Live Blog: The Infinite Monkey Cage

I’m in London today for a recording of the BBC Radio 4 science show The Infinite Monkey Cage. I’m going to try and visit three pubs that I’ve not been to before and blog about them live. It’ll be interesting to see how we get on…

King William IV
I’m currently sitting in the Brodies Brewery tap and what a pub it is! I’ve never been to the East end before and I don’t know if this is a genuine example of a boozer, but I can imagine the it could get quite lively in here.

Even with half the pumps out of action, there is still a dizzying range of Brodies beer available. If I’m not careful, I might still be here come the evening!

Tap East
I’ve just left Tap East and am trying to write this on the underground, so apologies if it makes no sense…

Nestled away in a corner of the horrific Westfield Stratford, Tap East is a beery oasis in the midst of rampant consumerism. Run by Glyn, late of The Rake, the choice of beer is excellent, including two beers brewed on the premises, an Extra Stout and a Pale Ale. Both need a bit of tweaking, but for the first two beers brewed in a new brewery, they are hard to fault.

There is also an amazing choice of keg and bottled beer, so no one should be disappointed if they make the trip out to visit. The only problem on this visit, just like in any pub, is the occasional douchbag of a customer who oversteps the mark. I was very, very impressed with Glyn’s composure and restraint, I’m not so sure I’d have been so tolerant if I’d been in his shoes. I’ll be back…

Cask Pub and Kitchen
I don’t need to tell you how good this pub is. Do I…?

BBC Radio Theater
Bring on the monkeys…

The Aftermath
I’m writing this on Sunday evening, I would have written it last night, but I wasn’t really well enough to do much yesterday… As you can see, the live blogging stopped after I went into The Infinite Monkey Cage recording. This wasn’t my intent, but it just sort of, slipped by the wayside after a bit more beer.

My next destination was The Southampton Arms, which is a few minutes yomp North of Kentish Town underground station. It was busy, unsurprising for a Friday night, but this meant nowhere to sit, or to stand without getting in the way. I ended up stood at the bar, which meant that no only did I get through my drinks quicker, but I was chatting to people and what not, rather than blogging.

By the time I left The Southampton Arms, I was starting to feel the effects of drinking all afternoon. The half pint of Magic Rock Cannonball that disappeared in about ten minutes might have had something to do with that. However, buy the time I got the tube back to Euston Station, I’d never have made the fast train back to Cambridge from King Cross, so I headed for The Euston Tap.

In retrospect this was probably a mistake, as I was only there for forty minutes or so, yet managed to put away four halves, three of which were over six percent. So when I left, I was rather more than tipsy, but I did manage to stumble into the newly opened Cider Tap for a look. Don’t ask me what it look like as I can’t really remember, other than the bar isn’t where you expect it to be.

The train back to Cambridge was uneventful, other than feeling dangerously queasy. I nearly didn’t get off the train though, as I thought we’d stopped in Royston and as my media player was on quite loud and I had my head in my hands, I didn’t hear or see that were were in fact in stopped at Cambridge. When I eventually looked up, as we’d be stationary for ages, I realised where we were and go off onto a deserted platform. I’ve no idea how long the train had been sitting there, or how close it was to leaving, all I know is that I was rather lucky to actually get off on time and in the right station.

This just left an hours or so cycle home, after a ten minute stumble to the car to recover my bike. To be honest, I should probably have kipped in the boot, but after falling over a few times putting my cycling shoes one etc, I headed off for home. I stopped a couple of times on the way home, I had a bladder full of beer after all, but I eventually made it, where I promptly fell off my bike and landed in a heap in the front garden. Not wanting to disturb my wife too much, I passed out on the sofa, as I thought I may have to get up again to have a chat with someone on the giant porcelain telephone. Luckily that didn’t happen and I finally made it into bed around seven o’clock.

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you what the hangover felt like when I eventually got up, lets just say that it was one of the worst I’ve had for a few years. I had a great day out though and I’d definitely go back to all the pubs I visited, maybe not in quite the same state, but I’ll definitely be back.

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