Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Trollied Tuesday: The Colton Arms

As vaguely promised, this week's Trollied Tuesday is in honour of Fancyapint's Best London Pub of the Past 10 Years.

Can pubs be understood in terms of music? I do hope so. If that is the case, then The Colton Arms may be compared to the best of Morrissey's work. (Now My Heart is Full, seems to sum it up ideally) It will not be to everybody's taste, for sure; but to those who appreciate it, there is nothing else quite like it.* That the pub is rather hard to find (I've managed to get lost in the back streets of Barons Court while trying to find it) adds to this hermetic feel.

Note this is not actually a trip back in time - just as well, the past could only disappoint. However, to step into this pub is to enter an imagined past, one in which civility, gentility and understated grace dominate, and to lament the more disagreeable aspects of modernity (loud music and. It's a pub for real ale, barmen in ties, dimpled pint pots and an almost vanished London - really it could be a black and white movie; some of the clientele appear to be extras in an Ealing comedy.

A session in a pub may have many characteristics; but to become elegaic takes something remarkable indeed.

Picture shamelessly borrowed from Fancyapint.

* Although the Churchill Arms, a pub that manages to be both English and Irish at the same time, may be even more Morrissean.

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