Hassrale Trips:- The Royal Mint

Date: Wednesday 4th October 1995

This trip takes in an area, E1, not visited by HASSRALE for some time. Local attractions, apart from the pubs, include the Tower of London, St Katherines Dock and Tower Bridge. Fortunately our trip keeps us well away from the main tourist drag. We start near the Royal Mint and end up near the City. Tower Hill tube and Tower Gateway (Docklands Light Railway) are a short walk away from the first pub. Times of leaving pubs are in [].

1. The Mint - East Smithfield [18:30]

Beers:- Fullers Chiswick, London Pride and ESB

Opposite St Katherines Dock, this is a newish pub in an office block development. Only two things to recommend it really; it sells Fullers beer and its close to my flat. Has recently started serving Thai food in its restaurant. Occasionally has a barbecue on the terrace overlooking the panoramic East Smithfield.

Turn left out of the pub, left into Cartwright St, up to the top and right into Royal Mint St. A short walk on the right is:

2. Artful Dodger - 47 Royal Mint Street [19:15]

Beers:- London Pride, Courage Best, Yorkshire Bitter

A attractive Grade II listed building with views of the Docklands Light Railway to excite DLR spotters. One roomed pub with bar billiards. Some tables outside, although hardly a beer garden.

Turn right out of the pub, left at the traffic lights, under the railway bridge and on the right is:

3. Brown Bear - 139 Leman Street [20:00]

Beers:- Youngs Ordinary, Marstons Pedigree, Adnams Bitter, Tetleys Bitter

Yet another Grade II listed building which retains part of the original glass and brass. Has a good feel to it, especially as the Youngs is only £1.25 a pint which is cheaper than most northern pubs (Sam Smiths and Joseph Holts excepted).

Right out of the pub, cross over the road, left into Prescot St, right into St Marks St. Further down is:

4. Scarborough Arms - 35 St Marks Street [20:45]

Beers:- Greene King IPA, London Pride and guest beers

Not a Grade II listed building, but a lively, popular corner local which is unusual for the area. Behind Leman Street police station so no doubt some of the customers work for the Met. Well kept beer. Sells pick'n'mix premium beers for £1 a bottle if you like that sort of thing.

Carry on down St Marks St and facing you in Alie St is:

5. White Swan - 21 Alie Street

Beers:- Full range of Shepherd Neame beers and guest ale

Guess what. Yes it's another Grade II listed building. Small pub, handy for office workers. Not much comfy seating. Wood panelling. Re-opened in 1989 after a fire but now has a modern feel to it. Worth a visit as its the only Shepherd Neame pub in the area.

That concludes the first in what I hope will be a series of trips in the area during my 12 month stint in London. If anyone would like to help with trials etc please let me know.

Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations are a short walk away

Trial: a hot and sticky 26th July 1995; Team: of one, Geoff Wilson

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