Hassrale Trips: East Finchley

Date: Monday 8th January 1990



Blow away the cobwebs of the old year , (if you haven't already done so on the trip to Whitechapel on January 3rd).

East Finchley is, like its neighbor Finchley Central, a quiet suburb of North London. However the former postal district N2 has a much superior range of pubs to the latter, N3.

To get there, take the Underground, Northern Line (High Barnet or Mill Hill East Branch) to East Finchley, which is about 20 minutes from Euston or 35-40 from Embankment. Turn left at the bottom of the stairs from the platform, and turn right out of the station. Just beyond the railway bridge is the first pub.

[Times of departure are given after each pub]

1. Old White Lion - Great North Road [18:30]

Beers: Charrington IPA, Bass, Fullers ESB

Large roadside inn with several interconnecting bars. Suggest we meet in the furthest bar from the station. Bar staff friendly and helpful. Sandwiches are available but are expensive. Heraldic devices adorn the wall. Plenty of seats.

Return back up the hill, past the station to the traffic lights at the top of the hill ..

2. Bald Faced Stag - High Road [19:15]

Beers: Tetley Bitter, Inde Coop Burton, Youngs Bitter

Two bar pub, has undergone a considerable refurbishment, that has given it a new lease of life. The new decor is quite tastefully done. Although outside board says food available, this is not the case in fact. It looks as if the stag tried to get in through the walls after hours.

Cross the road, ie. straight ahead as you leave the pub and proceed along Fortis Green to ..

3. The Clissold Arms - Fortis Green [20:00]

Beers: Courage Best, Directors

Smart but friendly, basically one bar pub, though definite public bar area "sans tapis". Top quality restaurant attached. Though this is not cheap the range of food available would surely satisfy even the appetites of HASSRALE members! In addition anyone with a business card (or HASSRALE membership card?) can enter a free monthly draw for a meal at the restaurant.

The next pub is almost opposite ..

4. Alexandra - Fortis Green [20:30]

Beers: Tetley Bitter, Adnams Southwold Bitter

Comfortable pub with plenty of seating. Not crowded. Darts. May be rolls - turkey!

Retrace your steps to the traffic lights and turn right. After about 100 yards you come to ..

5. Welch's Alehouse - 130 High Road [21:15]

Beers: 10 handpumps - regular ales: Greene King Abbott, Marstons Pedigree, Felifoel Double Dragon, Websters Yorkshire Bitter

A real gem. Formerly a shop so narrow and can get crowded but hopefully not on Mondays. Some seating but more basic than previous pubs on the trip. Food available such as burgers or rolls for anyone who hasn't gorged themselves sufficiently in pub no 3. (or will some be trying for seconds?).

Continue on the same road a further 100 yards to ..

5A. The Grog Blossom - 160 High Road

Not a pub but one of the best free off-licences in London. Worth a quick look to see the vast range of bottled beers of all sorts from all over the world. Also a range of four draught beers to take away, eg Abbott Ale, Breakspears etc. So bring your carry-outs, though these can be bought there.

Take the road opposite, continue to the end and turn right. Pass two Grand Met hostelries that don't seem very inviting, pass childrens playground on the right. The Walks is straight ahead ..

6. Windsor Castle - The Walks, Church Lane [22:00]

Beers: McMullens Country, Strong Hart, guests eh Abbot, Boddingtons

Popular, friendly, single bar which may get quite crowded, especially if the women's darts team is playing. Food available, but only until 9:00 pm I think. Walls festooned with wide selection of theatre handbills.

Turn left out of the pub and left again along Church Lane. At the end turn left to ..

7. The Five Stars - East End Road [22:30]

Beers: Truman Best, Websters Yorkshire, Ruddles Best (not recently checked out)

Large single bar pub with plenty of seats. We may join them half way through their weekly Trivial Pursuits quiz.

To return to East Finchley station, turn left out of the pub and follow the road for about half a mile, as far as the traffic lights (Bald Faced Stag on the corner). Turn right for the station. Times back to Embankment or Bank are about every 7 or 8 minutes until 11:00 pm.

[Survey by B Waby, R Wright, P Tiffany]

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