Monday, October 16, 2006

Tracey Emin's favourite hostelry

Went to Tracey Emin's local last Friday for a kinda leaving do, which is opposite Spitalfields market. It was a very surreal experience both sober and drunk. Unfortunately, Ms Emin wasn't propping up the bar but plenty of her installation art was. But the icing on the conceptual cake was the bar staff.

I asked for a pint of Broadside (supposed to be nice ale... aint got a clue so can't comment) and 2 pints of Guinness. So far so good. The barman tutted at me and said, "The ale is finished and we haven't had a delivery. Think the brewery don't like us"! And he tutted again telling me that, "Guinness? Don't you know how long that takes to pour?" He kept standing there pulling pints and tutting and muttering to me about Guinness. Sorry mate!

You spend a duration at the bar waiting to be served. One bloke waited for 20 minutes before I joked he may be collecting his pension before he got his pint. It had that "three pints of lager and a packet crisps, please" feel to it. The jukebox plays kitsch music and I nearly fell off my bar stool laughing at it kept playing The Carpenters. It actually isn't pretentious (seriously, it surprises me, but it aint) but it gets crowded kinda early.

So if you fancy paying an exorbitant amount for a beer, criticised for your taste in booze by the staff and having to listen to The Carpenters, then go to Spitalfields and visit this pub. Character, ambience, weirdness, Gilbert & George and Tracey Emin (and in that order). The place is warming on me, rather like the beer, and could easily become my local.

You may see me propping up the bar waiting patiently to be served and humming away absent mindedly to The Carpenters (maybe I shouldn't admit to that part).