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Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 150 / Kent Pub Guide (10th edition)

The aim of 'Capital Pubcheck' is to share information about the latest happenings on the London pub scene including new pub and bar openings, name changes, acquisitions, closures, notable changes to beer ranges etc. Cross references to CAMRA's various pub guides covering Greater London are also provided to enable easy updating. Information is gathered from a variety of sources including London Drinker readers, individual CAMRA members and branch contacts, breweries, pub operators, landlords etc.

Welcome to the 150th edition of the current series of 'Updates'. The very first 'Update' appeared in London Drinker in February 1982 following the publication of the then new all-London 'Real Beer in London'. The first series ran to 12 editions before being absorbed into a `Supplement' booklet in May 1983, initially cross referencing to the all-London guide and then later to the various editions of the replacement 'sector' guides as they were published during the '80s and '90s.

The disposal of pubs by the major brewers and the growth of pub groups during the '90s has resulted in a major shake-up of the London pub and beer scene. The enormous effort required to research and produce the comprehensive sector guides has meant that they have been published relatively infrequently in recent years. The Update column aims to help fill the void and keep track of what brewers and pub operators are up to in Greater London's 5,800 pubs, recorded on a monthly basis.

Since the 100th Update in March 1995, across Greater London as a whole 494 brand new pubs and bars have been recorded in the Updates, of which 292 (59%) dispensed real ale. This should be set against 66 reported as demolished and 166 recorded as changing to some other use. Many others have been recorded as closed and boarded up and are awaiting an uncertain future. In the same period an incredible 634 pubs have been renamed although 74 have reverted to former names.

The 150th edition also provides an opportune time to thank again publicly all those many individual and corporate contributors, both within the CAMRA branch structure and outside it, who over the years have provided information for this column. Every contribution, however small, has helped to build up a picture of the changing pub and real ale scene London-wide. Keep the news coming in and we shall do our best to keep London Drinker readers up to date with events as they happen.

This month we welcome three new Wetherspoon Free Houses, one each in SW1 Victoria, West Croydon and Ickenham, another Old Monk in SW1 Westminster, two Hogsheads in EC4 off Fleet St and SE1 Southwark, one each for the Bass 'All Bar One' and Fullers 'Fine Line' café-bar chains in SE1 Waterloo and EC3 Monument respectively and an independent Free House in W1 Soho. The big news however is the closure of all the Firkin breweries following the acquisition of the Allied pub estate by Punch Taverns. The Firkin beers are to be replaced by 'two exciting new ales' - Tetley Bitter and Ind Coope Burton Ale 'in response to customer demand' according to posters in the pubs. There were believed to be only eight Firkin brewpubs still brewing in Greater London at the time of the closures although many of the Firkins received their beers from the Flag & Firkin in Watford. Some Firkins are due to be off-loaded on to Bass. Details of current ownerships and beer ranges of ex-Allied pubs would be gratefully received by this column.

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 - Guide to Kent Pubs, 10th edition; 8K - Real Ale 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, 9th edition. If you would like to report changes to pubs or beers, please write to: Capital Pubcheck, 2 Sandtoft Road, London SE7 7LR.



EC3, FINE LINE, Equitable House, 1 Monument St. Fuller: London Pride. Latest for Fuller's owned café-bar chain, opened early September on ground floor of new office block. Fitted out in typical style with light wood flooring, cream painted, pine panelled or exposed brick walls, pine bar top and shelves, large glass windows, mirrors, potted plants, delicate chandeliers. Stairs lead to upstairs balcony bar. Food. Open 11.30-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends.

EC4, HOGSHEAD, 5-11 Fetter Lane. Boddington: Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Wadworth 6X; Guest beers (currently Brakspear: Bitter, Greene King: Abbot Ale and Caledonian: 80/-). New Whitbread 'Hogshead' opened mid-July on ground floor of newish office block. Decorated in the new-look Hogshead style (i.e. much the same as nearly every other new opening). Pine flooring and bar counter, red and green painted walls, cream coloured ceiling. Large French windows along frontage. Exposed ventilation/extractors. No smoking area to side (a new feature for Hogshead). Disabled hoist at entrance and disabled WC. Food 12-9. Open 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends.

W1(S), PORTERS BAR, 21/22 Poland St. Boddington: Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Wadworth 6X. New Free House bar and restaurant opened early September in former commercial premises. Sister to bar of same name in Covent Garden. Cool and airy modern style decor with wooden flooring, yellow painted walls hung with pictures of poppy fields and mirrors. Basement drinking/eating area. Table service for drinks and food. Good value for area. Open 12-11 (10.30 Sun).

W1(S), YO! BELOW, 52 Poland St. Free House. No real ale. Basement bar opened May 1999 under Japanese sushi restaurant with beer taps on every table dispensing Kiri lager operated by the customers! Bottled Japanese beer also available. Open 12-lam Mon-Sat, closed Sunday.


N13, WISHING WELL, 9 Aldermans Hill. Ushers: Best Bitter. Irish run Free House in former shop premises opened at least a year but not previously reported. Decorated in traditional style with patterned carpets, furnishings, coloured glass windows and light fittings. Pictures of Dublin pubs and doorways on wall, TV for sport, piped music. Open all permitted hours.

N14, WISHING WELL, 110/112 Chase Side. Ushers: Best Bitter. Latest opening for the same chain, opened in June in former shop premises. For details see N13 Wishing Well above.

N21, ON BROADWAY, 765 Green Lanes. No real ale. New Free House bar in former shop premises.


SE1, ALL BAR ONE, Chicheley St. Draught Bass; Fuller: London Pride. Spacious Bass owned L shaped bar opened early 1999 on ground floor of former GLC County Hall offices. Standard ABO decor with polished wooden flooring, pews, benches and tables, green and cream decor, ceiling fans, exposed ventilation ducts, clock and blackboard for food menu. Board games and newspapers available. Close to site of Millennium Big Wheel. Open 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-6 Sunday.

SE1, BAR MED, 5 Chicheley St. No real ale. Free House/bar and restaurant opened on ground floor of former GLC County Hall offices next door to All Bar One.

SE1, CAFE EL PASO, 17-19 York Rd. No real ale. Free House. Mexican bar and restaurant in former commercial premises.

SE1, HOGSHEAD, 52 Stamford St. Boddington: Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Morland: Old Speckled Hen; Wadworth 6X; 2 Guest beers on (H) and 4 casks behind bar including Lees GB Mild at time of visit. Another Whitbread 'Hogshead' opened July 1999 in former bank premises. Decorated in the latest 'female-friendly' style with large windows, cream painted walls, pine bar top, green sofas and purple chairs. Background music. Food until 9pm. Open 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends.

CROYDON, SHIP OF FOOLS, 9/11 London Rd. Boddington: Bitter; Courage: Directors Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Theakston: Best Bitter; 2 Guest beers. Large Wetherspoon Free House opened late September in former shop premises originally a Sainsbury store - opposite West Croydon station. The blue neon-lit external signage and blue painted facade belies a return to a more traditional decor. Two sets of double doors open into a large bar with raised carpeted seating areas to the front and side. Blue/green panelling, cream painted walls and ceiling and a large no smoking/eating area at rear. The walls are adorned with well presented local history panels, old photos of West Croydon, paintings of local buses and new trams and colourful prints and quotations from Alexander Barclay's version of the 'Ship of Fools' after which the pub is named. The book was published in 1509 and 'was a major influence on English literature .... holding up to ridicule corruption, incompetence and pomposity'. Barclay (1476-1552) is buried in Croydon Parish Church. A panel near the entrance also celebrates the Sainsbury connection - it was the first branch to open outside London in 1886 and by 1950 was a `Q-less self-service store', the most up to date in the country! In contrast to the new Wetherspoons Bromley pub reported last month, a real effort has been made to create a local identity for the pub -congratulations all round. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

CROYDON, STAR, 296 London Rd. Reopened and renamed BROAD GREEN TAVERN. No real ale, H unused despite pump clip for Greene King IPA. Now Free and run by Demsey Taverns ex Grand Met (Courage). Predominantly Irish clientele. (3SE250, U98, U138)


SW1(W), OLD MONK, 51 Horseferry Rd. Courage: Directors Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Theakston: Best Bitter; 2 Guest beers (currently Boddington: Bitter and Shepherd Neame: Spitfire). Latest opening for Free House chain, where the family connection with Wetherspoon now seems to extend to a near identical beer range. Opened early September on ground floor under new office block. Contemporary style with large windows at front, polished light pine floor with raised drinking area to side, wood panelling, red and cream decor, with abstract paintings. Piped music. Outdoor drinking at front. Food, disabled WC. Open 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends.

SW1(W), WILLOW WALK, 25 Wilton Rd. Boddington: Bitter; Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Theakston: Best Bitter; 2 Guest beers. Very latest Wetherspoon Free House opened early October on ground floor of office block with rear entrance on to Vauxhall Bridge Rd. Large French windows and double glass doors on frontage lead into largely carpeted interior with tiling around the bar. Light green speckled walls with some green tiling and light pine panelling. Alcoves and a variety of seating areas, no smoking at rear. Some paintings and very attractive, colourful panels adorn the walls relating the history of the area around Victoria/Pimlico, noted local figures etc. According to one panel, Pimlico means beer and is derived from the French `pimpler' meaning to drink to excess. The area took its name from the Pimlico Tavern which stood on the site of what became the Stag brewery nearby. Willow Walk was originally the causeway across marshy ground between the Abbot's House and Westminster Abbey which followed the line of the current Warwick Way. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

SW6, TUT 'N' SHIVE, 562 Kings Rd. Renamed FRONT ROOM. Adnams: Bitter, Fuller. London Pride. Yet another makeover and change of name for what was once the Wheatsheaf, becoming the Beer Engine in 1993 and Tut 'N' Shive in 1997. Presumably now Free, ex-Whitbread, it has orange and cream decor, blue tiled floor and large abstract blue and white figures painted along one wall. Stools and armchairs and exposed ventilation/extractors complete the scene. Emphasis on food, wine etc. Outside seating area at front. (SW71)

SW10, SCRUFFY MURPHY'S (MURPHY'S PHARMACY), 401 Fulham Rd. Renamed BLUE BAR CAFE. Marston: Pedigree. The pseudo-Irish clutter has been stripped out after just 4 years but not to reinstate it to its former Victorian grandeur as the late lamented Gunter Arms but as yet another contemporary café-bar complete with the inevitable polished wood floor, pine furnishing, sofas etc. Optional table service. Ironically real ale has been reinstated in this pub amongst the keg fonts! Upstairs drinking/eating area. Now owned by Punch Taverns ex Allied. (SW85)

KINGSTON, SHAMUS O'DONNELL'S, Ram Passage, off High St. Renamed PORTER BLACK. Courage: Best Bitter; Wadworth 6X. Another pseudo Irish theme pub converted to café-bar style. (SW144)


W11 CAFE MED, 184A/186 Kensington Park Rd. No real ale. Free House/bar and restaurant in former shop premises.

ICKENHAM, TICHENHAM INN, 11 Swakeley Rd. Boddington: Bitter; Courage: Directors Bitter; Shepherd Neame: Spitfire; Theakston: Best Bitter; 2 Guest beers. New Wetherspoon Free House in brand new building on site of petrol station, opened mid-September 1999. A return to roots in terms of both the traditional Wetherspoon decor and its location in a London suburban shopping parade. Wood panelling, patterned carpet, tiled bar area, 'fireplace' and no smoking area at rear. Colourful paintings by a local artist and local history panels adorn the walls. Tichenham was the original name of the hamlet that later became Ickenham. Food. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.



EC1, EMPRESS OF RUSSIA. Sadly now being converted to a pi77A restaurant and luxury apartments. (EIS, U98, U 146)


N18, GLOBE. Renamed ANGEL, after the area Angel, Edmonton which in turn took its name from a pub of that name demolished in the '60s. Ex-Grand Met (Watney), now closed, future uncertain. (N139)

N18, THREE CROWNS. Ex-Greenalls and now presumably absorbed by S&N, H unused. (N139)

N18, TWO BREWERS. Ex-Allied (Taylor Walker) and now presumably Punch Taverns, H unused despite large 'Ale House' signs. (N141)

ENFIELD EN1, BULLDOG. Renamed GARDENERS ARMS, Bass, closed and sold to McDonalds restaurants. Omitted in error from text of N guide but shown as 16 on map. (U109)


SE1, CAFE DE LA GARE. Ex-Grand Met (Watney). Still closed and boarded up. Unlikely ever to reopen as a pub. (SE 12)

SE18, BROOK. Ex-Grand Met (Courage), now converted to shop. (SE166, U125)


SW19, BODHRAN BARNEYS. Whitbread, H removed. (SW116)

SW19 O'NEILL'S. Refurbished, H now removed. (SW118)

KINGSTON, KINGSTON LODGE HOTEL. Granada. No real ale. (SW143, U140)

KINGSTON, WHITE HORSE. Inntrepreneur, H unused. (SW144)

SURBITON, FERRET & TROUSER LEG. Renamed RAT & PARROT, refurbished, S&N, H removed. (SW161)


W5, BELL. S&N. No real ale. (W72, U94, U107)

W12, NEW TELEGRAPH TAVERN. Converted to backpackers' hostel. Also displays notice saying `RT's opening soon' but little sign of activity. (W91, U46, U91, U95, U138)



EC4, FORSTER & FIRKIN. -beers listed due to closure of all Firkin breweries following acquisition of Allied pubs by Punch Taverns; +Greene King: IPA; +Ind Coope: Burton Ale; +Tetley: Bitter. A leaflet in the pub explains that the bitter range has been changed 'in response to customer demand' and has been replaced with 'two exciting new ales', i.e. Burton and Tetley! Formerly ALBION. (E45, U131)

W1 (S), DOG & DUCK. -Ind Coope: Burton Ale; -Nicholson: Best Bitter; +Taylor: Landlord. Guests currently Fuller: London Pride and Marston: Pedigree. (W42, U93)


WC2, MOON UNDER WATER, 105 Charing Cross Rd. -Younger: Scotch Bitter; +Boddington: Bitter; +Shepherd Neame: Spitfire. (U120) NORTH WEST NW6, BRITANNIA. Map ref 14 should be on the roundabout with Hilgrove Rd. (N202)


SE1, STUDIO SIX. Now titled STUDIO 6. -beers listed; +Greene King: Abbot; +Tolly Cobbold: Original. (U102)

SE7, ANTIGALLICAN. -beers listed; +Greene King: IPA. Formerly MCDONNELLS. (5E72: U108)

SE18, RAM BAR. Reverted to PRINCESS OF WALES. -beers listed; +Flowers: IPA. (SE173, U141)


SW3, BUILDERS ARMS. -beers listed except Boddington: Bitter; +Royal Hospital Bitter (believed to be Flowers: IPA). (SW55, U133, U144)

SW18, BUILDERS ARMS. -beer listed; +Webster: Green Label. Beer range may vary. (SW111, U142)

SW18, MERTON ARMS. Renamed BOFS. Now sells Courage: Best Bitter or guest beer. (SW113, U142) SW18, PARK TAVERN. Beer range may vary. (SW113, U137, U141)

SW19, ALEXANDRA. The wine bar 'Smart Alex' now sells Young's Bitter and Special, and is open 12- 11 (lam Fri and Sat), 12-10,30 Sun. (SW116)

SW19, PRINCE OF WALES, 2 Hartfield Rd. - Theakston: XB; +Greene King: Abbot Ale. Now badged by S&N as part of 'T&J Bernard' chain, and refurbished with air conditioning. Full range not always available. (SW118)

KINGSTON, BLACK HORSE. Renamed KINGSTON GATE. +Courage: Directors Bitter. Now badged by S&N as part of the 'John Barras & Co' chain (SW140, U140)

SURBITON, BRAVE NEW WORLD. -beers listed; +constantly changing range (without pump clips). Formerly BUN SHOP. (SW161, U145)


W2, PRINCE ALFRED. -Courage: Best Bitter; +Tetley: Bitter. A complete restoration job with stripped pine floor, pastel shades, cool and airy. Food and drink quite pricy. Presumably now Free, ex-Grand Met (Courage). (W62)

W6, CHARLOTTES. Renamed CAFE MED. -beers listed; +Courage: Directors Bitter; +Fuller: London Pride. Now a bar and grill. Front bar now in effect a restaurant with rear bar more for drinkers. Now run by Café-Med chain ex-Grand Met (Watney). (W74)

W12, ORANGE KIPPER. Reverted to BRITISH PRINCE, Greene King, H still unused. (W91, U98, U117, U135)

BRENTFORD, DUKE OF YORK. -beers listed; +Wadworth:6X; +Fuller: London Pride or Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Now badged as a Free House, run by 'Crowded House', ex-Whitbread (Beefeater). (W97)

BRENTFORD, WATERMANS ARMS. -beers listed; +Morland: Tanners Jack. Now a Morland pub, ex-Grand Met (Watney). (W99, U72. U79, U98)

SIPSON, PLOUGH. -Ruddle: County: -Webster: Yorkshire Bitter; +Draught Bass; +Marston: Pedigree. Ruddles Best is now the Morland brewed variety. (W140, U79)

SIPSON, KING WILLIAM IV. -beers listed: +Greene King: IPA. (W140, U98, U117)


As explained in Update 149, a new edition of the Kent pub guide was published in August, also covering pubs within the London Borough of Bexley. From this month the updates cross-refer to the new 10th edition for LB Bexley pubs but also continue to cross-refer to the previous ‘8th’ edition for all other pubs with Kent postal addresses in Greater London, mainly in LB Bromley, as well as to the last comprehensive guide to cover all outer SE London districts, namely the 3rd edition of the SE London guide (pages 204 to 288). There are a few errors and omissions in the new guide which are corrected below and, in addition, a few anomalies warranting clarification.

ABBEY WOOD, HARROW, should read HARROW INN. It is in London SE2 and is also listed in the latest SE guide (4th edition). (K27)

BELVEDERE, BELVOIR TAVERN. Address should read 38 Station Rd. (K31)


BEXLEY, BLACK PRINCE. Address should read Southwold Rd (K32)

BEXLEY, CAFE LORCA, 61 Bexley High St. No real ale. Free House/café-bar. Omitted. (U149)

BEXLEY, CAFE TAAX, 3 Mill Row, off High St. No real ale. Free House/café-bar. Omitted. (U103)

BEXLEY, GEORGE is a Hogshead and currently sells Boddington: Bitter; Flowers: Original Bitter; Fuller: London Pride and 3 guest beers. (K33). BEXLEYHEATH, BRICKLAYERS ARMS. Address is 58 Mayplace Rd West. (K33)


FALCONWOOD, FALCON, is in London SE9 and is also listed in the latest SE guide (4th edition). It is a Harvester and sells Fuller: London Pride as well as Draught Bass. (K65)

SIDCUP (AVERY HILL), BLACK BOY, Southspring, Avery Hill. Adnams: Bitter; Tetley: Bitter. Comfortable Allied (ex-Taylor Walker) estate pub with garden. Was listed in the previous (8th) edition but presumably omitted because it lies just inside LB Greenwich! Suggest it is included as an omission for completeness. (See also 3SE272, U60.)

SIDCUP, BLACK HORSE INN (YE OLDE), 43 Halfway St. Courage: Best Bitter. Traditionally decorated local with small car park. Firmly within LB Bexley and omitted in error. (See also 3SE273, U60.)

SIDCUP, SIDCUP PLACE. Sells Flowers: Original Bitter; Fuller: London Pride and Wadworth:6X. (See U144 for description.) (K127)

THAMESMEAD, BARGE POLE. Correct address is 32 Coralline Walk. It is in London SE2 and is also listed in the latest SE guide (4th edition). (K137)

WELLING, ROSE & CROWN. Full title is ROSE & CROWN (AT WELLING). Address should read 15 High St. (K146)

WELLING, WE ANCHOR IN HOPE. Sells Courage: Best Bitter. Ex-Grand Met (Courage) road house with large garden, playground and car park. (K146)