Reports from York, Filey, our garden and Littlehampton to come, but a short break from strict chronology now to bring you a report from Borough Market.

Feeling Duncan’s pain, I woke up Sunday realising how difficult it would be to achieve a new GBG tick with Mrs RM.

Fancy a day out Mrs RM.  I’ll drive”   “How far ?”

Oh, only to the nearest Beer Guide pub I haven’t done yet”  “Is that far ?”

Oh, no.  Only Pershore


2 hour 33 ? In this heat ?”  etc. etc.  “How about Borough Market.  Loads of pubs

A deal.  In truth, I’d been looking for a reason to get back to Borough.  For a start, the Market was asking people to visit, and it had been too long since I visited the great pubs there (thanks Londonist).  And to seal the deal, the Market itself was opening up on Sunday, a rarity.

I hadn’t mentioned to Mrs RM the hour long walk in 30 degrees heat from King’s Cross.  I never pay the £6.20 extra for the Travelcard, and you see more above ground than below it.


It was a false economy.  Approaching the Black Friar, the architecture peaked but Mrs RM’s soles declined. We would have turned right and had a craft beer at the Cittie of Yorke, but this is the City of London on a Sunday, and you know what that means.


She bravely hobbled on, only cursing me moderately on the way over Blackfriars and onto Southwark. Some real Londonesque contrasts round Doggetts.



First Doggetts, then the Founders, even the Anchor all nearly prompted a stop for a warm pint of Doom Bar/Ordinary/IPA, but we hobbled on to the Rake.


Perhaps not the best frontage,but one of the best pub doors in London.


Borough was heaving, but the sun makes folk do foolish things like sit outside, so we miraculously managed an indoor table in the cool, something not previously possible on a 4pm February Thursday visit.


Now I know I’m a traitor to the cause, but the cask was outside in the heat, apparently being served in plastic, while thekeg came from the cool interior in lovely straight glasses.


What would you have done ?


I always panic when faced with black/white boards, so went for the localish ones to appease Mrs Environmentalist herself, who frankly just wanted something cold and strong by that point. Four Pure APA spot on, the IPA not far behind.  I have no idea if these were KeyKeg or not, how does one tell ?   One doesn’t care.

The Gents is, of course, bigger than the bar, and a work of art.

Sane is better than Messi, mate

If the Rake was in my village I’d be happy. And probably homeless.

Borough Market is increasingly full of folk wanting takeaways rather than ingredients, and at 3.50pm on a Sunday there is no better place to buy a huge portion of calamari.



Frankly, with the different languages being spoken and greasy squid in the sun, we could have been in Genoa.

Oh, excuse me, there’s something on your chin, Sir

Why do people feel the need to tell total strangers they can’t eat food in their dotage without humiliating themselves ? It was only chilli. I thanked the young lady for her concern.  Mrs RM scoffed “You can’t take him anywhere“.

The Market Porter looked like the Market Porter always does. Heaving.


On my only visit on a Friday evening years ago, I loved the pub but thought the Ventnor Oyster Stout tired, so even in the heat I was going for cask.

While I dithered between Doom Bar, Harvey’s and Salopian, Mrs RM pouched the last table.  Give her her due, she always grabs the last table. Even when there’s someone already sitting at it.



A wonderful pub with brown wood, proper seating, with the mix of custom you get in Cambridge’s Maypole or Reading’s Nag’s Head, and very cask-led.  Better than I remembered.



IMG_20170618_160016.jpgA cool Harvey’s was good (NBSS 3),the Cornish IPA (Mrs RM’s beer, of course) better (NBSS 3.5). I might pop back on a cooler day for a cooler assessment of quality.


I wanted to camp out here, but that would have made me feel like a local,and I’m a tourist.  Besides, Mrs RM had never seen The George.

In this heat 700 words is my maximum, so that’s all for now. Tomorrow, more Borough, more boring Brown Bitters, and more beards.


20 thoughts on “BACK TO BOROUGH (PART 1)

  1. I have done all pubs apart from the Rake,which you named in this post,
    what ever happened to the Coat and Badge,did somebody nick them.
    Very nice of both of you to go to Borough Market on the Sunday to give them support after what happened there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coat and Badge renamed Doggetts (Coat and Badge​), think it looks the same. Think it’s the same place !

      We didn’t visit out of synpathy if I’m honest, but the Market and Rake have been encouraging folk to visit them. Sunday is £16.90 return to London and the South Bank is great in the sun.


  2. Another story coming up.
    A mate of mine had a job in South East London and had a bedsit in Blackheath,this was back in 1981,he asked mates to go down and sleep on the floor and then go on a pub crawl,this was when strikes were common and i knew that when getting off the train at St Pancrass there would be no underground running on a Friday evening,so i knew i had to walk to London Bridge to get the train to Blackheath,as you know i can not walk past a pub i have not been in,so a few hundred yards down Greys Inn Road and i had done 3 pubs,then luck struck,i turned round when close to a bus stop and saw a bus with London Bridge Station on the front,so straight on it and and down to London Bridge.
    I say this because i do not know how you could walk past an open pub.

    The following day my mate had sorted out a pub crawl which would take us to Canterbury via Chatham,this would become my Record pub crawl and when pub closed in the afternoon,we had to change trains at Chatham and it was just 11am,and our train was due five minutes later,so straight off the station and into the Alexandra a Shepherd Neame tied house,a quick dash back to the station and we were soon in Canterbury,i did 26 pubs there over two sessions,so on 27 pubs for the day.
    We caught a train back and got off at Woolwich which was loaded with pubs,another 8 pubs done.
    I was well pissed,but had got 35 pubs done in one day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Market Porter was not heaving when I was there. It is nice to see what it looks like when it is open, unlike New Year’s Day.


  4. Martin, you pose the question for the reader ‘what would you have done’ in the Rake. Given the card only sign at the bar for the cask, I think I would have walked out of the pub. I like cash.

    I am looking forward to New Year in Bolton. Cracking piece of fixture scheduling. Only problem for BRAPA will be the odds of the market pub opening will be remote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never knew there were card only pubs,
      these will be pubs that i will never go in as i never use a card when out to buy anything,it is cash only for me.

      I hope hundreds of people turn up to the Rake with wads of money only to be refused a drink,because they do not have a bank card to pay for them.


    2. Bob’s Inn seems very keen to be open. I highly recommend it. Especially if you need ladies knickers.

      I trust you are surviving the emptiness between seasons, Tom. I guess you don’t do friendlies in July ?


  5. It may be Martin,
    But not a future i want.
    Next time i am round the Borough area of London i will give it a try and see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

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