Pints Abroad and The Dog and Duck
I've been lucky enough to go overseas three times now. In 2002 my wife and I were in Scotland and Ireland for nearly two and a half weeks. In 2005 I was in England for work, spending time in Derby and Leeds but also getting to York for a weekend. And last autumn my wife and I were in London for a week.
Really enjoyed each trip. If I had been paying really close attention I'd have enough material to post weekly here for probably about a year and a half. In our trip to Scotland and Ireland I estimated that we may have visited about fifty different pubs. In that trip we weren't really looking for specific places to go with the exception of the Brazen Head when we were in Dublin. Of course the old riddle about Dublin is how do you cross the city without passing a pub? And the answer, of course, is that you do not - pass them, that is. Between the pubs of Dublin and those that we visited in the south and southwest of Ireland as we travelled about, we certainly saw our share of wonderful spots.
Edinburgh is also full of many terrific old pubs. But in a city where "The New Town" is over two hundred and fifty years old, one cannot help but stumble over tiny drinking holes, many with historical significance.
One never knows what one will get. When in England in 2005 my boss took me on a tour of the Derbyshire Dales, a hilly area in central England. We drove about for a few hours and in our travels stopped in at a couple of ancient village pubs for a quick pint of bitter. Similarily when Jenn and I were in London last fall we took the train to the Cotswolds and spent the day cycling in the countryside. Amongst our stops - a pint at the Eight Bells, a 14th century inn in Chipping Campden.
And the town of York is a great place for pub crawling. I arrived on a Friday at dinner and left on the Sunday afternoon. Took in all of the sites and as many pubs as possible. One attraction in York - a plethora of regional ales. One place I would recommend - The Last Drop Inn, owned by the local York Brewery. Another one I enjoyed - The Hansom Cab - a Samuel Smith pub (this is the brewery that owns it) - but there were plenty to choose from. One big disappointment - the oldest pub in York, The Olde Starre Inn. Unless I hit it at the wrong time, which is possible, I found it to be a real disappointment. May as well have been in a chain pub in Toronto. The Last Drop Inn, seven years old, was far better.
Anyhow, the pictures attached to this post are of The Dog and Duck, in Soho in London. The current Dog and Duck was built in 1897 on the site of the original Dog and Duck, which dated back to 1734. The original was Mozart's local apparently.
We dropped in on a Saturday afternoon our first day in London. Its a tiny little place and definitely worth a look. Very cool.
Labels: London Pubs