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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. Wet and Chilly.

Wet and Chilly.
Just for a change, I thought I would try The Prince Alfred http://www.theprincealfred.com/  last night.  This late Victorian pub (1863) is a temple of adulation to the demon drink and is well worth a visit, but could hardly be treated as a local by us mortals, but then we don’t own the huge mansions and Bentleys that surround it. As Time Out described it,”............. the wow factor for first-time visitors is pretty much guaranteed, and there’ll be more exclamation when the price of a pint becomes apparent: your Peroni will cost upwards of four quid.”.
Too right! My pint of Youngs Bombardier was £4.09! So in for a penny......the second pint was Youngs Double Chocolate Stout at £4.74!!! Ouch. I even had a meal there, which was good, but not exceptional. Probably, two pints of Chocolate Stout would have constituted a meal in itself!
The main bar of this place is big, with a high stucco ceiling and amazing tall etched windows. Although the bar is big, it is divided into about four snugs, each separated by a wooden screen with frosted glass at the top and a very low door to get from one area to the next, so you have to duck down to get through. The top of each screen is decorated with a spindle turned frieze and a heavy broken pediment in the centre, all carved in mahogany. All these snugs surround an island bar, so there is service at each of them. The restaurant reminded me of a tram shed, with steel trusses across the ceiling and an enormous ‘dog box’ big, with high decorative plaster seiling...the second pint of Youngs Double Chocolate Stout was £ of a skylight above. The walls are decorated with enormous black and white photographs of the boats on the canal and appear to have been taken in the 70’s as they are all cabin cruiser narrow boats. How much better it would have been to show historic working boats instead.
It was an interesting and enjoyable experience, even though my wallet complained, but I will not return. A final nightcap of Doombar was had at The Warwick Castle on the way back.
 It has been raining on and off since this morning and I was hoping to complete the side doors. It may improve later, but in the meantime there is plenty to read about on the web about the forthcoming BCN Challenge and to continue with this blog.
 The Huawei Mobile WiFi E5332 is working really well and I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner. The one problem is that the TS-9 aerial plug does not hold in place, like it did on the Huawei E 160 HSPDA USB Stick, which has a round hole to support the aerial plug on the outside. A retrograde step in design, I think.

Eventually, the rain did stop and I had a walk back to The Prince Alfred to take some pics of the outside, but I was tempted inside to take some more, so I just had to buy another pint of Double Chocolate Stout. I think that was worth it, as the interior is so impressive. A stroll back to The Warwick Castle for a last pint of Doombar was in order, before heading back to Stronghold and a meal. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the trip down the locks to Limehouse to meet up with Barry and Terry, my crew for the weekend.
The Warwick Castle.

The Prince Alfred


One of the smaller snugs.
The island bar.


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