Wednesday 13 March 2013

A new house and a Snooty Fox

As mentioned in my last update I'm afraid I've been slacking off from this blog due to foolishly deciding to buy a house. This has meant my time has been taken up running back and forth dealing with estate agents, solicitors, surveyors, utilitiy companies and furniture suppliers. And more importantly I haven't had any internet access for the past few weeks.

It's my first time buying a house and it's been an exciting journey. I must admit I was a bit nervous throughout the process after discovering the house buying section of the MoneySavingExpert forums and reading some of the horror stories on there. I always find doing a bit of research on the internet on a subject is both a blessing and curse. It's a blessing because I learn a lot about the subject and get differing viewpoints, and can prepare for any potential hiccups. It's a curse because I realise just how many things can go horribly wrong, and just terribly wrong it can go. In this case, after reading the MSE forums, I was worried that during the house buying process there would be a point where I just end up sitting in a corner silently rocking back and forth while clutching my mobile phone, hoping my solicitor wouldn't call me up to tell me the office dog accidentally ate all of my paperwork and the buying process will be delayed for a year.

Bringing it all together in the most
shambolic way possible
Thankfully the estate agents and solicitors weren't completely useless and didn't have an office dog, so the process went through smoothly with no paperwork being eaten by any type of domestic pet. Getting internet access also went through OK. As part of their charter BT are required to mess something up, and in this case a BT Engineer who was supposed to visit our house never arrived as "the work could all be done at the exchange." Of course we weren't told this until the next day, after The Lovely Jemma had spent a day at home waiting for a BT engineer who was never going to arrive. As it's BT the complaint process is long and ultimately pointless, so they will most likely get away with this.

But now that I'm settled in and have internet it's time for a few updates on my beery travels. I'll be doing a few posts over the next few weeks and I'll start off with a report on the delights of The Snooty Fox. This relatively new pub has been getting a lot of acclaim from CAMRA members and other real ale fans who don't sport beards. When I saw they were having a Northern ale festival I decided to go check out this well regarded boozer for the first time. I ventured off to Canonbury, which is one of those places nobody knew existed until the London Overground discovered it like a mechanical, lumbering Christopher Columbus. Upon entering the pub my first impressions were "this is a small pub" and also "bloody hell there's a lot of people here I'm never going to get a seat." There was a jovial atmosphere inside, and also a very appealing selection of Northern ales, some being served from the bar and others from barrels in a temporary area which was probably using up some of the seating.

Highly Recommended
They clearly care about the beer here and all the ale was in tip top condition. Highlights included the Magic Rock High Wire NZ. The Lovely Jemma described this one best as a "adventure in my mouth, and I like the adventure." It's a fruity, fragrant and absolutely delicious beer, and one to challenge the mighty Thornbridge Kipling as a new hoppy favourite. The New World Red from the Saltaire Brewery was also great, with a lovely malty bitterness that gave this ruby red beer a nice warming feel to it. Delightful.

I spotted and correctly identified beer writer and blogger Pete Brown in attendance, and it turns out he was there to do a talk on his new book. It's quite an achievement for me to identify someone correctly. Usually I point at someone and say "Isn't that Christopher Walken?" before The Lovely Jemma has to point out that it's not Mr Walken but actually just a homeless person and that's why he's rooting through some bins.

Sadly the conversation in the pub was so loud I wasn't able to catch much of what Mr Brown was saying.  The bits I caught sounded far more entertaining and informative then anything I could of thought up, which is probably why he's publishing books and I'm sat here typing gibberish into a blog that is largely read by Google Spiderbots. We did share one thing in common though: he also seemed pretty pleased with the beer quality in the pub.

As part of the festival a small Northern themed food menu was available. I went for a Toad in the Hole which filled me up nicely. Overall a very pleasant evening was had in this cosy and welcoming pub, and I look forward to returning.

As mentioned there are more updates to come as I continue to enthral you all with my February ale tales. See you soon!

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