Thursday, 2 October 2008

You Must Have Come In A Taxi

Yes, we did, thank you for asking!

Due to being one cab short for a few minutes - containing the one driver who knew the way - our convoy of taxis departed Plaistow slightly later than anticipated but it wasn't long before we were speeding east along the A13.

And the timing was more or less perfect - the whistle blew for kick off as we made our way through the turnstiles.

(left) London Millers

Rather than rush to the terrace like young novices, most of us went for a quick visit to the gents before hitting the burger bar.

Now the burgers at Dagenham are the best I've ever had at any football ground - and have been for quite a few seasons now - the chips were also well-cooked and a wonderful golden colour - not like the insipid undercooked fries sold elsewhere. It's about the best substitute for the much-missed fabled catering from Aggbrough that we're likely to get these days.

What can I say about the game? Well given that my team wasn't playing, it was OK and the teams were evenly matched - no doubt some of the London Millers will have their rose-tinted specs on and disagree but a draw was a fair result. I won't say anymore or I'll risk upsetting her indoors.
The game was enthralling...
The journey back towards central London via the replacement bus service was fairly painless - much less hassle than they normally are. We rejoined the District Line at Barking and a group of us decided we'd have post-match beers at one of my favourite pubs, the Palm Tree in Mile End.

The Palm Tree stands alone in a stretch of Mile End Park - the pub is all that remains of what was Haverfield Road.

The family-run pub is a delight - the main bar being quite dark and displaying photos of club turns from the past - you won't recognise many faces on display here.

(left) Palm Tree

There are usually two real ales on offer - always different - and on this visit it was the Mauldon's Mid Autumn Gold plus one other which I forget the name of.

Most of us stuck to the Mauldon's - very lively, taking several attempts to pour but it was exceptionally drinkable.

The hours slipped by and the place got busier and finally the Saturday night jazz band got under way with standards such as "Moon River" and "Fly Me To The Moon" - very trad. Close to 11pm we made the sensible decision to go home.
A visit to the Palm Tree offers the perfect opportunity to get some of the best fish and chips in London from the Brittania Fish bar on nearby Grove Road. And opposite the chippy is the Victoria pub which is run by former boxer Charlie Magri. The interior is all leather armchairs and boxing memorabilia - very interesting stuff but unfortunately for fussy buggers like me they only do keg beer.

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