Central London Pubs - Another Update
This is another update to the
Central London Pubs articles in
ALE 300 and ALE 301 around Spring 2001.
The Tube One-Day Travelcard is now £4.10, up from £3.90.
The Porterhouse in Maiden Lane was the well-deserved winner in
the Conversion to Pub Use category of
the annual CAMRA/English Heritage Pub Design Awards 2002.
It has been fitted out beautifully, with well-thought-out detailing
and consistent and imaginative use of materials, such as copper tubing.
It also deserves its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide 2002, even
though most of its fine Irish real ale from the Porterhouse Brewery in Dublin is served under top pressure
(so it's not strictly real ale).
If you want a quiet spot, the upstairs area at the back is often quiet
outside peak times and when there's no TV sport.
It's one of the few really good pubs heareabouts which opens at 11am (Mon-Sat; noon on Sun).
[The pub is on a historic site: J.W.M. Turner's father's barber shop was there
and it's where Turner learned to draw by observing the customers.]|
The GBG-listed Marquis of Granby in Chandos Place is a small Nicholson's pub which
sometimes has interesting guest beers on: the likes of Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild.
In April the word was it was closing for conversion to a bland wine bar but
as of August there's a new landlord.
The Lamb & Flag Free House in Rose Street (an alley just north of the Garrick Street/King Street/New Row
junction) currently includes Charles Wells Bombardier and Youngs Waggledance in its
six or so beers.
This fine old pub can get very busy but the rear area is often quieter that you might
think from the crowds at the front. It opens at 11am (Mon-Sat).
The Ship and Shovell in Craven Passage, just along from Arches Arcade,
is thriving: its fine Hall & Woodhouse Badger beers (such as Tanglefoot) and good pub grub
mean that it's usually busy. Beware: it's closed on Sundays and has been known to
not open on Saturdays. Opening time: 12pm.
[A bit of history: there are two theories regarding
the pub name.
(1) It was Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's fleet's shipwreck off the
Scilly Isles which led to the great
competition, eventually won by John Harrison.
(2) The name refers to Thames dockers in the days when there were docks nearby.
The small, untypical Hogshead at the corner of Wellington and Exeter Streets
seems to have survived the recent Laurel changes in ordering policy and still
maintains an interesting selection of guest beers.
Like so many Hogsheads and Wetherspoons, it tends to display pump clips
after the cask has finished
and like many pubs hereabouts, it closes at 8pm on Sundays.
The Wheatsheaf in Stoney Street was closed for a while but then bought and refurbished by
Youngs, who've preserved its traditional interior.
The long-running planning inquiry for the Thameslink 2000 scheme recently came out against the plans,
which would probably have destroyed the pub,
so the pub appears safe for the forseeable future.
The adjacent Market Porter remains successful, with an impressive guest beer list.
Both are opposite the highly-popular
Borough Market (Thursdays pm, Fridays & Saturdays).
The Bramah Tea & Coffee Museum
is now a short distance around the corner, in Southwark Street, and includes a café.
[It's about 100 yards past the fine Hop Exchange building.]
ALE Summer 2002 No. 307
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