Pubs and Cafes

Apr 142014
 
The New Romantic Luge

by Matt Haynes
Hedonism, of course, was the name of the game, and pretty much anything went. One night, Boy George nearly brought Duran Duran’s career to a premature end when, clutching a garish mojito, he hurtled down the slope using Simon le Bon as a toboggan; luckily for the course of popular music, the chubby Brummie took it in his pantalooned stride. [read more...]

Leo

Nov 072013
 
Leo

by Colin Tucker
I retreated to the bedroom determined to concentrate on work. My exercise books sat on a small table, one for the novel, three for short stories, one for general observations and two blank, though one of these had ‘BBC’ written on the cover. I opened it and unscrewed the cap on my Sheaffer pen. Motive, I thought, the murderer needs a good motive. Marigold came in and sat on the bed. My mind went blank. [read more...]

Oct 172013
 
Paddington Chews It Off

Paddington Chews It Off by Matt Haynes
Paddington gazed dejectedly at the menu. Years ago, he’d persuaded them to add marmalade sandwiches, but they’d used “artisan bread” with the texture of damp compacted sawdust, and the marmalade hadn’t been marmalade at all, but something they’d called orange coulis – and THEN they’d had the temerity to charge him £5.95. He’d hidden it under his hat, telling them he’d save it for an emergency, and not mentioned the subject again. [read more...]

Jul 032013
 
Speed Dating in Surbiton

by Sno Flo
Rugged men with frost-nibbled beards were hugging pints and staring at us as if we were quarry shipped in from the Far East to replace local female stock escaped to parts less chilly and depressing, like Kingston. I ordered two rum and cokes, and asked myself the question every speed dater sporting two X chromosomes must: why were we bothering to pay fifteen smackers to meet men when there were so many free ones lying about? [read more...]

Jun 192013
 
The Evening Shift

by Doreen Joy Barber
Feet sticking to the floor, you squeeze past customers to collect the empty glassware to be returned to the bar, to be baptized in the hot water of the glass washer and to be reborn again as a vessel for ale, lager, wine or rudimentary cocktail. You think about when you can be reborn. You think about when you can have a shower to wash off whatever the hell is black and sticky on your arm. [read more...]

Jan 092013
 
The Comfort and the Joy of Feeling Lost

by Jamie Woods
We head back up to the balcony, the girls with tinsel in their hair, our girls, Clare; they kiss boys, older boys, boys we don’t know. We watch scornfully, teasingly, jealously. We drink until our money runs out, until it’s time to go. Danny downs a pint of Guinness in one, flips open his gullet and pours. We’re sixteen: this is one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. [read more...]

Dec 152012
 
The Reluctant Voyeur

by James Hunt
I can tell they are from out of town because they’re all carrying M&M’s World bags. They’re deciding whether to go to Camden Town or Harrods when they finish their burgers and bottled cider. I glance in their direction and catch my reflection in the large mirror. I look appalled. The two sons are enormous. They’ve got matching fringes, making them look like talent show hopefuls pumped up with helium. Enjoy the M&Ms, boys. [read more...]