Hassrale Trips: Maida Vale and Little Venice

Date: Friday 28th July 1989

The area we are touring in is truly "Yuppie Land" and the actual cost of living here must be astronomical. In spite of this the pubs are numerous and all rather pleasant. To enable us to call into canalside pubs and to get a wide choice of various beers we do have to slip into W2 and NW8 but the bulk of the pubs are in W9 (Maida Vale).

The station we need to use for all this is Warwick Avenue which is on the Bakerloo Line and the trains are frequent. The triallists can fully recommend this trip for its choice of beer and architecture.

On leaving Warwick Avenue Tube proceed down Warwick Avenue (If you see the Royal Alfred off to your right you have gone the wrong way so turn back. I did). Turn to your right at the first main turning and down Warwick Place. On your right you will find:-

1. WARWICK CASTLE - 6 Warwick Place [6.30]
Beers: Bass, Charrington IPA, Fullers ESB and Morells Varsity.

Comments:- Pleasant one bar pub with separate secluded dining room with Grandfather Clock and Dresser. Real fires in the winter. Note the nice stained glass windows. Has no food in the evening. Very handy for tube.

On leaving proceed on down Warwick Place until you reach the Grand Union Canal. On your left you will see a bridge which takes you over the canal into W2 and

2. BRIDGE HOUSE - 15 Westbourne Terrace Road [7.10]
Beers: Bass, Charrington IPA

Comments:- Pub located alongside canal and with a theatre upstairs. Beer not too exciting but a really nice looking pub with the facility to sit outside if the weather is good. There is normally a good range of food on but it is subject to the whim of the chef. If it is on I can recommend the Cumberland Sausage.

We now have to return back over the bridge with a brief look at the barges in this part of the Little Venice. Turn left over the bridge and either follow the canal towpath or the road that runs along the edge of the canal. The road bears round to the right and at the turning into Shirland Road turn left and on the right is:-

3. TRUSCOTT ARMS - 55 Shirland Road [7.50]
Beers: Arkell BBB, Bass, Boddingtons, Flowers Original, IPA, Fullers ESB, Greene King Abbott. Marstons Pedigree, Pitfield Dark Star

Comments:- One of the famous pubs of London. Usually has a varying range of 10 different beers. What it was famous for was its hall of fame on the walls for those who managed to drink a pint of all ten in one sitting. Now discontinued because of the problems of disposing of the bodies afterward, and the complaints by the neighbours of people sleeping in their gardens. In spite of that well worth a visit. Somewhat basic.

On leaving retrace your footsteps back to the junction but then turn left down Formosa Street. Continue down this road until you come to the:-

4. PRINCE ALFRED - 5a Formosa Street [8.30]
Beers: - Adnams Bitter. Boddingtons Bitter, Ind Coope Burton, Marston Pedigree, Wadworths 6X

Comments:- A classic Pub that has been allowed to retain its Victorian Splendour A truly untouched pub and one of the original gin palaces of the era. It is based on two large bars and a myriad of side rooms all interlocked with doors only suitable for midgets. The wooden pannelling and glass has all been retained along with the original snob screens. Has to be seen to be believed. This is what all pubs should look like. Beer seems incidental but also in good nick. A must for any tour into Maida Vale.

Continue down to the end of Formosa Street and turn left into Warrington Crescent Cross the road very carefully and down at the end on the right is:-

5. WARRINGTON HOTEL - 95 Warrington Crescent [9.10]
Beers: Arkells BBB, Brakespeares Bitter, Fullers London Pride and ESB, Youngs Special

Comments:- Another super Victorian pub with one of the widest ranges of architecture I have ever seen. Marble topped bar, staircase and Art Novueu all co-exist together. The only problem is that it does get packed and the chance of a seat is not likely. Still well worth the pause.

Now we meet problems we have to move over to NW 8 and slightly off the map. The best way to go is proceed into Sutherland Avenue and follow it down to Maida Vale. Turn right and then left into St Johns Wood. Third turning on the right takes you into Cunningham Place that leads into Aberdeen Place and:-

6. CROCKERS - 24 Aberdeen Place [9.40]
Beers: The full range of Vaux beers including Wards Sheffield and Darley plus Guest Beers including Greene King Abbott

Comments Another classic Victorian pub retaining original ceilings and windows A number of side rooms with very comfortable chairs. Lots of greenery around and does food in the evening. Also has a large stage for shows. On some days has quiz sessions. Another excellent roomy pub.

If you continue along Aberdeen Place in the same direction you will eventually arrive back on Edgware Road. By crossing the road and turning right you will arrive at Clifton Road where you can turn left and proceed back to Warwick Avenue Tube Station. For those however who have not yet had enough, part of the way down this road you will come to:-

7. ROBERT BROWNING - 15 Clifton Road [10.30]
Beers: Sam Smiths OBB and Museum

Comments:- One of the almost won the CAMRA best renovated pub awards. (See What's Brewing). A nice quiet pub to finish the tour and gird your loins for the journey home. Seemingly the famous couple did live there at some time ( Where did they not). On the banks of the Canal in the other part of Little Venice. Lots of Browning memorabilia and canal pictures. Two level pub.

Well you have done a circular tour of sorts and you are just a couple of minutes from the tube. Bon Voyage.

I should now list who did the trial but I cannot remember. I think it was quite a few.

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