Notes on the rejigged Hare and Billet pub:
Bonobo beer – dark ale nutty almost burnt
Adnams – as you’d expect
India pale ale – nice
Oakham ales – Scarlet Macaw – didn’t try it looked interesting though..
Weasel Beer – likewise
Hare and billet bitter – as they had before
£9.10 for an Orchard Cider, a pint of Adnams, and a packet of pipers salt & vinegar crisps seems more than it used to be.
The free wifi is good, and actually works, which is more than can be said for many other local pubs. It’s run by The Cloud & Greene King.
The pub is still dog-friendly. Almost too dog friendly. Maybe just ban the small yappy-type dogs.
There’s music on but it’s not loud or annoying.
The pub smells better than it used to. It’s never honked like the bloody Railway, but definitely better now the loos are upstairs.
Speaking of the loos, there is now a massive empty (as of 5.30pm on a Saturday) restaurant area where the loos and kitchen used to be. I wish pubs wouldn’t differentiate between drinking and eating. Ten empty tables, with everyone else huddled at the front drinking.
All in all though, it’s a good revamp I think.
Filmed by dustygedge
on the pond next to the Hare & Billet pub.
Every time I go into The Princess of Wales or the Railway pubs, the toilets almost never have any handsoap in them. It happened again to me today in the PoW, and it drives me nuts. These places sell food. I think it was probably AA Gill who said that if you walk into a restaurant, and there’s no soap in the loo, just leave.
Let’s say you’ve got a normal immune system, and you go to the bathroom, wash your hands in a perfunctory manner with no soap, and later on decide to eat some chips or perform some other activity that transfers bacteria from your hands to the upper portion of your gut.
You’ll probably be fine, just as you will probably also get away with driving while mildly-illegally drunk.
But doing this buys you quite a lot of tickets in the Pathogen-Disaster Lottery. If you get a big enough dose of bad enough germs into yourself, your immune system won’t be able to react and shut them down before they’ve multiplied into too large a population to stop, and then you’ll be in trouble.
Which, again to not be over-dramatic, probably won’t be the kind of trouble that kills you. But may be the kind that initially makes you afraid that you will die, and later on makes you afraid that you won’t.
UPDATE: As James points out in the comments, the pub does have an online survey where you can make your views felt… And win a meal (yum!) with a bottle of wine. http://www.castlewebsitesurvey.empathica.com/?certcode=42510
Filed under blackheath, pubs
Here’s a list of the various opening times in Blackheath.
All the info below is from me phoning the pubs today, so may not be perfect.
If you’re going to try and watch fireworks over London (where the Thai hot air balloon shown above lifted up from a couple of years back), try the junction of Cade Road and General Wolfe Road, shown below – nearest Blackheath pub is the Hare & Billet. (see map at the bottom of this post).
Hare & Billet
No tickets required – open from 11am until 1am on New Year’s Day.
Open from 8.30pm – with an extended license (guy on the phone wasn’t sure until when – possibly 3am or 4am?) Tickets are £12 in advance, or £15 on the door.
No ticket required
Open until 1am
No ticket required
Open until 2am
Tickets are £5 on the door,
Open until 1.30am
Prince of Wales
No ticket required
Open until 1am (he thinks but not sure)
As with last year, they’re not answering the phone – I’ve dropped them an email, and I’ll update the blog if they reply.
Good spot for watching fireworks over London:
Ok, so it’s technically Greenwich, and I don’t normally do gig reviews, but it was so good I’m going to mention it anyway. The Deptford Rivieras are a great live band. And they play for free at the Mitre Pub in Greenwich semi-regularly. Sax, hammond and drums. Really accomplished stuff. Brilliant fun. Great pub, good beer, loud but not too loud. Just great.
The next gig is on Friday February 18th at the Mitre pub in Greenwich. (Almost opposite the Picture House cinema).
Have a look at their site, but don’t trust the recordings! This is a live band, and the recordings just don’t come close to how much fun they are to listen to.
I’ve been a bit lax in not mentioning the redesign of The Crown Pub, as noted in the comments to an unrelated ovine-post:
I always read this excellent blog with great interest, but I can’t believe that one thing has gone without comment on these pages. I went into the village last night for a pint only to find that my regular watering hole The Crown was a building site. It looks very much as if they have ripped out the lovely bay windows (with the two big leather seats) and are replacing them with a flat wall and french doors. How can they be allowed to change the face of such an old and surely protected building so much!?
Shocked of Charlton on the 380 bus route
Above is a detail from the planning permission documents at Lewisham Council. Interestingly the original plans for two “jumbobrellas” at the front were withdrawn after 21 complaints were made (I’ve no idea if these two events are related). See the a drawing from the original submission below:
Above is a photo from today, where you can see that the bay windows have been removed to make way for wider openable doors. Which I can’t help feeling might make it feel brighter and more appealing, particularly in the summer.
Neil Rhind in his excellent book Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 dates it back to at least 1773 (the first record of a licensee), with a building having been present on the same site during the John Rocque survey of 1741-1746. I had a look at the map here,
but couldn’t see it. If anyone with better eyes can, please send me the details! UPDATE: Found it.
Neil points out that it has undergone many renovations during its lifetime, starting out as a building “only three doors wide, with a round-headed door at the entrance”. (page 99).
It’s never been my favourite pub in the area though… Who knows, maybe the improvements will change that… If they re-instate the pole climbing competition of 1892, where a leg of mutton was attached to the top of the pub sign post, I’d definitely come along to watch!
Lewisham Council are about to reconsider the rules around late licenses for bars in Blackheath. This is carried out through a piece jargon known as the “Cumulative Impact Zone”. The long and short of it is this: if you like the fact that there is less vomit, fewer broken bottles, windows, and hearts on a Saturday morning in Blackheath, there’s a good chance that it is down to this piece of legislation. It makes it harder for licensed premises to request later licenses. Let’s face it – if you want to go out on a late night bender, Soho isn’t that far away, and you can get a night bus back to Blackheath.
But, according to a recent email from the Blackheath Society, we need to send emails to the council, telling them to keep the “Cumulative Impact Zone” (couldn’t they have found a catchier name?).
So, if you want to stop all the pubs opening til 4am every night, you might want to send something along the lines below to firstname.lastname@example.org :
Dear Lewisham Council. Please maintain the Cumulative Impact Zone in Blackheath As a resident, I believe that it has noticeably improved the lives of people in the area. I think that there is less crime, disorder, and public nuisance late at night as a result of the zone.
There’s more here from the Blackheath Village Residents Association, but the only relevant page I could find on the council’s website about this is here (which is where the zone map, shown below, came from). A page from the Society’s original request is here, but there’s nothing else about it on their site at the moment.
Filed under blackheath, pubs
I’m not sure how long it has been there, but the Princess of Wales pub has started selling a very nice Pale Ale called Meantime… It tastes lovely, and is brewed in Greenwich (the logo is full of clockwork and compasses, flying around as bubbles). It doesn’t stop the PoW being a seething hell hole at the weekends, but still makes for a very nice pint whilst watching the sun go down next to the heath.