56. Au General Lafayette, Paris, France

 

IMG_0896

A café so bold, it has it’s own branded beer glasses…in PARIS. On the surface, this the quintessential Parisian café experience; one major difference singles Au General Lafayette out: the focus on quality beer.

IMG_0922

Ten tap beers and a robust selection of Belgian classics (Orval, Chimay, Westmalle) provide the bulk of its’ arsenal, with some focus on French beers too, and one can order a beer to accompany your meal without embarrassment or scorn from the waiters.

IMG_0872

Service is brisk but still friendly, a rarity in lackadaisicall Parisian café dining. The interior has a tasteful assortment of mechanical miscellany amidst what could be original 1930s decor.

IMG_0929

Any Parisian worth his wine will dine al fresco, and Au General does not disappoint, offering a lengthy outdoor terrace hugging the perimeter. It’s next to a busy road, but so is all of Paris; one gets used to the engine roar and the moped whines as white noise and eventually as ambience.

IMG_0924

Venue: 6/10

Quintessential Parisian café, in and out.

Beer: 3/10

Nothing astounding, indeed an average-to-small range for the Netherlands or Belgium, but good for this wine-obsessed (read: misguided) nation.

Worthy? No

If the food was better, maybe.

Advertisements

12. The Market Porter, Stoney Street, London, England

Near the big pointy thing, there’s a market where one can buy all sorts. Thirsty work as that undoubtedly is, The Market Porter is a saving grace.

IMG_1027

But location is all it’s got. The exterior has such promise, but the inside has befallen the same fate as all too many old pubs- a refurbishment that basically strips the character right out. Monotone painted walls and cheap furniture replace eclectic collections of souvenirs and tat proudly amassed by the owners and thick, worn tables that have supported countless pints and heard just as many conversations.

IMG_1003

If the sign (below) is to be believed, the pub opens exceptionally early to cater for the morning market workers, which is a nice touch. Perhaps that is why it is so renowned.

IMG_1007

One of the few personal decorative touches is the extensive collection of pump labels from previous guest brews. But these hide just a small part of the bland red paint throughout.

IMG_1021

Whilst the labels are indicative of a high turnaround of guest ales, this is true of many great, characterful, places in the UK.

IMG_1031

Venue: 2/10

Looks better on the outside. Recently refurbished (read: ruined).

Beer: 4/10

There seems to be a decent rotation, but not a wide range at any one time. One for the regulars.

Worthy? No

There is nothing remarkable, but if you are in the area, it’s probably worth popping in to cast your own opinion.