Monday, 26 July 2021

London Again

We spent about a week in London following our trip to check out the flat in late May. This time we had a better reason, with two "dos" to attend. Firstly, Eileen's small company's delayed Christmas Lunch and, secondly, our nephew's wedding.  It also coincided with weather which could probably best be described as "scorchio".

Our evening of arrival was however dull and overcast, though warm enough, so we set off for a wander, heading towards the Gherkin with the intention of having a pint at the nearby  Craft pub and thence on to the Liverpool St area and home via Pizza Union in Leman Street. Craft had several inside tables booked, so we sat outside on very uncomfortable stools, with our beers. This was a pale ale from Kent Brewery which seems to be a house beer - see below.  It was okayish, but lacked that peak of cask conditioning that might have set it above ordinary. But as the only cask ale of the trip, I thought it worth mentioning as it is fair to say, it didn't inspire me to repeat the experiment.  

We then had a couple (Camden Hells for me) in the rather attractive Kings Stores, a place we've been to before, then on to another haunt, the Castle on Commercial Road. This is an attractive pub, described on Google Maps as "Sophisticated Old World Pub". Well, sort of. We had Portobello Lager here in unetched tulip ale glasses, which did nothing for an otherwise very ordinary lager of little distinction. I should add,  in its dog days, the application of Covid 19 regulations here, was less than assiduous,  but we checked in and sat in a well ventilated area, between two open doors, so all was well.

Thursday saw another trip to Craft, this time on my own and this time to the Leather Lane one to meet my GBBF BSF colleagues, Jonathan and Stan. That's where I noticed the same Kent Brewery Pale Ale, so possibly it is common to all Craft pubs. 

As befitted our BSF credentials, we all supped imported beers while catching up.

The "Christmas" meal in the posh Charlotte Street restaurant The Ninth,  was excellent and open air, but you could see a lot of closed businesses around. Hopefully temporarily. A subsequent walk to a rammed Soho, was a bit abortive, as not only were outside areas filled, but people were hanging around hoping someone would leave.

We retreated to another old haunt, Sam Smith's Bricklayers Arms, just off  Soho in Gresse Street, and some excellent Nitro Stout and a most informative chat with the landlady who had been there for years. Sadly the pub was pretty empty. For those interested, a pint of nitro stout and a half of Pure Brewed was £8.45. Cards accepted.

Next Up: Richmond on Thames and the East End.


Citra said...

The Kent Pale has been the house session beer in all Craft Pub Co pubs as long as they've been around or certainly the very early days of the chain. Not had it for a year or so but I always found it to be a decent beer of it's strength.

Ben Viveur said...

That you can visit for a week and only have one cask beer is a fairly depressing sign of the times.

Phil said...

A pint and a half in a Sam Smiths' was £8.45? No wonder it was empty! I have noticed before now that going off-piste in a Sam's pub can be a costly business - particularly getting anything in a bottle - but I wouldn't have thought a nitro stout would come under the 'premium' heading.

Tandleman said...

In fairness Ben, a heatwave in London isn't a great time to drink cask and at the prices charged you dont want expensive dumpers. And I forgot. I had a pint of cask in the Pride of Spitalfields. Not sure what it was.

Tandleman said...

Indeed Phil. I'd say that Sam's are now in the lower end of mid range of London prices now. They seem to be suffering a bit.

Curmudgeon said...

It's the Pure Brewed that has the premium pricing. I think that £8.45 would have been made up of £3.25 for the Pure Brewed and £5.20 for the stout, which is probably less than most London Guinness.

The £3 for OBB in Stockport is still 40-50p less than Robinson's in the town.

But the Beer Police will be knocking on your door for your lack of commitment to cask there, Peter ;-)

Tandleman said...

Well yes. But see my response to Ben Viveur which will be repeated in my next blog tomorrow. Not paying top dollar for beer which is likely to be sub par.

Ben Viveur said...

I don't blame you - it's just indicative of the state of cask in London post-pandemic. And it wasn't exactly thriving beforehand.

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