The Blackbird Pub

This week’s pub review will be more like a stroll down memory lane. Back in September 2011, I moved from Boston to London. The Better Half was already in London working and we had been apart for three months. During those three months I was pretty busy with work and prepping for the move. This was my first international move and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The visa process, paperwork, and all that hoopla was no fun. Now I laugh over some of the stuff. I had to provide our love letters as part of the proof that we were (and we still are) a couple. Seriously how embarrassing.

Anyhoos, many of you won’t believe this, but my first few days in London I didn’t pull out my camera. In fact, for the first time I packed the camera in my luggage. Usually I carry with me. But I was exhausted. To make matters worse I was stressed out about the boys (our dog and cat). They were flying to London the following day. I can be a nervous nellie and those hours were excruciating for me. And of course their flight was delayed. Let’s just say many curse words were let loose and a lot of pacing occurred.

One of the tasks I had to take care of before meeting the boys was to get the key to our new flat. This happened within hours of landing in London. There was no rest for the weary and to be honest I wouldn’t have been able to sleep. I met The Better Half at one pubs in the City of London. Thank goodness the cab drivers in London know where they are going since I had never been to London before. The cabbie actually walked me to pub with all of my luggage. His parting words were, “Good luck, love.” I had a quick bite and a beer while I waited for The Better Half to finish a meeting at the office.

002Then we hopped the Tube to head to Earl’s Court, our new neighborhood. After we met the landlord and went through the process of inspecting the flat and such I needed a break. That’s when we walked into The Blackbird. I won’t say that this is my favorite pub or that it’s the best pub in the area. But it was the first pub I went to in my new hood. It has a special place in my heart.

As we sat there, I enjoyed a cup of tea and we talked about our new flat and about the city. During our time apart, we talked every day via email and occasionally over the phone, but it’s not the same as sitting down with your loved one and talking. And mostly we didn’t talk about anything in particular. We just talked. Whenever I walk by this pub, which is frequent since it is on Earl’s Court Road and right outside the Tube stop I always think about hanging out discussing our future life together in a new country. I can’t help but smile.

The pub itself is pretty decent. I’ve never been wowed by the food, but I’ve never been let003 down. They serve Fuller’s beer, which I enjoy. Occasionally we pop in for a pint, but we don’t frequent it too much. And I always feel at home. It gets pretty busy at night. They have televisions and show rugby and football. Pretty much it’s your basic pub. For me though, it’s special. I can’t give this one a rating since I’m biased.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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25 Responses to The Blackbird Pub

  1. bulldog says:

    Like all things.. is the first not the one that remains in your mind forever?… must have been quite nerve racking moving to the big city of London when you’ve never been there before…

    • TBM says:

      It was nerve racking since I had no idea if I could adjust to such a big city. Turns out I love London. Funny, when I moved to Boston I had never been there either. It seems to be a pattern.

  2. No wonder! It looks so warm and inviting. A place that makes you feel at home is always better than the one that just serves the best food.

  3. Love letters? Say, as many people your age are, you were an all “e couple”? Would they have demanded access to your gmail account?

    • TBM says:

      That’s a good question. Our love letters consisted of cards that we gave each other on bdays and such. Not sure I actually wrote a legit “love” letter. They made us provide our cell phone bills with the calls to each other highlighted for over a year. I loved that task each night when I got home from work. It’s amazing how much information they require and how much they delve into your personal life. I understand why–some people lie. But the ones who aren’t lying have to go through such a rigmarole. We did have to provide emails that had our trip itineraries that we went on together to prove that we paid for the trips together and actually traveled together.

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Ah ha … (for me) the missing piece of the story of how you went from Boston to London … and cheers to you having a special place. And for time out, don’t forget Miles’ ball!

    • TBM says:

      Frank I had Miles’ red ball packed in my carry on, along with his favorite stuff animals that were covered in dog spit and torn into pieces. I washed them, but I just can’t get the Miles stink out of them. Luckily I didn’t have to go through a bag search–I wasn’t sure how to explain it all.

  5. The Hook says:

    Thanks for taking me along on this trip!

  6. nrlymrtl says:

    During college, my man and I had restaurants that we felt the same way about – the food wasn’t wow but it wasn’t bad and I always felt at home. Going back years later and management has changed and the places just aren’t the same. But good memories.

    • TBM says:

      There is one restaurant that I loved during my childhood, yet I’ll never go back since I don’t want to ruin the memory. Things can’t stay the same I guess.

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Thanks for sharing this, its lovely!

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    and I really like that you’re enjoying England so much 🙂

  9. I have two questions that I’ve always thought about asking but always forget to do so. Why did you make the move to London? Was it because of a job opportunity or just because? And, are you planning on staying there permanently or will you ever move back to Boston? Nosy aren’t I? LOL 🙂

  10. lynnsbooks says:

    Thanks for sharing about the move. Me and the hubby used to have a lovely little Italian restaurant that we really loved. It was a bit of a trek up North in Scarborough so we used to make a weekend of it and go and stay in Robin Hood’s bay. We always had such a great time. Unfortunately the restaurant is no longer there which is a shame! Still we had some good times and have fond memories.
    Lynn 😀

    • TBM says:

      That does sound like a wonderful memory. such a shame that it closed. have you found a new place to fill it’s spot? I doubt it’s possible to replace it.

  11. What a wonderful trip down memory lane. Hard to believe its been two years already. I’m sure in some ways you haven’t yet gotten over the newness of the place. I certainly haven’t gotten over my jealousy when your drop place names that I’ve heard of in books or film/tv that sound so magical to me. 🙂 I’m happy that I can live vicariously through your posts about your experiences.

    • TBM says:

      There are days when I stop and think, “I live in London.” I’ve been here over a year and it still feels so new. And London is huge. It will take me years to see it all, if that’s even possible. If you ever visit I can share my favorite places and pubs

  12. Fergiemoto says:

    I imagine this place will always have sentimental value for you. What a nice memory.

    Love letters? Really? Those are things I would like to keep personal and to myself.
    It seems to me you are enjoying your new home, and you are getting out and exploring a lot. I have traveled to a lot of countries with my jobs, which I enjoyed, but I’ve never lived outside the US.

    Given what has happened in Boston today, I hope your friends/family living there are ok.

    • TBM says:

      I am stunned by the news from Boston. I’ve watched that race many times and I just can’t believe it. So many injured and seriously injured. And I heard this morning, 3 have died including a child. I have no words to express how upsetting this event is.

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