Minggu, 05 Februari 2012

The Harp - London

Brock Dundee led the way to the Harp."Last year it was voted the best pub in England Harp," the Scot announced with proprietarily pride, as we walked through Covent Garden purpose."Does that mean the beer is warm and the food bad?" Back in the 70s the East Village Social Club had a sign out front stating 'Bad food and warm beer." It was my favorite after-hour hang-out. No one went there."The beer will be delicious and who goes to a pub for food?" Brock pointed straight up Chandros Street to a narrow public house. "The owner opens up the three windows in the warm weather.""Not a chance of that today." The temperature in London was hovering around 0 Fahrenheit. The grey clouds were low with the weight of snow and I wore three layers of clothing."Depends on what you think is warm." Brock came from the Highlands, where mothers bathed their babes in ice water in preparation for the Scottish summers."This is nothing." I came from Maine. "Back in the 50s we used to jump from the second story of our house into deep drifts of snow. Winter lasted from November to April and the Kancamagus Highway crossing the White Mountains rarely opened before May.""You can talk all you want, but I went to an English boarding school. Unheated dormitories. No heat. One blanket. Too little food. And let's not forget the punishments." Brock's education explained the famed stiff upper lip of the British. Prisoners never wanted to show weakness to their warders. "Okay, you win." I gave up magnanimously, since my funds were low and Brock was footing this venture, plus THE HARP was blazed atop the pub in green. "Is this pub Irish?""Does the Pope shit in the woods?" Brock opened the door and we entered beer paradise. The Harp was a throwback to the 50s. There was no TVs showing football replays and no music. This pub was for drinking beer. The girl behind the bar smiled a welcome and I allowed Brock to order the beers. "This is a copper bar." Brock indicated to the left. "So I see." Several groups of men were trapped in talk. They had the look of the 'filth'. One of them caught my gaze. We nodded to each other. I could past for a cop in any country thanks to the Irish in me."Cheers." Brock handed me a Harveys. It was a real beer and the second tasted as good as the first and the third was even better, so I had a fourth. I don't remember what I had as a fifth, but it went well with the wild game sausage and chips.The Harp proved there still is an England, especially if the pub is Irish.The Harp pub is located in Covent Garden, close to Charing Cross rail and tube stations and just round the corner from Trafalgar Square. Their address is 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N4HS. They can be reached by phone at 020-7836-0291.

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