THE CHAMPION




ALPINE RATING: 9 OUT OF 10


12-13 WELLS STREET, LONDON, W1T 3PA.
OXFORD CIRCUS, GOODGE STREET AND TOTTENHAM COURT TUBE.





MUHAMMED ALI WAS A CHAMPION... BOBBY MOORE WAS A CHAMPION..... JACK NICKLAUS WAS A CHAMPION.... *STEPHEN FRY VOICE* "DAMMIT JOHN"... EVEN STEVE DAVIS WAS A CHAMPION.
SAMUEL SMITH IS THE CHAMPION!


THIS PUB HAD MIGHTY BIG BOOTS TO FILL, WITH A NAME LIKE 'THE CHAMPION', THERE CAN BE NO HALF MEASURES. IT'S A BOLD STATEMENT TO MAKE. THE FIRST TIME I CAME HERE I WAS BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED WITH IT TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST. IT WAS A COLD RAINY NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. THE PUB WAS PACKED. I DRANK MY TADDY AND LEFT FOR THE COCK TAVERN DOWN THE ROAD.
THE ORIGINAL RATING FOR THIS PUB WAS A PITIFUL 5. THE LOWEST SCORE FOR A BELOVED SAMUEL SMITH BOOZER YET. EVERYBODY ON THE NET SPEAKS OF THIS PUB WITH GREAT AFFECTION. I COULDN'T SEE IT. IT HAS A CULT FOLLOWING AMONG THE FITZROVIA CROWD. I JUST COULDN'T FIGURE IT OUT.



A SECOND CHANCE. MAYBE A SECOND CHANCE. ANOTHER BITE OF THE CHERRY. 
EVEN CASSIUS CLAY HAD A COMEBACK FIGHT RIGHT?......
I RECONSIDERED.


I WAS VISITING 'THE YORKSHIRE GREY' AND THOUGHT I'D DROP BY FOR A SWIFT HALF.
ANOTHER CHANCE TO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT ON A MELLOW SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
I UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE MEAN BY "IN THE CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY"....
I HAD GOT TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THIS BOOZER. THIS IS INDEED A REVIEW WHERE I MUST GROVEL. *GROVEL, GROVEL, GROVEL, GROVEL, GROVEL*





THIS PUB IS LIVED IN. MORE THEN ANY OTHER PUB OWNED BY THE BREWERY. IT HAS QUAINT ROUND TABLES WITH VARNISH CHIPPED OFF. BATTLE SCARS OF HAVING COUNTLESS ALPINE GLASSES SLAMMED DOWN ON THE ONCE STRONG SURFACE. THE SHORT STOOLS ARE TIRED WITH HAVING ARSES OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE PLONKED DOWN ON THEM FOR DECADES. THE LEATHER ON THE BENCHES IS WRINKLED. THIS PUB HAS HAD SOME GOOD NIGHTS IN IT.
THE CHESS BOARD FLOOR IS WELL WORN. MANY BOOTS AND SHOES DRAGGED ACROSS IT. THE PUB IS LIVED IN. AND THAT'S ITS CHARM.
AS YOU CAN SEE, I CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT THIS PLACE. IT'S ACTUALLY RATHER FANTASTIC.


THE WINDOWS ARE MIGHTY IMPRESSIVE, PICTURES OF SPORTSMEN FROM A LONG FORGOTTEN ERA. STAINED GLASS. SITTING DRINKING MY PINT IT WAS QUITE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD WITHOUT A BUSY WORK CROWD BLOCKING THE VIEW. THE JOCKEY AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE IS FRED ARCHER APPARENTLY.



IT HAS BARRELS SITTING ON TOP OF THE BAR. YOU'D MISS THEM IF YOU DIDN'T STARE UPWARDS. THIS IS THE PUB YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF. IT'S THE PUB YOU WISH YOU HAD AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR ROAD. I COULD SPEND A LIFETIME IN THIS FANTASTIC BOOZER. IT HAS A DARTBOARD FOR REPROBATES LIKE MYSELF. IT HAS BOOTH LIKE AREAS TO TALK WITH FRIENDS. THIS IS WHAT AN OLD SCHOOL BOOZER IS. IT'S THE BOOZER THAT IS DYING OUT IN THIS COUNTRY. PUBS BOUGHT, GUTTED AND RELAYED WITH FANCY SOFAS AND BRASS SURFACES. FOR THE JENGAS TWATS, NATURALLY... "I BOUGHT THIS PLACE ON THE CHEAP, YAH"......
THIS IS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES. ADD IT TO THE LIST WITH POLA BEARS DRINKING COLA AND KOALA BEARS WITH CRAP LIBIDOS....



SOMEBODY WROTE ON TOILET SIGN, HARDLY THE CRAFT OF THE SEASONED GRAFFITI ARTIST IS IT?
SOME LOWLIFE I EXPECT....


IT HAS THE LAMP OUTSIDE. THE BEER LIGHT TO GUIDE US. ACCORDING TO DAVID BOWIE..


I'M COMING BACK. THAT'S FOR CERTAIN. 
THIS PUB REFUSES TO BE BULLIED BY THE FITZROY ROUND THE CORNER. IT STANDS UP AND SHOUTS "YOU THINK YOUR HARD BUT YOUR NOT"...
IT'S RIGHT NEXT TO THE BLUE POSTS. YOU CAN SEE THE PUB FROM THE CHAMPIONS DOOR WAY. THE WORLDS SMALLEST PUB CRAWL IS BECKONING SURELY.


THE SERVICE WAS GREAT. THIS PUB REALLY IS THE CHAMPION.
TAKE A BOW SON.








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