THE EARL OF LONSDALE




ALPINE RATING: 9 OUT OF 10



277-281 WESTBOURNE GROVE, LONDON, W11 2QA.
NOTTING HILL GATE AND LADBROKE GROVE TUBE.



GREAT BOOZER. THE LAST OF IT'S KIND IN THIS AREA NOW. COULD YOU IMAGINE WHAT IT'S LIKE DURING THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL? SHOCKING I EXPECT. PACKED TO THE RAFTERS CERTAINLY. WOULD UNCLE SAM EVEN CHARGE ON THE DOOR IN THE BIG AUGUST EVENT? FOOD FOR THOUGHT....
ACCORDING TO FOLK LAW, CORRECTION, ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA, THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN TWO MEN TO HOLD THE TITLE 'THE EARL OF LONSDALE'.. SO WHICH ONE IS THIS CRACKING ALE HOUSE NAMED AFTER?
DOES IT MATTER REALLY?
TALE MY ADVICE. BUY A BIG BLOODY BOOK ON ARISTOCRACY AND HEAD ON OVER TO THIS PUB. READ THE BOOK AND BUY A TADDY. JOB DONE.




LET'S START WITH THE GARDEN.
IT'S MASSIVE. IT'S THE JOHN HOLMES OF PUB GARDENS. I'VE BEEN HERE ON A FEW OCCASIONS AND IN THE SUMMER IT'S GORGEOUS. BUSY, NOISY AND FULL OF FUN. SINKING ALPINE IN THE GARDEN WITH SUN BEATING DOWN WAS AND I EXPECT WILL ALWAYS BE THE SPICE OF LIFE.
IT HAS THE USUAL UNCLE SAM TRADEMARKS INSIDE. STRANGE WOODEN PARTITIONS, PHOTOS OF A LONG FORGOTTEN ERA, DEEP WOODEN OAK.
THE OUTSIDE IS TRULY WHAT A PUB SHOULD LOOK LIKE. IT HAS A BIG SQUARE LAMP HANGING OVER THE DOOR. GLAZED TILES ON THE LOWER FRONT. CLASSY FROSTED WINDOWS.

THIS IS HOW A BOOZER SHOULD LOOK. NOT LIKE EVERY OTHER BOOZER IN THIS AREA!
*RANT ALERT*
I DESPISE HOW THE JOHNNY COME LATELY'S HAVE THE BRASS NECK TO BUY CLASSIC PUBS AND RIP OUT THE GUTS OF THE PLACE. DESTROYING THE LOOK. REMOVING ANYTHING WITH A HINT OF HISTORY. JUST TO REPLACE IT ALL WITH SOFAS AND OVERPRICED BEER, SO TWATS CAN SIT LOOKING SMUG PLAYING JENGA.  THE AREA IS FULL OF THIS S**T.
WHO STOLE THE SOUL?
AND WHY DO THESE HORAAH HENRYS BUY PUBS LIKE THESE? TO EXPLORE THEIR PASSION FOR GOOD BEER AND MAKE FORAYS INTO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY? NON. I SUSPECT IT'S SO THEY CAN BE BALLS DEEP IN A SKINNY, COCAINE ADDLED GIRL EVERY NIGHT. THE SAID GIRL BEING IMPRESSED WITH A MOUTHY MORON WHO STANDS AROUND TALKING LOUDLY. MAKING IT CLEAR HE "BOUGHT THIS PLACE ON THE CHEAP"... I REMEMBER WHEN GIRLS WHERE IMPRESSED WITH FAST CARS AND MONEY. NOW IT'S IDIOTS WHO SPECIALISE IN OWNING/RUNNING PUBS...
HERE'S A THOUGHT... MAYBE IF THESE TWERPS TAUGHT THEIR STAFF ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE (UNLESS YOUR A MATE OR PROSPECTIVE BED PARTNER DON'T EXPECT TO BE SERVED NICELY) AND CLEANED THEIR BEER LINES, THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD AT THEIR JOBS. THEY DON'T DESERVE HAVING A PUB. SORRY, "BAR"... A BAR? A BURGER VAN IN SWANSEA HAS MORE CLASS.
THE SAD THING IS OF COURSE, THE IDIOTS PLAYING JENGA DON'T CLOCK THEY'VE PAID OVER 4 QUID FOR FLAT PERONI.
*RANT OVER*



BEING A HOUSE OF UNCLE SAMS, THERE IS NONE OF THIS NONSENSE IN THE LONSDALE.






I FEEL UPSET WHEN I SEE THE OUTSIDE. IT MAKES ME REMINISCE FOR THE PUBS AROUND THIS AREA IN THE OLD DAYS. PUBS I WOULD HAVE TO SIT IN AND WATCH MY DAD TALK TO PEOPLE WHILST I ATE CRISPS AND GREW INCREASINGLY BORED AS HE BANGED ON AND ON ABOUT IRISH WRITERS!
HOLD ON, I SUPPOSE I'M DOING THE SAME BANGING ON ABOUT SAMUEL SMITH.
BUT BUGGER TO JAMES JOYCE! I WANT TADDY.





IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ ON THE NET, THE BREWERY SPENT A LOT OF MONEY A FEW YEARS BACK PUTTING THE PUB BACK TO HOW IT HAD BEEN ORIGINALLY BUILT. PUT QUITE SIMPLY, IT LOOKS LOVELY. EVEN BY UNCLE SAMS OLD SCHOOL STANDARDS.


THE BACK ROOM BEHIND THE MAIN BAR IS SUBLIME.
IT COULD GENUINELY PASS FOR THE DORCHESTER HOTEL. DON'T BELIEVE ME? SEE THE PICTURE BELOW? YEP. THAT'S THE LONSDALE!
30 SECONDS AFTER I TOOK THE PHOTO THE PLACE FILLED UP.






THIS BEAUTIFUL PUB SHOULD BE LISTED IF IT ISN'T ALREADY.
NEARLY EVERY OTHER PUB IN THIS AREA IS A TRENDY BAR OR IS BEING DEMOLISHED TO MAKE LUXURY FLATS. IT'S A SIGN OF THE TIMES. COFFEE SHOPS ARE THE NEW PUBS AND PUBS ARE THE NEW OPIUM DENS. SOON TO BE BANISHED FOREVER AND ONLY APPEARING IN FILMS ABOUT THE PAST. I'M ALREADY PREPARING A SPEECH TO GIVE TO THE GRAND CHILDREN ABOUT THE DEMISE OF THE GREAT BRITISH BOOZER AS I SOB INTO A GLASS OF GLOUPY HOME BREW. A CAN OF REDSTRIPE? THAT COSTS 100 POUNDS IN THE FUTURE!


THE LONSDALE HAS SEEN IT ALL OVER THE YEARS. IT'S THE GRAND OLD MAN OF WESTBOURNE PARK. ITS SEEN THE DARK SKIES OF LADBROKE GROOVE AT NIGHT ILLUMINATED DURING THE BLITZ. IT'S SEEN THE MIGRATION OF THE LOCAL WEST INDIAN POPULATION TO THE AREA AND PARTAKEN IN EVERY CARNIVAL SINCE THEY BEGUN.
IT'S SEEN THE MIGHTY TRELIC TOWER SPRING FROM THE GROUND LIKE A HUGE OAK TREE AND THE WORKING CLASSES SELL UP AND THE TRENDIES MOVE IN.
IT'S SEEN IT ALL. HUGH GRANT MAY HAVE HAD PINT IN HERE! MAYBE NOT....
IF I COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, I WOULD HEAD TO THE LONSDALE AND VISIT EVERY DECADE SINCE THE 1950'S AND JUST WATCH..... AND SUP A PINT.
THIS IS DEFINITELY IN THE TOP 5 PUBS I EVER VISITED, UNCLE SAMS OR OTHERWISE.




LET ME MAKE SOMETHING VERY CLEAR... IF ANY TRENDIES TRY TO BUY THIS PLACE  AND TRY TO TURN IT INTO A 'SMUG JENGA' CLUB, I'LL BE GRABBING A SHOTGUN. I'LL BE HEADING TO LONSDALE AND FIRING SLUGS AT THE WINDOWS, PUTTING THE OLD MAN TO REST. A MERCY KILLING. THEN I'LL TURN THE GUN TOWARDS THE SKINNY COCAINE BIRD AND THE COCKY BAR OWNER.
 A JENGA GAME BOX CAN DO NOTHING TO STOP A SLUG FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

THE LONSDALE IS BUSY IN THE SUMMER AND SO IT SHOULD BE. A LOVELY PUB AND I WOULD THINK THAT IN NOTTING HILL GATE IT SHINES LIKE A DIAMOND IN A SEA OF RATHER POSH RUBBISH.
I SALUTE YOU... EARL OF LONSDALE. WHICH EVER ONE YOU ARE.



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