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.
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.
A 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.