The best way to approach Woolwich is from the north. Take the pedestrian underpass one way, and come back on the free ferry. The river crossing is one of the things that make London quite good, and it won’t be there forever. Nothing will.
I’m a big fan of North Woolwich, whose charms Deserter describes here. The famed Royal Standard remains unvisited; perhaps Mrs RM will act as my
bodyguard drinking companion on a visit ? Alan Winfield wished to make it clear he’s never been in that institution either.
The other half of Woolwich is a different kettle of fish. Wide open spaces around the barracks, steep walks up to Shooter’s Hill, and proper underpass graffiti.
It’s top urban walking, just lacking great pubs since the Rose slipped a bit, or out of the Guide anyway. The new housing developments behind the giant Tesco are so gorgeous I can forgive that.
To use Beer Guide language, the centre is a “cultural melting pot“, which means you get a proper street market with bowls of bananas you can’t carry home, and a trendy Eritrean café. Bradford might have the shiny shops and water features to match, but it doesn’t have a top Eritrean café yet (does it ?).
Of course, the sure sign of gentrification is an Antic, and the Woolwich Equitable is as clearly an Antic as any Wetherspoons, from the moment you step in. It looks a bit like a Spoons bank conversion, using furniture from the 1950s. Which I think is OK, though I’m sure some will think it the work of the devil.
Typically good Antic beer from Voldens (NBSS 3.5) which seems to be their house brew now. And I do like fresh flowers on tables now I’m getting old.
You can see from the photos how closely the Equitable reflects the cultural diversity of the town. Compare and contrast with the “vibrant” Wetherspoons across the square.
Anyway, for ten points, name the tune. For twenty points, sing it.
Plenty of pubs, but not much troubling the Guide recently, bar a drab Youngs restaurant in the Royal Arsenal. I suspect I might be returning for the Hop Stuff Taproom at some point though.