Thursday 18 April 2024

Amsterdam bound

I meet Mike for breakfast at nine.

I’m feeling a bit crap. Not sure why. A cold coming on, perhaps. Maybe lack of sleep. Or it could have been those cocktails. And the soju. Yeah, maybe it makes sense. I’m tired and have a cold.

The best in such circumstances is to fill your stomach. Preferably with salt and grease. Also known as a full English. I get scrambled egg, mushrooms, lots of bacon and, in a daring move, a sausage. Only because it’s labelled “Cumberland sausage”.

It’s not too bad. Could maybe have done with a bit more texture. I have some more orange juice. And more coffee. I’m still really thirsty. That’s it. I’m, ill, tired and dehydrated. It’s so simple.

We’re due over in Wandswortth at 11:00. I wouldn’t know the best way to get there. We take a District line train to East Putney. Then walk. It’s not stupidly far. But I have my luggage with me.

We’re meeting various people at Sambrooks. Which is located on the part of the former Youngs brewery site. Never been there before, so should be fun. Despite the walk.

After a while of fiddling around outside, we find Derek and his son Michael are already inside. Along with Duncan Sambrook of, er, Sambrooks.

We start off with a drink. For me, a water. I’m weirdly thirsty.

We have a quick spin around the brewery. Where John, a former Youngs brewer who kept brewing going on the site after the closure. He’s busy brewing on his small kit. An IPA. We don’t have long to chat as he’s, well, brewing. 

After Sambrooks, it’s the turn of the Youngs Heritage Centre. Where, in one of the few bits of the original structure, they have some old bits and bobs. And a couple of brewing logs. Including the final one, covering 2006-2007. I quickly snap a few random pages.

There’s just time for a beer before we need to leave for our next appointment. I get a half of Porter. Don’t want to drink too much beer. I have a long tube ride to consider. Don’t want to soil my kecks on the way to the airport.

We take a bus to the Bricklayer’s Arms in Putney. A famous beer pub, which I’ve never visited before. It’s sort of Timothy Taylor’s London HQ. Selling no fewer than four of their beers: Dark Mild, Landlord, Landlord Dark and Boltmaker. Pretty impressive. I get a half of Landlord Dark. As the Mild has just gone off.

I can’t stay for long. I need to get over to Heathrow for a 5 PM flight. I start getting ready to leave around 2 PM. But everything takes longer than you expect in London.

By the time my Uber drops me at Hammersmith tube station, it’s 14:40. Mmm. I’d like to get to the airport around three-ish. When’s the next train to terminal 4? Bum. Not for another 15 minutes.

Luckily, it’s only 30 minutes to the airport. I’m there at 15:30. Where I discover that my flight is delayed by 60 minutes. More time in the lounge, I suppose.

It’s pretty full. I manage to find a seat, though. After setting up my flip-flop, I visit the bar to fetch a whisky. The think about food. As I’ve not eaten since breakfast. The hot food isn’t that bad. So I get stuck in.

I fiddle around on the internet for a while. While sipping whisky and stuffing my face.

Eventually it says my flight is 45-minutes late. Though, by the time it leaves, it’s delayed by more than an hour.

Not much to report about the flight. We take off, fly for a bit, land and then spend forever taxiing to the terminal.

When I open my front door, there’s a cup of tea ready. Andrew tracked my flight this time.

Sambrook's Brewery
1 Bellwether Ln,
London SW18 1UD.

The Bricklayer’s Arms
32 Waterman St,
London SW15 1DD. 

Disclosure: my travel and all expenses were paid by Goose Island.

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