London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale


This month we catch up on a batch of brand new pubs opened by Regent Inns in recent months, those selling real ale being in EC1 Smithfield, E1 Whitechapel, E3 Bow, N4 Crouch Hill, N5 Highbury Corner and Wembley. Allied have opened a new non-brewing Firkin in SW18 wandsworth and converted one in Hornchurch. Eldridge Pope have opened another Bar Excellence in SW1 Westminster and Bass have a new All Bar One in SW11 Battersea and a stylish pub/restaurant in Bexleyheath. The Old Monk Pub Co have converted a restaurant to a pub in SW1 West-minster and opened another in E1 Wapping. Finally, the demise of the Princess Louise WC1 to a one beer pub following its acquisition by Sam Smiths is confirmed and we have lost the tap & Spile in N4 leaving Heathrow Airport as the only London outlet for the chain.

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.



EC1, POETS CORNER, 6 Little Britain. Boddington: Bitter. Brakspear: Bitter. Flowers: Original Bit-ter. A Regent Inns Free House "Bar Dining Room" opened in late 1996 but not previously reported, in former commercial premises. The ground floor bar features cream walls, parquet flooring, dusty books, chandeliers and a clock. Pictures of poets with local connections, eg Benjamin Franklin adorn the walls. Stairs lead to a basement bar and large dining area open at lunchtimes only. TV. Music. Bar food 12-2.15, 6-8.30. Bar and dining room opens 12-9.30 Mon-Tues, 9-11 Wed-Fri (may close earlier dependent on trade), closed weekends.

EC3, BLARNEY ROCK BARS, 18-22 Hounsditch. Free House. No real ale. Basement Irish bar connected to Dukes Restaurant.

EC3, SIMPSONS, Marlow House, Lloyds Avenue. Free House. Renamed CITY MONK. Courage: Directors Bitter. Theakston: Best Bitter. Bar and dining area in basement of office block recently acquired by the Old Monk Pub Co. Carpeted bar area and basic dining area with screens and polished floor. Food until 9pm. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri. Note full address. (U99)

WC2, BANK, 1 Kingsway. Free House. No real ale. A bar-restaurant in former bank premises. Draught Belgian beers on fizz are De Koninck and Crystal Alken.


E1, OLD DISPENSARY, 19A Leman Street. Boddington: Bitter. Greene King: Abbot Ale. Hancock: BB. Theakston: Best Bitter. Young: Bitter. Latest Regent Inns Free House, opened early November 1997 in former hospital premises erected originally in 1868 and believed to have been used more recently for garment manufacturing. The building has been sensitively converted, the entrance being up steps leading into the bar with tiled floor, bare boards, carpets, high ceiling, fans etc. A spiral staircase leads to a mezzanine seating area above the bar. A restored room upstairs is available for functions. Food 11-6. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends.

E1, OLD MONK, Thomas More Square, Nesham Street. Boddington: Bitter. Courage: Directors Bitter. Theakston: Best Bitter. Guest beer. New Old Monk Pub Co Free House opened in Summer 1997 in new development complex at rear of St. Katherines Dock. Large spacious carpeted bar with seating alcoves at the sides. Outdoor drinking area. Food 11.30-10. Open all permitted hours.

E3, BAR-RISA, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road.Courage: Best Bitter. Theakston: XB. New Regent Inns Free House opened in late summer 1997 in former glue factory alongside Hertford Union Canal. Large high ceilinged bar with exposed brickwork walls and bare bricked floor. Stairs at far end climb to a mezzanine seating area overlooking main bar. Outside drinking area on patio overlooking public open space. Jongleurs Comedy Club is upstairs approached by a separate entrance, open Thu-Sun evenings. Food. Opens 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sun.

DAGENHAM, SPOOFERS BAR, Dagenham Leisure Park, Cook Road. Free House. No real ale. Regent Inns cafe bar opened in November 1996.


N4, OLD DAIRY, 1-3 Crouch Hill. Flowers: Original Bitter. Hancock: HB. Theakston: XB. Another new Regent Inns Free House opened earlier this year in former shop and workshop premises, originally a dairy. The attractive bas reliefs of various stages of milk and butter production on the exterior brick walls have been restored and internally the dairy theme has been 'milked' for all its worth with old butter churns, milk adverts and a mockup of a cow being milked above the main bar area. The premises were originally owned by the Friern Manor Dairy Farm established in 1836. A small corner bar has been created in what was probably the dairy shop, retaining white tiled walls and ceiling. The main bar has a high ceiling, stone flagged floor, exposed ventilation, a large 'milking time' clock and mock gas lighting. An eating area at the rear is adorned with prize cow pictures. Food available all day; disabled WC; recorded music; newspapers available; fruit gum dispensers etc. Opens 10am for breakfast on Sat and Sun and all permitted hours. A welcome attempt to create a theme pub with some local historic significance but the dismal selection of real ales rather lets it down.

N5, TRAMSHED, 2A Corsica Street (at Highbury Corner). Brakspear: Bitter. Greene King: IPA. Yet another Regent Inns Free House, opened in June 1997, this time in what reputedly was originally a tram shed although it has apparently been used as store rooms in recent years. A courtyard at the front leads into a large bar area with an island bar, stone flagged and pine wood flooring, pine wood panelled walls and a variety of seating areas including some in 'train compartment' style. London tram posters, maps and old photos cover the walls, but there is no local historical information on how or when the building was in use as a tram shed. Food; TV; recorded music. Open all permitted hours.

N7, COCK TAVERN, 596 Holloway Road. Reopened and renamed BJ'S (SPORTS BAR & GRILL). H unused. Probably now free. ex Grand Met. (N86, U120)


NW1, CHESTERS. 87 Albany Street. Reverted to CHESTER ARMS. Flowers: IPA. (N163)

WEMBLEY. EDDIES. 412 High Road. No real ale. An Irish run Free House.

WEMBLEY, MANNIONS, 313 Harrow Road. No real ale. An Irish run Free House.

WEMBLEY, OLD POST OFFICE, 397A High Road.Brakspear: Bitter. Gales: IPA. Greene King: IPA. Hancock: HB. A Regent Inns Free House, opened in early 1996 but not previously reported, in former post office. Light pine flooring, tiled around bar area; exposed brick walls; raised seating areas to the side and rear. Bric-a-brac and dusty books, sweet dispensers and large clock. A rather feeble attempt to reflect its former use with some post office related photos. Disabled WC. Big screen TV. Open all permitted hours.


BEXLEYHEATH, DANSON STABLES, Danson Park, off Danson Road. Draught Bass. Worthington: Best Bitter. New Bass pub and restaurant created in old stable block approached by a driveway through Danson Park. The impressive stone building with wings on both sides was reputedly designed by Sir Robert Taylor, architect of the Bank of England, around 1800. The entrance leads into a bar area with limited seating for drinkers and a stone flagged floor. To the left and right are a number of rooms and seating areas given over primarily for eating. The upstairs is used for toilets, offices and the 'cellar'. Disabled toilet. Large car park and outdoor seating at front. Open all permitted hours.


SW1(W), BAR EXCELLENCE, 1 Abbey Orchard Street. Hardy: Country Bitter, Royal Oak. Latest outlet for this growing Eldridge Pope pub chain in basement of office block just off Victoria Street opened October 1997. Sort of upmarket "All Bar One" with predominantly yellow and green pastel shades approached down a flight of stairs leading to a spacious basement bar. Illumination is provided by three large blue globes hanging from the ceiling, with wine growing areas of the World highlighted in red, and a large yellow 'sun' complete with sunspots. The protruding semioval bar is stacked with wine bottles which reflect the emphasis on wine and 'deli' food. More stairs climb to a mezzanine dining area and small fizz bar. The choice of Royal Oak rather than Bass as at other outlets is welcome. Opens for food at 10 and bar 11-11 Mon-Sat, closed Sundays.

SW1(W), OLD MONK EXCHANGE, 69-71 Victoria Street. Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Theakston: Best Bitter. Free House. Formerly Simpsons Old Exchange restaurant and wine bar, acquired earlier this year by the Old Monk Pub Co and recently supplied with real ale. Basement bar approached from entrance in Strutton Ground. Predominantly dark wood panelling with screens, bric-a-brac and exposed brickwork. Tiled area around bar and parquet flooring elsewhere. Beer range may increase to include Adnams. Food available 12-9. Opens 11-11 Mon-Sat, closed Sundays.

SW11, ALL BAR ONE, 32-38 Northcote Road. Draught Bass. Fuller: London Pride. The onward march across London of this Bass owned chain continues apace. Opened October 1997 in former shop premises (at one time Liptons the grocers - remember them?). All the usual ABO attributes are included but the green decor looks a bit bluer! Board games. Over 21's only. Food. Disabled WC (key at bar). Open all permitted hours.

SW18, FOOTE & FIRKIN, 111-113 Wandsworth High Street. Firkin: Garrett Ale (3.5%), Foote Ale (4.3%), Wand'Ale (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Monthly Firkin guest beer. Latest non-brewing Firkin opened early november 1997 in former shop premises. Named after Samuel Foote who in 1743 wrote a play called "The Mayor of Garratt" which inspired protests against the land enclosures (See introduction to SW17 section in SW guide). Beers are cask conditioned and supplied by the Flag & Firkin, Watford (note incorrect spelling on pump clip of 3.5% beer). Typical Firkin decor with one large ground floor bar and upstairs seating area at the front. Rear entrance leads into Chapel Yard and outdoor seating area. Giant versions of kids games available. Live music Fri and/or Sat. Food; newspapers; disabled WC. Opens 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sun.


W12, FLANAGANS, 286 Uxbridge Road. No real ale. Irish run Free House in former shop premises.



EC4, BULL, BEAR & BROKER. Bass, renamed SPORTS AC ADEMY. H removed. (E46)


E11, CROPPY ACRE. Free House, H unused. Formerly HALFWAY HOUSE. (E128, U108, U109, U125)

E15, AMELIA. Ex Phoenix, probably now free, renamed TAFFY BRADYS. No real ale. Formerly PRINCESS AMELIA. (E151, U112)

E17, MONKEY BUSINESS. Free House (ex Wiltshire), renamed HARRISONS BAR. H unused. Formerly McCANNS, omitted from E guide (U71, U108)


N1, STURT ARMS. Phoenix, converted to grocery shop. (N58, U112, U119)


NW1, ANCHOR. Whitbread, closed, future uncertain. (N161, U109)

NW1, JUBILEE. Allied (Taylor Walker), closed early 1997, future uncertain. (N168)

NW1, KINGS HEAD. Whitbread, closed for some time, future uncertain. (N168)

NW1, PRINCE OF WALES. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), closed for about 3 years future uncertain. (N172)


SW8, DEWDROP. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), H unused. (SW76)

SW8, LORD WESTBURY. Phoenix, closed and being converted to flats. (SW78)

SW15, CAFE MORE. Free House, now demolished. (SW100)


W12, BOTTOM LINE, 58 Shepherds Bush Green. Renamed WALKABOUT INN. Free House, formerly owned by Diceys, now acquired by Regent Inns and converted to Aussie theme pub. H removed. Note full address. (U88)



EC3, SHIP & TURTLE. Renamed VINO VERITAS (LEADENHALL). -John Smith: Bitter. +Theakston: Best Bitter. (E42, U64, U106)

WC1, PRINCESS LOUISE. -Beers listed. +Samuel Smith: OBB. Regent Inns Free House acquired by Samuel Smith in October. Incredibly the whole range of real ales have been removed from this famous Victorian masterpiece, renowned amongst beer lovers worldwide to be replaced by Sam Smith's sole remaining cask beer! Is this stubbornness, madness or both? (W50, U56, U89, N29)

WC2, BAR ZOLAS, 33-35 Wellington Street. Renamed RUMOURS. No real ale. Now Regent Inns Free House.


E1, LONDON HOSPITAL TAVERN. Now badged by Allied Domecq as a "Festival Ale House" with a range of guest beers. (E69, U125)

E2, APPROACH TAVERN. -Beers listed except Adnams Bitter. +Fuller: London Pride. +Marston: Pedigree. +Taylor: Landlord. +Wadworth: 6X. (E77)

E8, PRINCE ARTHUR. -Adnams: Bitter. -Wadworth: 6X. +2 Guest beers. Formerly LADY DIANA. (E113,U98, U119)

E10, WILLIAM THE FOURTH WINE BAR. +Guest beer. Formerly WILLIAM IV. (E125, U109)

E11, BIRKBECK TAVERN. +2 Guest beers. (E127, U69, U113, U125)

E15, KING HAROLD. -Draught Bass. +Guest beer. (E153, U85, U91, U96, U113)

E17, BELL. Now badged as a "Barran & Co" pub by S&N. -John Smith: Bitter. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. +Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. (E165, U106, U110)

E17, VILLAGE (AT WALTHAMSTOW). -Beers listed. +5 Guest beers. (E169, U67, U100)

COLLIER ROW, PINEWOODS. Is a Regent Inns Free House. (X39, U83, U119)

HORNCHURCH, BULL. Renamed FATLING & FIRKIN. -Beers listed. +Bully: Bitter (3.5%), Failing Ale (4.3%), Rodeo Ale (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Firkin guest beer. Another Allied Firkin conversion imposed on a pub of some character. Beers supplied from other Firkin brewpubs. (X62, U67)

HORNCHURCH, COMPASSES. -Charrington: IPA. +Draught Bass. +Fuller: London Pride. Now a Harvester Pub & Restaurant with emphasis on food. Original name retained in small letters on Harvester pub sign and internally at entrance to small drinking area. (X62)


N1, THREE JOHNS. Renamed JAY CUBED (j3). -Fuller: London Pride. Retains Ruddle beers. (N60)

N3, QUEENS HEAD. +Theakston: XB. +Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. Now badged by S&N as part of the "Barras & Co" chain. (N70, U106)

N4, TAP & SPILE. Renamed RACECOURSE. -Beers listed. +Flowers: Original Bitter. +Greene King: IPA. Still owned by Pubmaster but no longer part of the Tap & Spile chain, with a consequent loss of interesting beers. This leaves the Tap & Spile at Heathrow Terminal 1 as the only one left in London. Surely there is a market in London for the Tap & Spile concept offering a choice of micro brewery products and popular in many towns and cities elsewhere in the UK. (N77)


NW1, CARRIAGE. Renamed ROWLEYS. -Adnams: Bitter. -Young: Special. +Flowers: Original Bitter. Now advertises itself as a cork & cask and sports bar. (N163)

NW1, LORD NELSON. Renamed CAPT. CUTLERS. Old name retained on elaborate hanging sign. (N169)

NW1, SOUTHAMPTON ARMS. Renamed EDWARDS. -Beers listed. +Fulle•. London Pride. Opens 8am (10am Sundays) for breakfast. (N175)

WEMBLEY, GRAPEVINE. Is on first floor above shops and correct address is 428B High Road. (U61)


SOUTH CROYDON, SPOOFERS BAR. 13-15 Selsdon Road. Is run by Regent Inns. Note correct address. Formerly LA REFUGE. (3SE278, U46, U52, U120)

WELLING, GUY, EARL OF WARWICK. -John Smith: Bitter. +Courage: Directors Bitter. Now badged by S&N as a "Tanners Pub Co" pub. (3SE286, U47, K178, U107)


SW15, ARAB BOY TAVERN. Now simply ARAB BOY. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter. +Greene King: Martha Greenes Brewery Ale (3.1%, 99p a pint), IPA, Abbot Ale. +Occasional guest beer. Refurbished and extended. Emphasis on food. Outdoor drinking area at front and reopened beer garden. Apparently the only pub of this name in Britain. (SW100)

SW15, CAFE COAST. Renamed BAR COAST. (U128)

SW15, NORTHUMBERLAND ARMS. Renamed JIM THOMPSON'S (ORIENTAL BAR, RESTAURANT & BAZAAR). -Ruddle: Best Bitter. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Theakston: Best Bitter. Now operated by Taipan Taverns. Refurbished with a strong oriental theme and decor. Now only one bar with most of former saloon now operated as a restaurant. Food is Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean, Chinese, Malay and from the Spice Islands. (SW102)

CARSHALTON, FOX & HOUNDS. Now badged by Allied Domecq as a "Festival Ale House" with a range of guest beers. (SW129)


W5, HAVEN. Renamed HARVEY FLOORBANGERS by owners Regent Inns. -Beers listed except Greene King IPA. A change of emphasis away from real ale. (U93)

W14, ROYAL OAK. Renamed SAM WORTHINGTON'S. +Morland: Original Bitter. Now leased as a "bar and restaurant" from Morlands with an emphasis on food. (W95, U71, U92, U126)

HOUNSLOW, FRIEND IN HAND. -Beers listed. +Ushers: Best Bitter, Founders Ale, seasonal ale (currently Autumn Frenzy). Now owned by Ushers, formerly free (ex Courage) although still badged as a 'Free House'. (W126, U62, U63, U77, U82, U91, U99, U101)