London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale


The tide of "super" pub openings in central shopping locations continues to surge with five Allied "Firkins" in N12 North Finchley, Harrow, Pinner, N10 Muswell Hill and SW11 Battersea. The latter two are welcome as brewpubs. In addition we report two S&N Slug & Lettuce's in SW11 Clapham Junction and Kingston; one Whitbread Hogshead in Sidcup; a Whitbread Beefeater in Enfield and a new Wetherspoon in Kingston. A Polish bar has opened in WC1 Holborn bereft or real ale - could this set a new trend replacing the Irish theme pubs? Another roadhouse has fallen victim to McDonalds, this time in Edgware.

The numbers in brackets after each entry refer to the page number in the following guides: E - East London & City Beer Guide, 3rd edition; K - 'Real Ale Drinkers Guide to Kent Pubs', 8th edition; N - North London Beer Guide, 3rd edition; SE - South East London Pub Guide, 4th edition; 3SE - South East London Pub Guide, 3rd edition; SW - South West London Pub Guide, 2nd edition; W - Real Beer in West London; X - Essex Beer Guide, 8th edition. U refers to earlier updates.



E15, STAGE DOOR, Rex House, 361-373 High Street. No real ale. Free House/bar and brasseries on frontage of former Rex Theatre.

E15, ZAR ZAR'S, 405 High Street. No real ale. Free House/bar and restaurant in former shop unit.


N10, FANTAIL & FIRKIN, 87 Muswell Hill Broadway. Firkin: Broadway Bitter (3.5%), Fant'Ale (4.3%), Golden Glory (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Guest Firkin beers (currently Full Mash Mild and Sparrowhawk). Latest Firkin brewpub opened in early July in former United Reformed church used latterly as a council run community centre. A Grade II listed building sensitively refurbished and restored after some years of neglect. Large and spacious with bar at rear, polished floor, barrel tables, coloured glass windows and, appropriately, pews. Chandeliers and a large pigeon sculpture are suspended from the ceiling. (The pigeon is not the fantail variety, however!) Stairs lead to an upper gallery with its own bar opened in the evenings. Brewery and pigeon related paraphernalia adorn the walls. A small 3 barrel length brewery producing cask conditioned beers has been installed to the left of the entrance currently operated by brewer Andy Milne brewing Broadway Bitter and Fant'Ale. Remaining beers are supplied by other London Firkin brewpubs including the Falcon & Firkin and Flounder & Firkin. Pub games. Intrusive video games machines and loud "music" spoil the ambience. Beware fizz Addlestone cider on handpump. Disabled entrance and WC. Food. Opens 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sunday.

N12, FRINGILLA & FIRKIN, 762/764 High Road. Firkin: Chaff Ale (3.5%), Fringilla Ale (4.3%), Warblers Revenge (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Guest Firkin beer (currently Mutant Mild 4.0%). Non-brewing Firkin opened in May 1997 in former furniture shop. Beers are believed to be brewed at the Flag & Firkin, Watford. Fringilla is apparently Latin for finch and provides an opportunity for finch related pictures etc. to cover the walls. Large bar with all the usual Firkin attributes including chandeliers and fans and seating area at side. Large screen TV and electronic games. Patio at front for outside drinking. Disabled WC. Food. Beware fizz Addlestone cider on handpump. Open all permitted hours.

ENFIELD (EN3), NAVIGATION INN, off Wharf Road, Ponders End. Boddington: Bitter. Marston: Pedigree. Wadworth: 6X. Whitbread Beefeater pub and restaurant created in former nightclub premises, originally water board building, alongside River Lee Navigation opened in 1996. The entranceis approached via a terrace with outdoor drinking and opens to reveal a mock-up of a canalside view including chandlers, barge operators, narrow boat etc. Large sail suspended from ceiling hides ventilation ducts. Stairs lead to upstairs restaurant overlooking navigation. Main bar to left with exposed brickwork, timbers etc. opens out on to canalside patio. Indoor children's play area to right of entrance open until 8pm (9pm Fri, 10pm Sat). Separate garden and outside children's play area. Large car park. Open all permitted hours.


SE3, SUN IN THE SANDS, 123 Shooters Hill. Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. Now badged by S&N as a "Tanners Pub Co" pub with the emphasis on, good value basic food. Formerly a Youngers pub, the most easterly in London. (SE49)

SIDCUP, HOGSHEAD, 47-49 Sidcup High Street. Boddington: Bitter. Flowers: Original Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Greene King: Abbot Ale. Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Wadworth: 6X. Whitbread: Abroad Cooper. Young: Bitter. 4 Guest beers on gravity dispense. Whitbread Hogshead created from two shop units. A variety of partitioned seating areas, alcoves, bare beams and panelled walls covered with local history panels and old photos of Sidcup create a pleasant and convivial atmosphere. Areas to the left and right of the entrance are themed respectively to commemorate Deweys Music Emporium which used to stand nearby and the Suffragettes movement. Four pint jugs of beer at discount. Food until 7pm (3pm Sunday). Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.


SW11, FARADAY & FIRKIN, 66A-66C Battersea Rise. Firkin: X Static Ale (3.5%), Faraday Ale (4.3%), Nuclear Ale (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Guest Firkin ale (currently Sparrowhawk). Another Firkin brewpub opened in June in a former temperance billiard hall. Steps from the entrance lead down to main bar area decorated in typical Firkin style. Stairs lead to upper bar. Beer and "electricity" related pictures and artefacts cover the walls. The electrical connection is apparently the vaguely nearby Battersea Power Station. Enthusiastic brewster Geraldine Denny operates the five barrel brewing plant visible behind screens to the right of the entrance and produces X Static, Faraday and Dogbolter in cask conditioned form. Remaining beers originate from other Firkin brewpubs. "Nuclear" is known as Golden Glory elsewhere. Beware fizz Addlestone cider on handpump. Disabled WC. Food at all times. Opens 12-11 (12-10.30 Sun).

SW11, SLUG & LETTUCE, 4 St. Johns Hill. Courage: Best Bitter. Theakston: XB. Wadworth: 6X. Latest in the Scottish & Newcastle run chain opened in June in former shop unit. Typical example of clinical bar style with prices to match (£2.30 a pint for the above beers). Food (until 8pm Fri/Sat). Over 21s only. Open all permitted hours.

SW15, PUTNEYBRIDGE, Embankment (next to former Star & Garter). Boddington: Bitter. Wadworth: 6X. New bar with upstairs restaurant and views of river opened in March on site of former petrol station and derelict building. Technically a Free House but with product tie to Whitbread. bright and airy. Expensive. Disabled WC (key behind bar). Bar food until 3pm lunchtimes. Restaurant open lunchtime and evenings. Open all permitted hours. Real ale not always available.

KINGSTON, KINGS TUN, 153-157 Clarence Street. Courage: Best Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Theakston: Best Bitter. 3 Guest beers. Weston: 1st Quality Cider. Very large Wetherspoon Free House opened in July in former Kingston Empire music hall, built 1910. It later became a cinema, supermarket and Reject Shop. Flowery carpets, tiled area around bar and frontage; wood panels and partitions; local history panels commemorate local landmarks and famous residents. Pictures of old music hall stars and a sculpture of Charlie Chaplin on a ladder set the scene. The building is reputedly haunted by a former projectionist who hanged himself. A large white representation of a table and two chairs hangs above the stairs which lead to the upper bar; a poltergeist has apparently moved tables and chairs around. The Kings Tun was the name of the ancient Saxon kings of Wessex administration centre which later grew into Kingston. No smoking/eating areas on both floors. Disabled WC. Food at most times. Open all permitted hours.

KINGSTON, SLUG & LETTUCE, Thameside (near Turks Boatyard, opposite the Outrigger). Courage: Directors Bitter. Theakston: Best Bitter. New Scottish & Newcastle bar on first floor of riverside development with balcony seating area overlooking river. Spacious and airy with large french windows. Pine floor, cream walls and soft lighting. Beers may vary. Food. Open all permitted hours.


W14, ROYAL OAK, 58 Milson Road. Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Now Morlands, ex Whitbread but due to close temporarily following lease to new operator. (W95, U71, U92)

HAYES, CURRAN'S, 720 Uxbridge Road. No real ale. Free House/Irish bar in former shop unit.



WC1, EMPIRE, 11 Little Turnstile. Renamed POLISH BAR. Now a Free House/bar and Polish restaurant, ex Grand Met (Courage). H unused. Sells bottled beers from Bottled beers from Brok Elbrewery (EB) and Zywiec Polish Breweries. Open 12-11 Mon-Fri, 5-11 Sat only. Note correct address (N22, W46)

WC2, GEORGE, 2 George Court. Renamed POPSTARZ BAR. Now a Free House/gay venue, ex Bass. H unused. (W53, U90)


E11, O'NEILL'S. Bass, H unused. "Annie McNamara's" name now removed. Formerly CUBE, originally GREEN MAN. (U109, U110)

E15, LORD HENNIKER. Renamed CORONET. Free House, H unused although real ale promised. (E154, U108, U113, U117)

E15, YORKSHIRE GREY. Renamed OLD LOG CABIN. Now a Free House, ex Bass. H removed. (E156)


EDGWARE (HA8), CORNER HOUSE. Allied (Taylor Walker), converted to McDonald's restaurant. Another road house falls victim to the Big M. (N256)


SW15, STAR & GARTER. Renamed BAR M. Free House, H removed. "Star & Garter" name retained at top of building. (SW104)



Ell, OLD SHELAGHS. Renamed GREENS. Formerly BROADWAY, BUGSYS and DIRTY NELLIES. (E128, U76, U109, U125)

E17, LORD PALMERSTON. -Beers listed. +Worthington: Best Bitter. Now badged by Bass as "East London Pub Co." (E167)


N17, PERRYS. Renamed O'MARA'S. Irish themed, still fizz. Note address is 669-673 High Road. (N135)


HARROW, GAYTON HALL, 9 Gayton Road. Renamed PHILOMATH & FIRKIN. -Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. +Firkin: Algebr-Ale (3.5%), Philomath Ale (4.3%), Winstons Revenge (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). +Guest Firkin beer (currently Sparrowhawk). Former Berni Inn acquired by Allied and reopened as a non-brewing Firkin pub in February. Beers brewed at Flag & Firkin, Watford. Normal Firkin decor including intrusive video games and stage for live music. Walls adorned with breweriana and "academic" paraphernalia. "Philomath" is a lover of learning - a reference to the nearby Harrow public school. Large outdoor terrace and limited car parking. Food. Disabled WC. Beware fizz Addlestone cider on handpump. Note full address. (W113)

PINNER, GEORGE. Renamed SEDGWICKS and now renamed again FROTHFINDERS & FIRKIN. -Beers listed. +Firkin: Backpackers Bitter (3.5%), Frothfinders Ale (4.3%), Excursion Ale (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). +Guest Firkin beer (currently Sparrowhawk 4.7%). Former Benskins badged pub converted to non-brewing Firkin pub in April. The "Frothfinders Federation" were apparently a local group of beer drinkers who undertook pub crawls of the area - sort of early "scoopers"! Usual Firkin decor. Large garden at rear. Disabled WC. Food. Beware fizz Addlestone cider on handpump. (W135, U78, U79)


SE4, BROCKLEY JACK. -Beers listed. +Boddington: Bitter. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. +2 Guest beers (currently Taylor: Landlord and Cameron: Strongarm). (SE51, U102, U117)

SE15, STUART ARMS. Renamed IVY HOUSE. Now owned by Glenfield Holdings, ex Belhaven. Still fizz, H unused. (SE140) SE18, STAR, 84 Wellington Street. -Beers listed. +Fuller: London Pride. (SE174, U102)


SW7, HARRINGTON. Renamed RAT & PARROT. -Beers listed except Courage: Directors Bitter. +Theakston: Best Bitter, XB. Refurbished in usual Rat & Parrot style - polished floors etc. (SW72)

SW11, EARL SPENCER. Renamed S (BAR & RESTAURANT). -Beers listed. +Fuller: London Pride. Refurbished in May as a pleasant airy bar with tables and chairs, sofas etc, tropical fish tank and relaxing atmosphere. Food. Children welcome until 7pm. Beers may vary (SW88)

NEW MALDEN, RENOIRS. Renamed SUGAR RAYS. Still fizz. (SW153)

RICHMOND, BELVEDERE. Renamed PATRICK CASEY'S. -Shepherd Neame: Best Bitter. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter. Now Free, ex Shepherd Neame but retaining product tie. Irish theme. (SW154)


W11, CASTLE. -Charrington: IPA. +Fuller: London Pride. +Morland: Old Speckled Hen. (W87)

W11, PRINCE OF WALES. -Charrington: IPA. +Fuller: London Pride. (W90)

W11, STAR. -Beers listed except Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. +Courage: Best Bitter. (W90, U74)

HEATHROW AIRPORT, HARRY RAMSDENS FISH BAR. +Guest beers. All beers £1.50 a pint after 9pm. (U65)

HEATHROW AIRPORT, TAP & SPILE. -Beers listed. +Boddington: Bitter. +Greene King: IPA. +Marston: Pedigree. +Up to 2 guest beers. Much reduced range. (U65)