smiling in photos thing?

Add some food from the gastro-pub just down the road and we were ready to head back. Though…we did cheat a bit and get the train from Gospel Oak back to Walthamstow cutting out about 7 miles (11.2 km) before cycling the last leg home.

So all in all about 15 miles exercise done – not in an awful time, though having planned a route using http://www.cyclestreets.net/ we were about 30 minutes behind it’s recommended completion time – probably mostly due to having to stop every 300 yards (c. 275m) to check the next instruction! Sat Nav app required for phone I think… and hopefully more delightful weather to take advantage of!

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Pie Mash and/or Eels

Posted by Alan on June 15, 2010

Yesterday I had the day off to do a bit of cycling, exploring and photographing pubs for the local branch of CAMRA. Sadly the good weather I set off in quickly turned overcast so I’m not sure how useful many of the photographs will be – though at least one pub in Leytonstone appeared to be being demolished as I passed by!

More on the pubs will appear at my other blog, East London Drinker.

However… it did mean that I was in in the right place to sample the ‘Noted Eel and Pie House’ on Leytonstone High Road. Sadly they had run out of eels (damn!! – not) but I could get myself a pie and mash.

Noted Eel and Pie House, Leytonstone

Noted Eel and Pie House, Leytonstone

The menu is fantastically simple. You can have Pie, Mash, Pie & Mash, Eels & Mash or Eels. Ask nicely and you can have a cold soft drink to wash it down with. They also sold frozen pies for anyone wanting to recreate the experience at home. Décor within the restaurant is simple too – a mixture of chairs and benches arranged around stainless steel tables.

Simplicity is good. The pie was good – I even liked the liquor this time (perhaps I am being southern-ised after all?)

If you’re in Leytonstone between 11 and 3 this place is well worth a visit.

The Noted Eel and Pie House, Leytonstone

Noted Eel and Pie House

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A Bride and A Castle

Posted by Alan on June 7, 2010

The Bride on the bouncy castle!

The Bride on the bouncy castle!

It’s going to take ages to sort out the photographs and choose the best ones to show off… (there’s hundreds!) but for now here’s one of the most memorable moment’s from Saturday’s wedding. After the kids had gone to bed, the bride and some of the guests went for a good old bounce.

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