London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale


This month we welcome four brand new pubs, two from Wetherspoon in SE13 Lewisham and Croydon and one each for Bass in the City and Greene King in the West End, the latter being their second "ale cafe" in London. Two former Courage pubs in Bexleyheath and Crayford have been acquired by Shepherd Neame and also in Crayford, Greene King have reinstated the original name of one of the "Magic" pubs after a local campaign; could this indicate a welcome change in policy? The pseudo-Irish theme is still alive and has reached Beckenham.

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.



EC4, ALL BAR ONE, 103 Cannon Street. Draught Bass. Fuller: London Pride. Latest in the Bass run chain opened in July in former bank premises opposite Cannon Street station. Usual light pine floor, furniture and creame/light green walls. "Track" to send orders to the kitchen. Newspapers; pub games on request. Exposed ventilation ducts etc. Emphasis on food: wine racks behind bar. Handpumps have gold plated clips reflecting the price - £2.20 a pint. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri closed weekends.

W1(Mar), OLD EXPLORER, 23 Great Castle Street. Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. New Greene King "ale cafe", the second in London in former travel agents (hense the name) in June. Polished wooden floor with tiled area at bar and raised carpeted seating area at rear. Suspended lamps over the bar; place mats have history of Oxford Circus area. Table service is optional for drinks. Downstairs bar mainly an eating area with alcoves off - can be hired in evenings. Guest beers from Greene King may be added. Disabled WC. TV and video games. Soft music. Open all permitted hours plus from 10am for breakfast Mon-Sat. Food until 10pm.


SE13, WATCH HOUSE, 198-204 Lewisham High Street. Courage: Directors Bitter. Fuller. London Pride. Theakston: Best Bitter. Guest beer. Wetherspoon pub opened in former shop premises in late July. Carpeted throughout with raised no-smoking seating area separated by balustrades at front. Local history panels and drawings, dusty books etc. Watch House Green was once nearby. Tiny Patio at rear. Disabled WC. Good value food. Open all permitted hours.

CROYDON, SKYLARK, 34-36 South End. Courage: Directors Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Theakston: Best Bitter. Two guest beers. Weston: 1st Quality Cider. Another Wetherspoon Free House opened in mid July in former gym. Usual decor: carpeted throughout, alcoves, more dusty books, local history panels and old photos of the area. Poems with skylark in the title by Gerard Manley Hopkins who lived nearby are displayed on the columns near the entrance, from which the name is believed to derive. Stairs lead to upstairs bar with a balcony overlooking main bar area which has "futuristic" chandelier as a centrepiece. A first for Wetherspoon is the offer of table service for both food and drinks - just hail a passing waiter/waitress, thus avoiding the scrum at the bar and food counter. Patio/beer garden at rear. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.



SW8, OLD RED HOUSE. Inntrepreneur, closed, future uncertain. (SW78)

MITCHAM, HORSE & GROOM. Allied, closed, future uncertain. (SW146)


W6, ROYAL OAK. Grand Met (ex Truman), converted to "Secrets" club specialising in lap dancing and "exposed" in tabloids. (W77, U94)



BECKENHAM, DRUMMONDS. Renamed O'NEILL'S, still fizz. (3SE204)

BEXLEYHEATH, PRINCE ALBERT. -Courage: Best Bitter. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Spitfire. Now a Shepherd Neame tied house, ex Grand Met (Courage). (3SE212, U59, K40)

CRAYFORD, CRAYFORD ARMS. -Beers listed. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Spitfire. Now a Shep-herd Neame tied house, ex Grand Met (Courage). (3SE231, K67)

CRAYFORD, ORANGE KIPPER. Reverted to BEAR & RAGGED STAFF. -Beers listed except Draught Bass. +Greene King: Martha Greene's Brewery Ale, IPA, Abbot Ale. One of Greene King's Magic acquisitions now thankfully returned to its historic name after local outcry. (3SE231, U59, K67, U98, U112)


SW16, WHITE LION (HOBGOBLIN). Now signed only as HOBGOBLIN after refurbishment. (SW108)


W14, THREE KINGS. Renamed VIA FOSSA. -Beers listed except Courage Directors Bitter. +Boddington: Bitter. +Marston: Pedigree. Completely refurbished as a "Bar & Restaurant". (W95, U71, U95)