A Rose by Another Name
Went to have a last drink at the Prince Albert aka Rose's this afternoon. R and I had encountered it a few years ago when we were visiting the area (a tip from the CAMRA supporting Kev and Mrs T I think) and have since enjoyed the great beer, Jackie's brilliant rolls and its well known 'time-warp' atmosphere whenever chance has allowed.
When contemplating the move out here it played a positive role - we could fantasise about soaking in its mellow atmoshere on some weekend evening.
Then we move here and R comes across it in an auction website and today its history. Not so much history - more a small collection of happy memories for me and R and a much larger collection for all the long-term locals who came to pay their last respects today.
It was extraordinary in this day and age for any type of retail outlet to go out of its way to look as if it was closed - Gordon's Wine Bar in Villiers Street could be another example. Whether it was deliberate or not I don't know but there was almost a Narnia feeling in walking through its front door. The contrast between the warm womb of the place and the harsher goings on outside couldn't be more extreme. I spent one summer afternoon sipping beer there listening to the biggest of barnies between a mad bus driver, an insane car driver and what seemed like a hundred hot and bothered kebab customers from the shop over the road. The door was wide open and there was nothing between us and it but the goings-on still seemed very far away - no more real than as if someone had started showing a Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" on the uncharacteristically 21st century plasma screen.
Even timelessness, it seems, must come to an end.
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