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Grab your coat (and badge)

The Coat and Badge
8 Lacy Road
Putney
London SW15
Tel: 020 8788 4900

STOUT has seen a few patterns emerge during the years he’s been knocking about London.

He could say he’s seen it all – bad pints, short pours, fast ones, free ones and last Saturday, the genre that annoys him most – fun ones.

Now Stout is all for fun. Oh yes. But only when it occurs naturally! Fun should never be an effort and it should never be made to look so.
Now this isn’t an ode to bar staff pretending they’re having a better time than the customer, but Stout just can’t figure…are you guys working or shaping?  If it’s the former, then here’s some friendly advice – stop.

Stout isn’t talking pleasant smile and friendly banter here. He’s talking dancing behind the jump, which is on the gyrating end of a foot-tapping scale. And forced facial expressions so exaggerated, Jack Nicolson’s Joker would do well to keep up. He’s seen it all.

Stout is ex-bar-service himself so he’s qualified to comment on these matters. Yes sir.

Back in his student days, the only shape he threw was a subtle expression of style, with tea towel slung over the shoulder so it wouldn’t clash with his courteous manner.

So Saturday was yet another reminder that understated style is on the run, and here comes the emerging pattern. First of all, Stout heard tell of the Coat and Badge before. Now this is only a good thing if the information is coming from reliable Guinness sources, guys like Scoops Reilly or The Jar.

When Stout walked into the Coat and Badge, he knew it was somewhere The Jar would reverse straight out of. But there was a warming fire and a happy ambience and it was Saturday afternoon.

It was one of those places that do easy couches and board games…you know the ones?
HELLLOOOOOO shouted the barman. In a fashion that left you in no doubt that that he was feeling great. “AND what can I get YOUHUUU?”  he twanged.
“Eh, just a pint of Guinness,” replied Stout through instant frown and narrowing eyes.

“PINT OF GUINNESS YEP, COMING RIGHT UP,” he grinned.
Now if the reception matched the standard of delivery, then Stout would be writing a different column now, one about enthusiasm rather than performance arts. But then like Stout already alluded to, the energy was lost on the pour instead of shoulder being put into it.
It was rushed and the head didn’t quite go over the top, unlike the server. Still, some credit where it’s due, the taste was solid and the fire was warm.

“ENJOY YOUR DRINK,” announced the man grandly and loudly too. Stout couldn’t help but look left and then right, just in case he was about to be lauded as the one millionth customer of the place!
But really Stout was just a bit grumpy. He was looking for a bar and instead got another performance, this time from a baritone. If that’s your cup of tea, then grab your Coat (and Badge) because you’ve pulled. As for Stout, he’s heading for a pint with Scoops and The Jar.

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