Only Fools and Horses is just one of many TV shows that seem to define British culture – everyone knew a Del Boy, witty humor, daily pub outings – the show was relatable.
Now I can’t say that I really know what the 1980s looked like exactly … mainly because I wasn’t born until a decade later – so I’ve never heard any stories about how the 1980s were great and difficult.
But as the 40th anniversary of the show’s debut draws near, there would be no better way to celebrate than to revisit where it all began… sort of.
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To celebrate the legacy of Only Fools and Horses, a replica of the Nag’s Head appeared in London this week. While it may not be in its usual location in Peckham, the Nag’s Head in its new (albeit brief) location on Roger Street in what is usually the Duke of York, just between Clerkenwell, Bloomsbury and Holborn.
But I don’t think the new location mattered too much.
The pop-up pub is only there until Saturday (September 4th), so if you’re an OFAH fanatic you might want to take a little detour.
Presented to the public by the comedy channel Gold, you can savor the delicacies of the 80s, with 83p pints, or a creme de la mint, if you wish.
So when I rushed there on a Friday afternoon, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Would my lack of experience in the 80’s mean that I wouldn’t have the full atmosphere of OFAH?
Or would the fact that I spent most of my 25 years watching reruns of the show with my dad help me?
The answer to the latter is certainly – yes.
I would say I know all the basic facts about the show and the characters. I even watched The Green Green Grass so I’d say I knew enough to find out what was going on.
Drawing inspiration from the exact ensemble that Del Boy and Rodney frequented, the Nag’s Head boasted exact replicas in every detail.
The crate, the stuffed bunny on the wall, the vintage beers on tap – there was even Trotter’s Reliant Rebel Supervan III from 1972 parked outside, decked out in counterfeit watches, shag rugs… and ‘an inflatable doll.
As I glanced inside the car, one of the staff thought it would be a good time to pull out a little remote that played clips of classic Del Boy lines, “Shut up. -you, pie ”and“ You plonker! “
I really hope they solve them while there is a full line outside the pub, that would be real fun.
Now, with the perfect setting, a cigarette machine replica on the wall, the piano ready to play, the real winner for me was… wait…
THE 83 PINTS OF PENCE !?
These prices are mind blowing. These days you will never get an 83 pence pint in London.
Seriously, take me back to the ’80s just for the cheap pints.
It’s probably the cheapest pint you’ll ever have in town today, so head over to Nag’s Head to claim this sweet and sugary drink.
One thing you’ll notice when you’re at the pub is the signature drink from Del Boy – the Caribbean stallion.
Perched at the corner of the bar illuminated by an umbrella, a slice of orange and a wedge of lime was the iconic drink.
To get a taste of what goes into this special blend, the pub provides patrons with its recipe – and I have to say… It sounds disgusting.
Tequila, Malibu, Crème de la mint, campari, any suggestion of Angostura bitters, fresh grapefruit juice (to taste, of course), orange slice, lime wedge and seasonal fruits to garnish.
And the drink To to have a plastic umbrella, two (more precisely two) translucent straws – and voila, you have the Caribbean stallion.
Now, I haven’t had the courage to try this concoction, but honestly, it doesn’t appeal to me at all.
I think I’ll stick to the lager.
Sitting in Nag’s Head felt like I really got a glimpse of the past – a past I would gladly see again.
There was just that air of contentment floating around the place. The pop-up opened its doors to invite people from all walks of life to come and have a good time.
It doesn’t matter if you are an old fan or a young one, Nag’s Head welcomes everyone.
I would say the only thing that got me out of the real ’80s experience was the fact that I had sat in a booth where a flat screen TV was playing OFAH clips on repeat.
Guess that was their way of getting the Trotters into the pub for everyone to enjoy.
Being in the old Trotters’ lair took me back to my childhood watching episodes of the iconic series with my dad.
I remembered the carefree nature of Del Boy and the endless faff the boys got into.
It reminded me of simpler times when it was okay to wear rose-tinted glasses (I was a kid so it’s ok).
Most importantly, I remembered one of the, if not the most iconic, scenes in the Only Fools and Horses ensemble – Del Boy falling in the pub bar.
“Drink it, Trigg, drink it, we go,” he stammers, as he tries to pull himself together after making a huge joke in front of potential love interests.
I have never laughed so much at such a trivial act, but so hilarious.
So it wasn’t that bad for a Friday afternoon, sitting in a pub that lived and breathed the ’80s, with a pint of lager that cost 83p, and everything was right.
The Nag’s Head might only be there for a few days, but it’s definitely worth a visit – if not for the pints, but for the nostalgia.
After all, longing is good for the soul.
You can find the Nag’s Head at The Duke, 7 Roger St, London WC1N 2PB
You will find tickets for the pop-up here .
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