Pub ‘n’ Chips
A mixture of running, drinking and eating suited to those balmy summer days
Pubs and chips, it is the run that has everything! Well, assuming that your life revolves around eating and drinking. A swift pint in KB, then off over Blackford Hill to the Merlin, then Bennetts (with chips), then Waiting Room (or whatever it’s called now), then a long slog to the finest alfresco pub in all Edinburgh – Le Oz. Situated on a summit of the Braids, Le Oz serves the finest Pimms in all Edinburgh! Perfect for a summer’s evening! A flying run down to The Stables completed the official festivities for the evening, partly because the usual final pub has been replaced by student flats (booo!). Throughout the evening the rain threatened, and fell, but generally the run was dry and full of cheer. After the Stables Bar the social drinkers to disengaged from the serious drinkers, and headed home with a spring in their step and a fuzzy warmth to their thinking. The serious drinkers took a leisurely run to Leslies, for the usual post-Pub n Chips pint(s) of beer, and then some more, and then finally home without any memory of how they got there. Three cheers for beer (and chips)! And people! Hurrah! Many thanks to Oz!
Oz made an appearance 10 days ago after an absence of some time. The chat on the run was mainly about the lack so far of the summer Pun N Chips run being on the calendar.
The next sunday an email appears, it is on.
So a group of around 25 met in KB and after avoiding ESOC’s orienteering start line, had a pint in preparation and then set off.
The weather was not too bad so we summited Blackford Hill, I was leading from the rear, upset that none of my slow runners had come along to give me the normal excuse for going slow.
After a swift descent we headed for Bennett’s bar, with The Merlin rather roadworked, tarmaced and noisy we missed it out. Gordon was found there by Alan Hogg who went on a missing past president hunt.
Reunited we headed for the Hermitage Bar and were united with our chips, the incredulous bar tender was unwilling to pull 23 half pints until he saw the team arrive.
After scoffing the carohydrate we headed for Braid through Braiburn Park and emptied a bottle of Glenlivet at the summit (thanks Oz), then we ran to The Stable Bar for another (slightly Midgie this time) pint. Then we ran off to KB and the Leslie’e Bar for a nice pint or two and a good chat.
A great night out as ever, Thanks Oz
17th July 2013
It was another lovely evening as we gathered at KB for this year’s Pub ‘n’ Chips run, fuelling ourselves with an assortment of beverages ranging from beer to wine to hot chocolate (and some cider). Suitably hydrated, 20 of us set off up Blackford Hill, whilst Saint Nick and Jimbob Squarepants, Carnethy’s own answers to Chris Froome and Ritchie Porte, took the cycling option. Jimbob even offered to take the kitty, before shamefully confessing that he would have just “blown it all on hokas” (at least, we think he said hokas…).
Reaching the top we disturbed the romantic evenings of a handful of couples, and played Reach for the Chips as numbers for a range of salt, sauce and vinegar options were established. Mike then diverted to the chippy to get them cooking, whilst we met with President Gordon and the Legend of Shane in the Merlin, for a Belhaven IPA (and some cider).
A short sprint led us down to Bennet’s, where we took over most of the outdoor section to enjoy their own Bennet’s ale (and some cider). It was sometime around here that we realised we were in the presence of an internationally acclaimed megastar, as Matt had brought along his nephew, Daniel Radcliffe, to add a little youthful vim and vigour to the proceedings – Harry Potter and the Half-Cut Hill Runners set the tone for the evening.
The chippy was busy and our grub had been a little delayed, so we headed for the Morning Glory this year instead of the Waiting Room and ate our chips there, accompanied by our only Deuchars of the evening (and some cider).
Now, confession time. I’ve always been a tad disturbed by the intrusion of Pimms into the Pub ‘n’ Chips run… The ascetic purity of a simple celebration of barley and potato, corrupted by this intruder, this unwholesome, unhygienic beast, served in a jug with garishly coloured fruit and veg bobbing about! I don’t even know what Pimms is made of (answers on a postcard to the usual address please)? And yet, and yet…it seems to have inveigled its way in and become a core part of the evening… So there I was on Monday night buying a bottle of the blessed stuff, along with some limes, lemons, apples and a cucumber too; the last of which was particularly galling – what’s the point of a foodstuff which costs more calories to eat than you gain from it? And why did I have to go through this whole torrid and tawdry experience? Because the Buckstone Bar at the Braids Hotel is closed for refurbishment and re-opens…next week. So the only way to get the Pimms in was going to be DIY style…
All of which digressive, waffling nonsense takes us from the Morning Glory up to the summit of Braids, where the lovely late evening sunshine was accompanied by a bowl of handmade Pimms punch…or alternatively a selection of beers for the more heathen amongst us. No cider though.
We then split into several groups for the trot to the Stables where we received our usual excellent welcome and a range of damn fine Stewart’s ales (and some cider). The evening was still warm enough to sit outside and there were no midges to drive us indoors. There was a moment of confusion when one of our throng went missing though, as Phil suffered from a minor “overshoot”. Edinburgh Gold turned out to be the appropriate remedy for this condition though, purely for medicinal purposes of course.
Still, all things must come to an end, and we headed off down by the Cattery back to KB and then most of us reconvened in the bar of Leslie’s to admire Jimbob’s “little knees” (don’t ask) and for one last cheeky snifter of their own Leslie’s ale (and, er, maybe some cider??).
Thanks to the various people who helped through the evening – Mike for being chips-man, Jim and Phil with the Pimms gubbins and Willie for being a guiding light at various points in the run. And thanks to everyone who came along – hope you all enjoyed it!
20th June 2012
Pub ‘n’ Chips Summer Stagger 2012
Well, Fraser (aka Gibson Junior) was going to write a report on this, but nothing’s appeared yet, so I’ll have a go…
It was an epic this year, with the highest number of Carnethies ever on a Pub ‘n’ Chips run. There were significant differences between the estimates from the police and the organisers, however attendance is believed to have peaked at around 30…fortunately below the threshold to trigger a Morningside kettling…
Anyway, most of us gathered at KB, where the first turn-up of the evening was the arrival of three Lady Ga-Gas in pink wigs. Fortunately for the vegetarians present, meat frocks were not considered the most practical running attire. And even with a 7:15pm start Matt still managed to be late, screeching in on two wheels as we all set off up Blackford Hill.
The usual route through the Astley Ainslie was closed, so two alternative routes (a side entrance…or a hop over a wall!) were used to find our way through to the Merlin. The beer was a Caledonian special I can’t remember the name of, and the official standing of the run was increased as we collected El Presidente, Monsignor Treasurer and our Distinguished Former Secretary.
Gordon popped down to Stefano’s to get them started on large-scale chip-cooking duties, then we made our way to Bennet’s, for an excellent round of Kelburn’s Goldihops. The very friendly staff even changed the barrel for us as we fed and rehydrated outside.
A quick skip round the corner took us to the Waiting Room for some Tyneside Blondes. The barman was slightly bemused, and with me being unsure of our numbers, combined with the lack of an abacus behind the bar, we ended up with a couple of extra halves. Before we got too worried about who would drink them, we remembered we had Willie (aka Gibson Senior), which meant they evaporated tout, and indeed, suite.
Crossing the road, we avoided both the oncoming traffic, and the Morning Glory, and took in some cultural history, at the site of Edinburgh’s last hanging of two highwaymen. Who’d have thunk it? Pubs! Chips!! Culture!? …and History!?!
Still, the lure of Pimms seemed to be distracting people and the traditionalists in the group braved the midges on the Buckstone Terrace, whilst the softer ones amongst us hid indoors nursing our Deuchars IPA.
There were no such problems (either midges or Pimms) on the summit of Braids, just a lovely evening as the light started to drift. We managed our usual bash across the golf course without attracting too much ire from the lovable rogues hacking their way round, and tootled through Mortonhall woods to the Stables Bar. Midges drove everyone indoors, and into the arms of Stewart’s 80″…as the evening got darker, so did the beer.
Leaving two Gibsons and a CaliBob in situ (they may still be there now?), our feet took us back by Liberton Tower to KB for the official finish…and then on for the semi-(un)official end at Leslie’s. Foolishly we tried in vain to find out what Dr Matt had done his PhD on – the general consensus was the little studied field of “Grove-orrhoids”…
And that’s where I left them…contentedly have a braw blether and toying with where to head for their next beer!
So, all of that, and no mention of Jimbob’s explanation of how he managed to get out of his wetsuit at the triathlon…and for the sake of decency, let’s keep it that way… Thanks to everyone for coming along – hope you all enjoyed it!
1st July 2011
Pub ‘n’ Chips 2011
(aka Willie…will ye put that *!*@?*! video camera away!
We came, we saw, we cantered… ’twas a lovely evening as we gathered at KB for a pint before heading up Blackford Hill, where there were the usual cracking views from the summit. The more sartorially elegant passed the time with a swift discussion on the relative merits of “sports” vs “Top Gun” style sunglasses for running in…but there was only going to be one winner (and, naturally, only one wingman).
Unfortunately our usual meander through the Astlie Ainslie is locked off now, so we took the more direct route through and on to the Merlin, where bike-ridden Andy Millard had arrived before us and got the round in – what a star!
Heading through Morningside, we diverted from the traditional route to nosh our chips outside Bennet’s Bar, to the amusement and bemusement of the landlord. A lesser-spotted chip-hoovering Gibson on the prowl forced us all to eat swiftly, then the group split, with some heading for the Wild West film set behind the library (now there’s a sentence I’ve never written before…), and the rest scattering pedestrians with a sprint round the corner to the Waiting Room. Recombined, we made our way onwards and upwards to the Buckstone, where we relaxed on the terrace as the sun slowly sank.
No Pimms this year, but half of us got beer that the barman claimed was “slightly unusual…quite bitter”. Vinegary would have been closer to the mark; it would have been better suited to covering our chips earlier – however, a swift change of ale and all was fine. Off we went again, up to the summit of Braids for beautiful views of the Pentlands softly lit by the setting sun, then we made our way to the Stables, where the wee midges weren’t so timorous, so it was everyone indoors.
On over Braids golf course, the light wasn’t exactly welcoming at the Braidburn Inn, so we headed on to take over one corner of Leslie’s for our last drink, before deciding to leave right around the time we got kicked out. A grand evening out – thanks to everyone for coming, hope you enjoyed it, and keep an eye on the Social page for details of the much-discussed “Oktoberfast”, hopefully coming soon…
Rewriting the Chips – Nick’s report
I can create institutions, but I can’t rewrite the chips in people’s heads.
I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.
Staring at chips is not going to help me in my performance.
Beware the nightrunners my dear, they also drink beer.
The Pub and Chips run has of course become an institution and it was perhaps only a mile or so into the run—out from KB up over Blackford Hill and through the grounds of Astley Ainslie Hospital when the thought of chips began to fill people’s heads. The concepts of the run are simple—get a heady mix of runners, shaken or stirred, and traipse at a trot around half a dozen or so pubs, take in a hill or two with some chip chomping and ale quaffing, bathos and banter on route.
The idea for this run came from that wizard, Oz and so it was appropriate that our first stop was at the Merlin, although the pub isn’t named after the wizard of Arthurian legend but after the falcon which is Britain’s smallest bird of prey. Several streets around there have the name falcon in them and it may be there was a falconry nearby or some association with falcons that I don’t know of. Moving on from such flights of fancy it was time for that most important of events—buying the chips! So whilst the main party ran down to Bennett’s our next halt, Oz and some others headed for Stefano’s to do the needful. Meanwhile Alan, Alice and Jonathan Hogg and I scouted around behind Morningside library to have a look at the mock up, timber, Wild West town complete with saloon, cantina and jail!
Then on to join the others in the beer garden outside Bennett’s, where when the chips arrived Willie began a game of hunt the chips. The rules of this game seemed to involve Willie scoffing all his chips instantly then drifting round the tables to similarly stare at everyone else’s chips until they foolishly offered them to him for more scoffing. All the chips too quickly consumed it was time to move on—although Willie reminded us there was another chip shop just up the road!
Once again the group split with some going back to see the Wild West town and others going on to wait at the, erm … Waiting Room (so called because it’s opposite Morningside Station). Beers quickly quaffed it was time to prove we were actually hillrunners and run past the Morning Glory pub and push up the hill towards the Braids with a slight off road detour before sitting out in glorious sunshine on the elevated sun terrace of the Buckstone Bar. Apart from Steph who had been drinking gallons of cider, most of us were only drinking beers with names that we knew Oz could spell when he got the orders in and so we’d been drinking IPA so far. The BB had a choice of 2 IPA’s and so Oz filled half the order with one and the other half with the other to the delight of half the group and dismay of the other half as one of the beers was decidedly off. Substitute beers got and consumed, we continued upwards leaving the road to weave through the gorse and up to the summit of Braid Hill where a panoramic view over the city, the Forth and Fife lay before us. But onwards.
Down over the golf course, through Buckstone Woods and Mortonhall running by Mortonhall House, once owned by the Trotters (not HBT but the family of the same name) to the superb Stable Bar where the midges proved too much for most and we repaired to the bar, where the Stewart’s ale slowed proceedings by tempting some to have a couple of pints before the run down through Liberton back to KB.
The run was over, so what to do now? Simple, carry on and the night was finished off in Leslie’s, although a few die-hards went on to the Old Bell Inn until the last bell sounded.
Our night’s adventure was done, our trip, our journey, was over and we knew that if the chips fall where they may, no matter … Willie would still be there to eat them up!
Thanks to Oz for the organisation.
23rd June 2010
20th August 2008
Inaugural Pub ‘n’ Chips Run
Another fortuitous Wednesday night weather break was a bonus to the 18 Carnethies who set off on the inaugural pub ‘n’ chips run…of whom 15 had read their email, and were actually expecting it! Waddling up Blackford Hill with a first pint sloshing inside us, we met up with a gaggle of Bog Trotting Ladies on the summit. Dropping through the Astlie Ainslie, the Merlin was our next refreshment stop, and the starting point for the Usain Bolt memorial sprint. Sadly this failed to live up to its name, resulting, as it did, in a tight finish outside the chip shop, where the major question was a Shakespearean; “To sauce or not to sauce?”. A new Olympic event, Chip Running followed, as we decamped to the Morning Glory to wash our grub down with more ale, and tried to stop Willie drinking so quickly. Shedding runners, a hop, skip and a jump then led us up to the Buckstone at the Braid Hills Hotel, where we savoured some Pimms on the Lawn, dahlings! Then, speeding through the gloom of Mortonhall Woods to the Stables Bar, we took the chance to relax a little, before nipping back to the Braid Burn for one final sherbet, and the stagger home!