dog friendly pubs, London, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

The Gladstone – Borough

I have a confession to make. Our visit to the Gladstone in Borough actually happened a pleasant lunchtime in the distant past. There was no hint of Summer back then, not even a whiff of Spring. So why wait this long to write the post I hear you cry out in confusion? Well basically I forgot something. Something very important. Upon leaving I forgot to take this picture…

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… I know! Stupid, eh! How can you write about the Gladstone and miss out this fantastic painting on the side of the building? Without that giant piece of art most people would innocently walk on by and ignore this great little pub hidden down the back alleys of Borough.

In my defense I completely blame the pub and its tempting lunchtime deals. I had entered with the aim of a nice quiet lunchtime pint. Just the one to ease the soul after a walk around nearby Borough Market. My eye was then caught by the lunch deal of pie, mash, peas and gravy, plus a pint of real ale (wine, Becks or soft drinks for you none ale drinkers) for 瞿9.95. Well, I wasn’t going to resist an offer like that, was I?

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So with a full belly and 100% more ale in me than I had planned, is it any wonder that I forgot to take photos when leaving?

This fantastic deal isn’t the only reason to visit this pub. It’s simply great. A real musical legend in the area – check out their live listings. You have a high chance of stumbling across an amazing new live act here, and catching them when they are basically giving you a private performance in your living room. That’s what it feels like, as the main bar is so small and cosy. An evening in here with a pieminister pie in your belly, a few pints of ale and top quality music, all delivered in a small candle lit atmosphere…heaven.

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Due to this bijoux character, you may find it a bit difficult during a busy evening if you bring along a big dog, (or even a little dog like Grenson when he’s in his ‘I’m going to stand as far away from you as possible and in the exact spot that ensures that everyone is going to stand on me’ attitude). However, there is an upstairs seating area and a roof terrace for the Summer months, there are chairs outside too, so I’m sure you could make it work. I’m also duty bound to point out that there is a pub cat! We didn’t see it on our visit but if your dog lives up to stereotype then be warned.

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Personally I prefer to visit during the day when, if you’re lucky, you can get the place to yourself and really appreciate the laid back style of this bar. Just be careful not to get a little too comfortable. The other downside to my extra pint, other than forgetfulness, was a full bladder. This is a difficult thing to deal with when it’s just you and your pooch. Grenson was also still at the stage where he would eat EVERYTHING he found on the floor (now it’s just 80%). This would not be a good thing in a men’s urinal. Luckily, as I was about to bite the bullet the  very kind barmaid saw me struggling to the gents and offered to hold him for me (the dog! stop making up your own jokes you filthy minded people at the back!).

I fully expected Grenson to be blissfully enjoying the company of his new female admirer when I returned. But to my surprise he was straining at his lead and crying for me, thinking that I’d left him. Bless him. He does love me after all!

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Well … he did then anyway, nowadays he’ll stay with anyone so long as they have treats.

So there you have it. Better late than never. The Gladstone. Fantastic live music, real ale, lunch deals, pies, art, cool decor and the possibility of bouts of forgetfulness.

Love it.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dog friendly cafes, London, the dog blog

Monmouth Coffee Company – Borough

If you are a food lover, and if you like to get the best quality ingredients, then you must visit Borough Market. Admittedly I wouldn’t consider it a place to start doing your weekly ‘big shop’, unless you have a bank balance the size of a small country’s national debt. I’d also advise that you go early, unless you enjoy the feeling of strangers constantly pressing against you and standing on your heels (each to their own!). There is a lunchtime market on Mondays and Tuesdays with the full market Wednesday – Saturday, and it gets VERY busy.

Stupidly, Grenson and I made our visit mid-afternoon. Bearing in mind Grenson finds a mere dead leaf on the ground to be a source of endless fascination, you can imagine just how much all of the tasty morsels spread across the market floor would entice him.

Cleverly, I knew exactly where I was heading and wisely skirted around the market edge. For if you do ever find yourself in Borough Market, having ticked the boxes marked ‘food lover, and purchaser of quality produce’ and if you would also consider ticking the box ‘lover of fine coffee’, then no visit is complete without popping into Monmouth Coffee Co.

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This place is a coffee lover’s dream.Not only can you get your fix of quality espresso based beverage complete with excellent latte art, which you all know by now impresses me greatly …

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(sorry couldn’t resist a sip of the one above before I remembered to take a photo)

… but you can also buy their beans to take away so that you can attempt to produce the same quality latte art at home (and fail miserably in my case, of course).

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Unfortunately, due to its popular location it can be common to find a large queue, sometimes snaking into the street outside. But don’t worry, there is a small army of the best barristas around, working away inside to bring you your coffee. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable waiting in line and witnessing the well oiled machine at work, as each member of staff carries out their specified task, making up the cogs in the wheel that leads to your little steaming caffeine hit. So the wait never seems to be too long. Especially if you don’t have some fool in front of you, messing up the queuing system because his puppy insists on sitting slap bang in the middle of the busy thoroughfare with an expression that says, ‘this isn’t the park, what kind of walk do you call this?’.

Once I’d enticed Grenson out of the way and over to a seat, with the aid of a chicken flavoured chewy stick, I was able to sit back and watch the world go by.

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There is nothing like entering a little caffeine bubble of serenity. When you finally finish off the smooth remnants of the latte art now at the bottom of your cup, the caffeine should begin to kick in and embolden you, ready to go outside for the next round of artisan food purchasing.

Unfortunately the pick me up of a good coffee isn’t available to all. If that is the case for you, then a full day of shopping at the market can leave you a little pooped out. You have been warned!

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The Man and the Dog.

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