Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gastropubs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gastropubs

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE SPICER

The DLR is the closest public transport gets to a roller coaster ride.

Stepping into those driverless pods is a space-age experience, and it gives me a frisson of excitement. I wish Mayor Livingstone would funk it up a bit and introduce some loop-the-loops, a historic climb, a pause, and a howling drop before log-fluming it across the Thames where wet, laughing, with hands in the air and souls full of joy you arrive at the Cutty Sark to loud bursts of Queen rock anthems. From there it is just a short walk to the Trafalgar Tavern, a vast, grand Regency hostelry that was built to celebrate Nelson's victory at the battle of the same name.

It has links to all the right Victorian novelists and parliamentarians. I had been trying to get down there for months, but they have the most inconvenient and suburban - no, make that rural - habit of taking last orders for food at 9pm and for being fully booked on Monday nights. I have had more abortive journeys down there than I care to remember without punching the wall.

In fact, I have wasted so much time trying to get to the Trafalgar and failing for various reasons that I developed an irrational dislike of the place. After using public transport to get there, I was running a little late. I rang to tell the manager we would arrive a little after nine and he gave me leeway of no more than 10 minutes - despite the fact that I had taken two hours to get there. I can tell you that, at that point, I hated it a lot.

Luckily, Amy was with me. She is the fairest Spicer in the packet, in every sense: not snobby, not unkind, she is tolerant, open and beautiful.

She is reason, I am not.

We arrived to find a beautiful building full of young, provincial people.

Fair Spice said, 'It's like Royston Vasey in here.' All of a sudden I was wafted back in the mists of time to my early nocturnal life, a period when men with moustaches bought me Malibu-and-pineapple in nightclubs playing New Order. …

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