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You may have noticed we’ve been out and about a lot recently. Although we were in London for the first full weekend for ages, there was still a nagging wanderlust, and so we headed out to west London. After a nice amble along the river we made our first ever visit to the legendary Dove.

As this was the first sunny Sunday for several months, most of London had descended on this fairly small riverside pub for lunch and it was in meltdown. The staff were stressed, the food was a long time coming and there was a long queue of people who had apparently never been to a pub before and so didn’t really understand how it worked.

We escaped straight for the tiny public bar (the smallest in the world, according to Norris McWhirter) and observed the chaos. We overheard some good dialogue: “What’s your thickest beer? The creamiest?” (Quick, Fullers,* time to bring out that smoothflow!); “When will my food be ready? Only I really am tremendously hungry.”

They were doing a roaring trade in Aspell’s cider and White wine, and the biggest selling ale seemed to be Discovery. So, Fuller’s know their market after all. We enjoyed someone bringing a pint of it back and kicking up a right fuss because it was ‘flat’. We think the word she was looking for is crap.

Despite the punters’ lack of interest in it, the ale is, on the whole, great. We drank the best London Pride we’ve had for ages and also got to try Bengal Lancer, their new 5% IPA. We enjoyed it immensely. It looks like Pride, has characteristic Fullers’ marmalade flavour, but with a much more pronounced, tangy, spicy hop flavour. We’re excited at the prospect of this becoming a regular.

Here’s a trivia question: how many genuine riverside pubs are there on the north side of the river between the Dove in Hammersmith and the Town of Ramsgate in Wapping? The rules are that the pub genuinely has to be directly on the riverside, with no road inbetween.