Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sam Smith, Shepherd Neame and Routemaster buses

Three days in London - walking between venues to take in the town. There's nothing like heritage, history and originality to sell a city to tourists, and London plays up splendidly to a global audience. Below: The Cittie of Yorke pub. Although there's been a pub here for well over half a millennium (574 years actually), the current building dates back to the 1920s. The pub belongs to Samuel Smith's Old Brewery, an independent brewer, in business since 1758.

When seeing the sights, appropriate transport makes the experience more memorable - like this 42 year-old Morris Minor convertible, below.

Even older, and still in everyday service, London's iconic Routemaster is no longer a familiar sight. Only two routes - the 9 and the 15 - are served by the open-rear platformed buses. Below: RM871, dating back to January 1962, with St Paul's cathedral in the background.

Slightly younger, Routemaster RM1941(1964 vintage) about to pass Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub rebuilt in 1667, also owned and operated by Samuel Smiths.

The old brewers are coming back. Encouraged by the EU's Progressive Beer Duty (introduce in Britain by Gordon Brown in 2002), smaller local breweries are advancing as the global players lose market share. And mainstream pub landlords are also encouraged to sell a range of craft ales alongside the more prosaic fare.

Above and below: two views of RM2050, also dating back from 1964. Seeing London from the top deck of one of these is far superior to being crushed into the Tube. London's Underground has charm aplenty too, but if you're in town for a short stay and are not in a tearing hurry, the Routemaster is great. The two heritage lines run from Kensington to Trafalgar Square (9) and from Trafalgar Square to the Tower of London (15).

The Westminster Arms, across the road from the Abbey. This pub is owned by Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest brewery (established in 1698), and like Samuel Smiths, independent. As with the Routemaster bus, heritage sells. Tourists want something that's exclusive to a city, region or country.

While I'm delighted that craft brewing of artisan beers has taken off in Poland, something that popping into Warsaw's Kufle i kapsle or Cuda na kiju will confirm, it will still take centuries to create that same sense of true tradition that London can boast. Lucky old London - not invaded by foreigners since 1066.

This time last year:
Rainy night in Jeziorki - no flood this time!

This time
This time two years ago:
Wide-angle under Pl. Wilsona

This time three years ago:
Ranking a better life

This time four years ago:
Questions about our biology and spirituality

This time five years ago:
Paysages de Varsovie

This time six years ago:
Spring walk, twilight time

1 comment:

Ian Mayall said...

Michael, next time you are in Krakow with enough time I can recommend this place

Please note that I receive no commission, gifts or anything else for letting you know!