Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday - My thoughts turn to The Fox and Pheasant Pub in Chelsea, London

It is Ash Wednesday, I went to Mass this Morning at St. Cajetan's Parish in my neighborhood. I will get ashes in St. Anne, IL where Mrs. Marietta Frogge is being waked.

Death - Memento Mori. Got it. A woman just called and said, "I heard Leo is closing in June." No, Ma'am - not now; not as long as a Lion breathes.

The Lion's breath called to mind the absolutely most lively and soul lifting place on earth. The Fox and Pheasant Pub in Chelsea or London.

Last, chin-waged with worthies there in 1998 in the company of Master Conor Hickey (eight years of age); Mistress Nora Hickey (thirteen) and Patrick Mulligan, BA ( Notre Dame), MA ( U of V), late-of-La Lumiere School.

The Fox and Pheasant was home pub of a retired British Army Colonel who took to Master Conor and daft wagered ( Lord, Yank, you've taken me for another Chocolat Flake! Astounding good luck!)with the Hoosier-born lad ( he said "Dang" quite often in those days)over Lance Armstrong's prospect in the Tour'dFrance.

We chatted with the owners of the Chelsea Football Club*; sundry tradesmen; charming Sloan Rangers and America loving Brits.

The draft (draught) beers came from the now closed Bishops Brewery of Broughton.

All things pass. Memento Mori and remember your change, Yank!

Hidden away in Billing Road, off Fulham Road, you'll find the Fox & Pheasant in this tranquil mews. The theme continues inside with no games machines or music.

There are two bars, both relatively untouched, with low ceilings, pine flooring, painted beams and half panelled walls. The lounge is marginally more comfy. The furnishings are simple; wooden pews and small round tables, the exceptions being a carved fireplace and some very unusual splay-legged chairs.

The bar servery area is classic, with small glass panelled screens forming a booth. A tiny hatch faces the entrance, once used for 'off sales'. The beers are well kept and the service attentive and friendly.

In the mid 19th century, two small cottages were knocked through to create this delightful pub. Then, this area would have been on the edge of the countryside, but although its name implies a country connection, until a few decades ago, it was called the Bedford Arms.

Facilities include a dart board and a nice garden area at the rear which allows children until 5 o'clock. It's adjacent to Chelsea's Football Ground so if you don't like crowds avoid match days.

paulk, 2008-09-26


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