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This week is a fairly slim entry...

now wearing 3 party hats for #rgl10

The featured article and the only new article too is Category Waterloo And City Line Pub Crawl 2016.

I was there; it was excellent. There were even party hats and bob got a free pint in one of the pubs because it was his (website's) 10th birthday.

Happy birthday RGL!

There are also some updates to the pubs visited, obviously.
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Hello, welcome back after a brief hiatus. It is that time of year for the Good Beer Guide updates! (Non-GBG-related changes will be in next week's update.)


Our featured article is therefore Category Good Beer Guide 2017. Here is a link to the CAMRA website if you want to see what it looks like and/or buy a copy.

There are many new entries to our database:
* The Beehive in Tottenham (a very nice pub I should have added years ago);
* Brewhouse and Kitchen by Angel station;
* The Broken Drum in Blackfen near Sidcup;
* The Four Thieves, a former Antic pub in Battersea;
* The Hare and Hounds in Greenford;
* J.J. Moon's, a Spoons in Kingsbury;
* The King's Arms, another lovely pub I should have added years ago (it's in Bethnal Green);
* The King and Co. in Clapham;
* The King's Stores in Spitalfields near Liverpool Street;
* The Long Pond in Eltham (see main image above);
* The Penny Farthing in Crayford;
* The People's Park Tavern in South Hackney (a large place);
* The Phoenix in the City of London (Throgmorton Street if you must know);
* The Railway Arms in Oxhey (hey! I hear you say, is that even in London? well no, but it's by Zone 8 Bushey station);
* The Rifleman in Epsom;
* The Shaftesbury Tavern in Upper Holloway;
* The Ship in Gidea Park;
* The Upminster Taproom;
* The Wibbas Down Inn, a Spoons in Wimbledon;
* The Woolwich Equitable.

There's also a stub entry for The Radius Arms in Whyteleafe, which wasn't visited in time to get a full write-up.

A noteable re-entry is the lovely Chesham Arms, which was under threat a few years back, but has reopened and is lovely.

Finally, one that actually entered the GBG last year, but we missed it: The Woodman in Woodmansterne.

Pubs pubs pubs pubs. Go to a pub?
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Draft list at Beer Rebellion, Peckham, London SE15

Hello, welcome back to a new week, which sees RGL updated with the Good Beer Guide entries for 2016! Hurrah and hurroo.

So herewith a list of all the new pubby articles. If you don't know the area, why not check out the entry? Lots of good drinking ideas!

* The Adam and Eve in Homerton;
* The Aleksander in St Margarets;
* The Antelope in Surbiton;
* The Baring Hall Hotel in Grove Park;
* Beer Rebellion in Peckham;
* The Bell Inn in East Molesey;
* The Black Heart in Camden Town;
* The Bull on Shooter's Hill;
* The Catford Constitutional Club in... oh, guess;
* The Cat's Back in Wandsworth;
* The Champion in Bayswater;
* The Chesham Brewery Shop in the far end of the earth;
* Craft Beer Co. in Clapham;
* Draft House Seething on the Lane of that name near Tower Hill;
* The Durell Arms in Fulham;
* The Great Exhibition in East Dulwich;
* The Grosvenor in Hanwell;
* The Job Centre in Deptford;
* The Junction in Battersea (by Clapham Junction station);
* The Lion and Unicorn in Kentish Town;
* The Lyric in Soho;
* The Mute Swan in East Molesey;
* One Inn the Wood in Petts Wood;
* The Prince of Wales in East Molesey;
* The Wallington Arms in Wallington;
* The White Hart in Stepney, near Whitechapel station;
* The White Swan in Twickenham; and
* Woody's in Kingston.
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Railway, West Hampstead, NW6

This week, your featured article is The Railway, NW6 2LU, a fairly decent pub near West Hampstead station.

However, the big news is the addition of the 'trains to' categories, and on the individual stations, to help you find which stations have frequent services to a particular hub. (Here's the original discussion about it.) So there are now:
* Trains to Clapham Junction;
* Trains to East Croydon;
* Trains to King's Cross or St. Pancras;
* Trains to Liverpool Street;
* Trains to London Bridge;
* Trains to Marylebone;
* Trains to Moorgate;
* Trains to Paddington;
* Trains to Victoria; and
* Trains to Waterloo.

We also have three new station pages, as they are now part of the zone system: Cheshunt, Theobald's Grove and Waltham Cross.

Three other new entries are The Maltsters and The Vine, both McMullen's pubs in Cheshunt; and Addis, a decent Ethiopian with good vegetarian selection, near King's Cross.

There are significant updates to Curry Special, a Punjabi restaurant in Newbury Park, and The Eva Hart, a Wetherspoon's in Chadwell Heath.
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[personal profile] kake

I've been pondering for a while how to make the railway station pages on RGL more useful for planning adventures. The thing is that with Tube stations I can decide I would e.g. like to go and explore somewhere on the Metropolitan Line, and then view a map of all the stations on that line and pick one that looks appealing, and/or look at a list of all Good Beer Guide pubs within 500 metres of a Metropolitan Line station and pick one, etc.

I can't do this so easily with railway stations. We do have some railway line categories, e.g. the Dartford Loop Line and the Lea Valley Line, but I find these a bit confusing. What I want to know is which terminus/major rail station the trains run to.

So I was wondering — would it be useful for anyone else if I created categories on RGL like "Trains To Victoria", "Trains To Paddington", "Trains To East Croydon" etc? Would it be confusing? Should Tube trains be included in these categories?

And which stations should have these categories? I was thinking Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Paddington, Victoria, and Waterloo would be the most useful ones for exploration purposes. Any others?

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[personal profile] kake

I've added a new RGL category: Needs New Photo. This is for pages that already have a photo but could do with a new one, usually because the relevant place has been significantly refurbished since our photo was taken, or because our current photo is somewhat low-quality.

Note that "low-quality" is partly in the eye of the beholder, and I don't expect many pages to be added to the category because of this. I'm thinking it will mainly get used for pages where, for example, we only have a night-time shot that doesn't show the frontage very clearly.

I've also updated the photo search to take note of this category.

Any comments or problems, let me know!

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[personal profile] kake

Following our discussions of pub food categories and bar snacks categories, I have now implemented both these changes. So pubs that do food go in Category: Pub Food and places that do bar snacks go in Category: Bar Snacks. I've updated the blurb on each — please take a look and let me know if you think anything is confusing. I've also updated the pub search.

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[personal profile] kake

I've made a start at a list of useful things to note about pubs, restaurants, etc, when writing a place up for RGL.

Any thoughts on things I've missed, or things I've included that aren't really important enough to be emphasised?

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[personal profile] kake

As discussed a couple of weeks ago, it seems to make sense to reintroduce the Pub Food category on RGL, and remove Food Served Lunchtimes and Food Served Evenings.

However, in poking around the data, I find myself wondering if it would be a good idea to have a Bar Snacks category as well, for places that will do e.g. sausage rolls, charcuterie, pitta & hummous, but not full meals. One example of a place I think would fit well in this category is Albertine Wine Bar in Shepherd's Bush. A possibly-borderline case is the Tooting Tram and Social which does rather good sausage rolls but no other form of food.

I'm thinking that the food needs to be more "fancy" than a packet of crisps, but less full-on than a proper meal. I'm not sure if a bowl of olives counts, and I'm also not sure about those home-made pork scratchings served from large jars. My main use-case for this category would be to find somewhere I could go for a drink and a small snack to keep me going until dinner, or possibly also somewhere I could go for a drink and a very light dinner.

Some places will do both Pub Food and Bar Snacks; others will do just one of these types.


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[personal profile] kake

I've been discussing pub food categories on RGL via email with a friend, and I think it's time to reopen discussion here.

Ages ago we decided to use "Food Served Lunchtimes" and "Food Served Evenings" as categories for pub food, instead of the more intuitive "Pub Food". Part of the reason for this was that I thought it would make it easier to find pubs that do food at specific times.

However, I'm not sure our data is of high enough quality to justify this — for example, some of our pub food times were last checked five years ago. I think having old data for this is fine if there's a date in close proximity, but this isn't the case for categories.

Another thing: these categories were (by design) only ever applied to pubs, which is confusing and inconsistent. And yet another: even being in the "Food Served Lunchtimes" category can't guarantee that the pub will be serving food on the specific lunchtime of interest (perhaps the pub is closed for a private party, or never does food on Mondays, or whatever).

I therefore propose that we get rid of the Food Served Lunchtimes and Food Served Evenings categories, and put all places that used to be in these categories in the Pub Food category.


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Dartmouth Arms, Forest Hill, SE23

Hello! This week's featured article is The Dartmouth Arms, SE23 3HN, a gastropub in Forest Hill with good food and very expensive lime and soda.

We have one addition, the Two Brewers in Chigwell, added by my colleague and countryside walker Kat. The beer is well-kept and it's all very in keeping with the general area (upmarket Essex), it sounds like.

Closures are the Crooked Billet in Barking, as well as various branches of Nicolas wine merchants (branches in Kingston, Putney, Southfields, Fulham, Hampton Hill, Bloomsbury and Norbiton).

A number of the remaining Nicolas branches (but not all of them) have been taken over by Spirited Wines and renamed as such. Therefore, there's now a Spirited Wines category.
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2013 Good Beer Guide cover

Hello! Unusually this week the featured article is not a place but a category: the Good Beer Guide 2013. Every year on the release of this guide, Kake uploads the 2013 pub information, and as a result a number of new pages are created in RGL (which she and other contributors try to visit before the publication date).

It's worth pointing out that the new articles that have been added as a result do not represent all the new 2013 GBG pubs, just the ones which didn't already have a page on RGL.

The new articles which are not GBG-related are: Dost, an Indian street food restaurant in Uxbridge; Bookworm, a second-hand bookshop in Carshalton; Raizes, a Brazilian restaurant in Bethnal Green; and Cafe Z Bar, a greasy spoon cafe in Stoke Newington.

So, those new GBG articles:
* All Inn One in Forest Hill;
* The Angel in Hayes End;
* The Argyll Arms in Soho;
* The Barnsbury in, er, oh guess;
* The Beehive in Bedfont;
* The Black Lion in Essex's Epping.
* The Botanist in Kew;
* The Coal Hole on the Strand;
* The Elm Park Tavern in Brixton;
* The Forester in West Ealing;
* The Grenadier in Belgravia;
* The Greyhound in Keston;
* The Hare in Bethnal Green;
* Howl at the Moon in Hoxton;
* Noble Green Wines, an off licence (not a pub) in Hampton Hill;
* The Old Sergeant in Wandsworth;
* The Queen's Head in Downe;
* The Railway Hotel in West Wickham;
* The Rising Sun in Surrey's Epsom;
* The Sir Michael Balcon in Ealing;
* The Sun in Carshalton;
* The Sussex Arms in Twickenham;
* The Swan in Hammersmith;
* The Three Greyhounds in Soho;
* The Walnut Tree in Leytonstone; and
* The Windmill in Mitcham.

No closures reported this week.
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[personal profile] kake

It's been suggested in the past that we add child-friendliness information to RGL, but at the time, none of our main contributors had access to enough children for this to be something we could be confident in providing good coverage of. However, I think I at least am now in a position to be able to include this*.

I suggest we do this by introducing a "Child Friendly" category and adding an extra paragraph headed "Child-friendliness:" into the main entry, next to the one for "Accessibility:". I would ask that we please avoid using the term "family friendly", since there are plenty of families that don't include children! As with the Dog Friendly, Vegan Friendly, and Vegetarian Friendly categories, please make sure to include some details/justification in the writeup, rather than just adding the category to an entry.

Any thoughts on this? Here's an example of a place that I think fits into the Child Friendly category: the Manor Arms in Streatham.

* For those of you who don't know, I now have a lovely baby nephew whom I have spent the majority of the past month helping to care for, and I absolutely cannot wait to take him out for his first dim sum.

Craft Beer

Apr. 25th, 2012 01:43 pm
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There are an increasing number of pubs self-describing themselves as "craft beer pubs" opening up. I'm thinking of the Draft House chain, the Euston Tap, the Craft Beer Co/Cask, the Jolly Butchers and its new SW9 outpost the Crown and Anchor.

I am therefore wondering if a "Craft Beer Pub" (or just "Craft Beer") category on RGL would have any meaning or usefulness? Obviously, it's a disputed term, though the category page could link to the various arguments. It's also a bit of an ambiguous term, since it generally seems to mean a variety of things depending on who uses it (American 'craft' beer on keg, keg or cask from microbreweries, et al.). But it might be of use when searching for pubs?

What does the community think? I am veering towards not using it myself, but it does seem to have some currency.
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[personal profile] kake

I've made a small change to the way categories are displayed on RGL.

The Good Beer Guide categories were getting a little out of hand for certain pubs — we have data going back to 2007, so for a pub that had been in the GBG every year since then, there was a huge splurge of "Good Beer Guide, Good Beer Guide 2007, Good Beer Guide 2008, Good Beer Guide 2009, Good Beer Guide 2010, Good Beer Guide 2011, Good Beer Guide 2012" at the top of the page. This took up space and looked a bit ugly, so I have separated these categories out into their own line and made the display more compact.

You can see the results on, for example, Alma, SW18 1TF (not in the current GBG) and Dog And Bull, CR0 1RG (in all GBGs since we started collecting data). Coincidentally (or perhaps not), I implemented this new feature while sitting in the latter pub.

As always, please let me know if you see anything that seems to be going wrong with this.

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[personal profile] kake

I've been wondering for a little while now about how best to organise the food categories on RGL. At the moment, we have categories for various continents, e.g. African Food, Asian Food, European Food, and we also have more specific subcategories, e.g. Nigerian Food, Sichuan Food, Spanish Food.

At the moment, there isn't much consistency in whether an individual restaurant serving food from a particular country also goes into the category for its continent. For example, the Asian Food page explicitly states that restaurants should only go in the overarching category if they do "pan-Asian" food, and this does seem to have been stuck to. But the African Food category contains several individual restaurants that specialise in food from a given country.

Bearing in mind that the purpose of these categories is to make it easier for people to find things (and that it's possible to show a map of "everything in category X" but not "everything in category X and its subcategories"), what do you think? Should a restaurant specialising in Italian food come up under "European Food", and a restaurant specialising in Filipino food come up under "Asian Food"? Is it useful to be able to search for "a restaurant serving food from any African cuisine"?

I would love to hear your comments on this, since it's perplexing me. But if you're in a hurry, I also made a poll:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7

Assuming that individual restaurants are already in the category for their country, should they also go in the category for their continent?

View Answers

5 (71.4%)

2 (28.6%)

0 (0.0%)


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