Duncan's blog

July 1, 2014

20 funny pub signs

Filed under: Funny — duncan @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

More amusing, witty and clever A-board signs, this time all booze-inspired!

There's a beer garden & beerAlcohol may not solve your problems but neither will waterOur beer is as cold as your ex girlfriend's heartKeep it secret we have a huge beer gardenBeware of strong drink... it will make you shoot at tax collectors... and missRevenge is a dish best served cold. In fact scrub that, I meant beerCure your hangover with burgers and more boozeIf the answer's not beer... you're asking the wrong questions!Beer isn't the answer. It's the question. The answer is yes!Girls don't make passes at guys with pint glassesNever cry over spilt milk. Spilt cocktails are far more tragic!Due to very hot temperatures... it's advised that you hydrate at least 5 times a dayWine improves with age, the older I get, the better I like itI distrust camels & anyone else who can go a week without a drink!It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine, it's summertimeThe recession is over! Buy beer & houses!Dear Pope, come in for a swift one!Rudolph the red nosed reindeer... probably over indulged on the sherry we all leave outBook with us for your xmas lunches, parties or just a p*** upFREE BEER

Thanks to the following, and all those I can’t remember where they were:

June 25, 2014

25 funny coffee shop signs

Filed under: Coffee,Funny — duncan @ 8:00 am
Tags: , , ,

A day without coffee is like something without something

1. Fleet Street Press mastering the art of a good simile.


life is a beautiful and endless journey in search of the perfect cup!

2. Knockbox Coffee getting all zen.


free coffee for anyone doing the umbrella dance!

3. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs wondering if you feel like dancing.


Coffee - a warm, delicious alternative to hating everybody every morning forever!!!

4. Fleet Street Press


I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now!

5. Knockbox Coffee


Coffee is the foundation of my food pyramid

6. Fleet Street Press


But first, coffee

7.  Vittles Coffee, Edinburgh


trams: £1079.48 per Edinburgh resident, espresso: £2

8. Artisan Roast‘s coffee offering value for money for Edinburgh residents compared to the trams.


Coffee solves everything

9. Artisan Coffee, Stamford Brook


Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation

10. Fleet Street Press


Free coffee!

11.  Fork Deli


Coffee, one meal to rule them all!

12. Beany Green


your name

13. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs


coffee makes the afternoon better & quicker

14. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs


secret ingredient to the Egyptian revolution?

15. Notes providing the solution to the Egyptian revolution.


spring is here! - but we still need coffee!

16. Fleet River Bakery


wake up sleeping beauty

17. Fleet River Bakery



18. Artisan Roast


probably the best coffee in Tollcross and definitely the best tea

19. Modesty isn’t the best policy for Pekoe Tea.


coffee for passion

20.  The Borough Barista


creative fuel

21. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs


tube strikes suck!!!  our coffee doesn't!!!

22. Fleet River Bakery


coffee never goes on strike

23. Fleet Street Press



24. Quiet understatement from Brick Lane Coffee.


you've gotta fight for your right to latte

25. Four Corners Cafe

May 20, 2014

12 more funny A-boards

Filed under: Funny — duncan @ 6:37 pm

A random selection of some more unusual / funny signs outside pubs, coffee shops and cafés.

Beer me up ScottyYour mum ate my Meat PornHipster or Santa?Nobody's ugly after three drinks here!Name the whiskey: _U__EIT __UR__NCarbon Monoxide is a myth. The air contains prunes and only prunesPrivate sign. Do not readHe was a wise man who invented beer - PlatoPut on your pants! It's time for coffeee!Caffeine to get you to ChristmasIn three words I can sum up what I've learned about life: it goes onLife is short. Eat dessert first!

Credit to:

May 12, 2014

Even more amusing A-boards

Filed under: Coffee,Funny — duncan @ 8:00 am

More fun A-board signs outside coffee shops and bars:

Work hard and be nice to peopleAlcohol will not solve your problems but neither will milk!We don't care if we're not your cup of tea. So long as we're your pint of beer, we're happy!Coffee keeps me going until it's acceptable to drink wineThursday - it's almost, nearly the weekendThere's no 'I' in 'Team', but there is one in 'Wine' & 'Pint'. That's why it's OK to drink alone!"Reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub" - Mr BumpHip Hop Karaoke cancelled, but we still have bangin' coffee!!Nature is a language - can't you read?Cold gourmet sandwiches here to fill up that empty stomach :)Coffee / No CoffeeWe take cake seriously!

Signs by:

May 5, 2014

Yet more funny A-boards

Filed under: Coffee,Funny — duncan @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

More A-boards, all from coffee shops this time.  I love these things!

P1090980P1090978-001P1100355P1090895-001P1090801   P1090901   P1100119   P1100367 P1100651P1100504P1090802-001 P1100337

Coffee shops:

April 28, 2014

More funny A-boards

Filed under: Coffee,Funny — duncan @ 8:00 am

More in my ongoing series of funny A-board signs:

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth - Mike TysonAll we are saying is give quiche a chanceYou wanna feel angels on your tastebuds?We have 2482 happy customers & 1 creepy guy who's not allowed inFriday, a day you pretend to 'work' from hereSand witchesThe real black stuffI loves coffee, I do!Where beautiful people drink beautiful coffeeBadass Coffee hold up Mr Sugar!!Bolivia Newton JohnKeep calm and have a drip

Credit goes to:

April 20, 2014

Funny A-boards

Filed under: Coffee,Funny — duncan @ 6:44 pm
Tags: , ,

Following up from my previous posts, Funny coffee shop A-boards and Funny pub signs, here’s some more of my photos of funny A-boards from a variety of places (but mostly coffee shops).

Happy Monday!! How 'bout some caffeine?Coffee! If you're not shaking you need another cup!!!Coffee - the antidote to childrenMathsHow is Fix Coffee made?Guns and CoffeeI've started drinking my coffee out of a clear mug so people know where my tolerance level isLids - get one free with every coffee you buy here!We got alllll the pastriesChang chang Leather Lane let us see you shake your thangThe older you get, the more you realise, nobody knows anything. Everybody's winging it!I have no idea what to write on this side :(

Thanks to:

March 13, 2014

Leather Lane street food

Leather Lane is a historic street in the centre of London, connecting the busy roads of High Holborn and Clerkenwell Road.  On week days it is full of market stalls, as it has been for at least 400 years.  Traditionally these would have been mostly clothes stalls, but contrary to what you might expect, that’s not how it got its name; it’s apparently from an anglicisation of the name of a merchant, Le Vrunelane.  Although these days it’s predominantly street food, there’s still lots of stalls selling clothes, bags, houseware, etc.  On the weekends the stalls (and indeed almost all its cafés and shops) close up, as the city centre loses its office workers.

I’ve worked about 10 minutes walk away from here for the past few years, although it took me probably a year before I was even really aware of it.  These days I go several times a week for lunch.

My two favourite destinations are the previously-reviewed coffee shops Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, and Prufrock.  However I decided it might be nice to write about some of its many food stalls and cafés.  This will be brief to start with, but I hope to expand upon it over the next year or so.

This will likely quickly become out-of-date too, due to the peripatetic nature of market stalls.  So don’t rely on it for accuracy; instead I hope it gives you a flavour of the variety of what’s available in the area.  So, in no particular order:

Daddy Donkey
I can’t write about Leather Lane without mentioning Daddy Donkey.  This started as a small van, grew in time with popularity to a larger one, before eventually opening as its own permanent venue.  It’s always busy, and continues to have a queue out the doors most lunchtimes (despite customers being able to place their orders in advance and collect from a side-window).  They do the typical selection of burritos and tacos, and they’re decent portions.



Korean street food served from a great-smelling streamline caravan.  I’ve tried their dak galbi (spicy chicken) and bulgogi (strips of beef).  In both cases lots of nice tasty meat, which you can get served in a box with sticky rice and salad or as wraps.


Food Gangnam Style

As well as the YogiYo caravan at the top of the street, there is also a small Korean stall about half-way up, opposite Prufrock.  I tried their bibimbap, a mixture of rice, salad, kimchee, fried egg and beef or spicy pork.  I chose the beef, which was plenty hot enough, so I’m not sure if I’d have coped with the pork!  It came in a big plastic bowl with a lid, which can be re-used as a food container, unlike the disposable boxes you typically get from food stalls.  They were also sellling bulgogi sandwiches and fried dumplings.


London Paella
A small stall bedecked in the red and yellow Hispanic stripes.  The staff seem very friendly.  They do medium and large boxes of chicken paella (£4 / £5).  A medium box I thought was plenty.  I declined the offer of a whole chilli, and also extra spices, which was a good decision as it seemed spicy enough already.  I noticed a large cinnamon stick in the paella pan, which the chef told me was his own idea.  Their loyalty card offered a free portion after 6 stamps, which is pretty generous compared to the more-typical 8+.  Also their chicken wraps seem quite good.


Moroccan Box

For £5.50 you get a flatbread served in a box covered with generous quantities of couscous, lentils, salad and some meat with a tasty parsley sauce drizzled over it.  For another 50p you can get some baba ganoush added, which I haven’t bothered with.  I’ve tried both the chicken and beef, and both times I’d have preferred more meat.



They have a busy café at the north end of the street, but towards the end of 2013 they also opened up a market stall towards the other direction.  The café often has a queue at the door, so I guess they’re just catering for demand, and covering both ends of the street!  Their scotch egg was quite tasty, although would be better served hot.  The Chicken of Aragon pie was hot, and yummy as always.


Black Sheep Coffee

A small coffee van that’s recently appeared about half-way along Leather Lane.  They have some strong competition from two of London’s best coffee shops, Prufrock and Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, just a short distance away.  But their coffee was of a comparable standard.  The guy running the stall seems friendly, and I get the impression they’re good at latte art, which I always take as an encouraging sign.



Another Spanish food stall, they were doing chorizo baguettes (£4.50), chorizo tortilla (£4), tortilla with salad (£3.50).  They’ve also started doing chicken + chorizo baguettes, pretty nice.  Friendly staff here too, and the food authentically hispanic.


Greek Expectations

Great name, doing combinations of steak, chicken, chorizo, halloumi, sausages and pork with salad, fresh herbs and olive oil, all rolled up in a wrap.  The only problem is just choosing an option from their great menu.

P1110058P1120924P1120923  P1120925


Japanese sandwiches!  The teriyaki chicken was tasty but a real mess of sauce.  The okonomiyaki  (Japanese omelette) I had with pork and egg.  You might be thinking that of course it had egg, being an omelette, but this was actually a fried egg placed on top.  The okonomiyaki seemed to consist of shredded cabbage, pickled ginger and what might have been potato, giving it a texture more like tortilla (i.e. Spanish omelette) than a normal omelette.  It was also drizzled liberally with a tasty sauce and mayonnaise.

P1110044 P1110057P1110043P1110137-001 P1110139

Quiche & Roast

Doing several different vegetarian and vegan quiches, served in a box topped up to bursting point with a medley of vegetables (including potatoes, sweet potatoes, courgettes, aubergine, carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, lentils, cauliflowers).  A huge quantity of great tasting (and smelling!) meat-free grub.

P1110066 P1110067P1140163

Brad’s Rockin’ Jambalaya

This is a new stall that’s recently appeared, doing jambalaya in a box or as a wrap, with chicken and andouille (smoked pork) sausage, and optional prawns or calamari.  Seemed alright, bit spicy, but that’s no bad thing.


Carnivore Spitroast

This stall’s always got a queue, and for good reason.  I had a delicious ciabatta roll filled with herb-encrusted pork and apple sauce.

P1110219 P1110220

Killer Tomato

Specialising in vegetarian Mexican street food (but not tortillas or tacos!), they’re still tweaking the menu, so it’s something different on offer each week.  Things I’ve tried so far include:

  • pambazo, a chilli-soaked bun filled with some spiced potatoes and random ingredients, served with tortilla chips;
  • tabbouleh , a Lebanese salad done Mexican-style;
  • chilaquiles, corn tortillas with refried beans, sweet potatoes and more;
  • esquites, a cup of sweetcorn salad served with lime

Everything’s tasted pretty good, somewhat spicy for me (I’ve still not braved the ‘drowned sandwich‘) and seems authentic (and not just the burritos familiar from every other ‘Mexican’ street food outlet).    Keep an eye on this one for their frequent menu updates.



A small restaurant doing Asian street food, eat-in or take-away.  I think they only intermittently have a market stall in the street, just doing steamed buns filled with pork belly or roast duck.  £3.50 each or two for £6, which seems like a good deal.  I’ve tried both the pork and duck, each served with cucumber, spring onion, hoisin sauce and chilli sauce.  Pretty nice, not too spicy.  The only problem is they need to sort out their logistics on this stall; the first two times I tried them I had to wait at least 5 minutes for their steamed buns to heat up sufficiently. and they had to turn customers away (but no problem third time).

P1110820 P1110821P1110873


Warung Tempeh

This is a new stall doing Indonesian tempeh , a sort of sliced soybean cake, served in wraps with a variety of sauces and vegetarian fillings.  That’s not a very good description, but it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. The guy running the stall is outgoing and friendly.  So far I’ve tried the satay sauce, which seemed to be pretty popular, and spicy tahini with pomegranate molasses, which I preferred because of its more subtle blend of flavours.

P1110889 P1110941P1110890 P1110891


Major Spice

Doing chicken wraps, for a relatively reasonable price of £4 regular or £5 large; regular seemed plenty for me.  Pretty hot.



Sunny’s Olive Tree

This is a stall doing salads and olives, and always seems popular, judging by the length of queues it usually has.  I got a decent amount of salad (including lettuce, cabbage, peppers, potatoes, houmus, sundried tomatoes, couscous, quinoa, dolmades, beetroot, chickpeas) and  olives, stuffed in a box with a chunk of focaccia bread.  All for £3.50!



Pizza Pilgrims

A new stall, doing wood-fired pizza from the back of a little three-wheeler van.




‘Italian street food’, which basically means gourmet burgers, and torta fritta (fried dough puffs) served with cold meat.  The pork and blue cheese burger was very tasty, as was the beef + parmesan burger.  The beef carpaccio with the torta fritta was delicious; I wasn’t quite so keen on the torta fritta with three different types of sliced pork.  It was still pretty nice, but I think it paled in comparison to the carpaccio.  I liked the fact that all the cold meats were sliced freshly to order on a big meat slicer.  They’re updating the menu, replacing the torta fritta with something else.

P1130115  P1130131 P1130117P1130616 P1130617P1130813P1130554


King Jerk

A fairly new stall which seems to be very popular. I tried their jerk chicken to begin with… I got one piece of chicken wing with lots of rice + beans. They gave me a fork but no knife, so it ended up being greasy finger food (dunno if that’s normal or an oversight).  I’d have preferred a more meatier ratio of chicken to rice.  More recently I tried the curried goat, which had more generous proportions of meat, and was really tasty.  I’ll be getting that again, and I also want to try their beef.



Sausage Man

A little van doing baked potatoes with salad, and, er,  sausages (from a choice of about five including cumberland, pork + leek, …) in a bun with onions, relish and cheese.  Generous portions at a decent price; I think £3 for two sausages with all the trimming, but I’ve paid £2.50 both times when I skipped the cheese.


Boom Burger

A stall I’ve been meaning to try for a long time, finally did it when their queue wasn’t too substantial (I hate queuing for food!).  Opted for the chicken burger for my first time; some tasty chicken breast with fried onions and salad… there were lots of extras available, but, well, they were extra.  I wanted to start with the basics first, then maybe try juicing it up with additional toppings.  Seemed alright, will reserve judgement until I’ve tried at least the beef one too.

They’re owned by the same people as Daddy Donkey apparently, and their van seems similar to the old DD one (before they moved into their permanent premises on Leather Lane).  Couldn’t find them online though.



Where it’s at


March 2, 2014

Funny pub signs

Filed under: Funny — duncan @ 5:18 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Following on from my previous post, Funny coffee shop A-boards, I thought I should do a similar post of pub signs.  These are all from the same pub, The Alexandra in Wimbledon, who do a particularly nice line in funny A-boards, quite often topically themed on politics, the weather or sporting events.

PS: it’s also a very nice pub, and they do some good food, especially for a Sunday roast.

Happy Birthday!No, your bum doesn't look big in that!Thank God for global warming!Is it me or is it warming up a bit? Just me? Thought so :-)You're alive so live a little!Dear PopeWe've just been killing time 'till you got hereOff the scale on the international funk indexSave the Anchovy!Wi-Fi here!  Flippin 'eck, its the 21st century!On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Flippin eck, FIFA look like they may be a tad corrupt!  Who would have thought that?Andy Murray - some advice. Cheer up for God's sake! (& get your barnet cut)

Well done Andy for winning the US Open!  Now sort your barnet out mateBeer 1p off!  The future's so bright you gotta wear shades!Don't use hosepipes for gawd's sake!  Place is flooded enough as it isKim Wrong-Un is up for World War Three. Ignore him, come for a beer!All we are saying... is give sprouts a chance!Rudolph the red nosed reindeer... probably over endulged in the sherry we all leave outLondon - the best city in the world!They might take our self respect but they'll never take our beer!Can't read my can't read my p-p-p poker faceComma comma comma comma comma chameleonFunny shaped balls!An oasis amongst the madness

(that last one was during the riots of 2011, when a lot of places across London boarded themselves up in self-defence; see the department store in the background).

All photos are by me, licensed under Creative Commons.  Feel free to re-post them, but link back to either this page or the photo page on Flickr, with a credit to myself.

February 11, 2014

Funny coffee shop A-boards

Filed under: Coffee — duncan @ 6:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Caffeine magazine published a selection of funny coffee shop A-boards in their latest issue, including a few of mine. I thought I’d do a collage of all my own favourite ones here, enjoy!

_  BrooklynToby's Estate Coffee, BrooklynKahailaBowery Coffee (NY) 1ArtigianoBorough Barista 1Borough Barista 2Borough Barista 3Bowery Coffee (NY) 2Brick Lane CoffeeDepartment of Coffee 1Department of Coffee 2Department of Coffee 3Department of Coffee 4Department of Coffee 5Department of Coffee 6DoseFleet River Bakery 1Fleet River Bakery 2Fleet River Bakery 3-001Fleet River Bakery 4.Fleet Street Press 1Fleet Street Press 2Fleet Street Press 3Fleet Street Press 4Fleet Street Press 5Fleet Street Press 6Fork 1Fork 2Goswell Road CoffeeKaffeine 1Kaffeine 2SlateBea's of BloomsburyLa GourmandinaP1090580P1090579P1090342P1090341P1090294P1090287P1090222P1090155P1080847

Many thanks to all these coffee shops for their wit and wisdom:

  • Artigiano
  • Bea’s of Bloomsbury
  • Borough Barista
  • Bowery Coffee
  • Brick Lane Coffee
  • Continental Stores
  • Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
  • Dose Espresso
  • Fix 126
  • Fleet River Bakery
  • Fleet Street Press
  • Fork
  • Freestate
  • Goswell Road Coffee
  • Kaffeine
  • Kahaila
  • La Gourmandia
  • Slate
  • Toby’s Estate Coffee
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