Part 2 of our Borough Bender (lightweight edition, clearly) as I weighed up the competing attractions of the Wheatsheaf, Sheaf and the Globe (below);
But you’ll know my thoughts on shorts. Time to put some more strain on Mrs RM’s heel.
For nostalgia, I sought out Kaplan Financial Training, day trip of many an NHS Accounting Trainee over the years, before the NHS realised proper accounting standards were not conducive to balancing the books.
Long days studying SSAPs and SORPs in Borough High Street were no doubt often followed by a quick half in The George, in the days when the Royal Oak seemed off limits.
Hard to believe this was a Beer Guide regular in the years before Greene King turned it into a scruffy dining pub. A Historic Hungry Horse that’s doubled it’s prices, if you like.
You’ll know the history, but at least this is very much a pub paying its own way, largely through beer sales on Sunday afternoon.
For the third time in an hour, Mrs RM nabbed the last outside table. And you wonder why I married her ! There may have been a reserved for beards sign on it, but you’ll know our views on reservations. I’m not actually sure she booked the church for our wedding before we tipped up at it 25 years ago.
To show my admiration, I let her have a pint of Punk IPA, one of the better £5.80 pints I’ve bought this year. If anyone has had a cool pint of Greene King from here I’d be delighted to hear about it.
To be fair to the George, we had a tremendous half hour sharing that pint.
Sitting outside in the sun with the tourists, Shard peeping its head above the courtyard,
and the British Beard Club in full swing opposite,
we contemplated the fun Simon Everitt would have if the George ever gets back in the Guide, something on which I cannot proffer a opinion.
The only place to end was two yards up, at a “Proper Pub”. And a Beer Guide one, too.
Pubs stuck down dark alleys and Yards are often winners; think the Angel in Leeds, Lady of Mann in ‘Pool or Baroosh in Cambridge.
The Old King’s Head has everything you want from a London pub*.
- Tucked away and requiring a conversation with a stranger to find it
- Hanging baskets outside, flowers on the table
- Stained glass windows
- Walls covered with paintings
- Dark, dark wood
- Professional drinkers at the bar and at proper tables
- Cricket on the TV (the dying embers of Pakistan v India)
- “Dancing Queen”
- Two blokes discussing Arsenal’s prospects in the transfer market
- A pint well under £4 (Otter £3.70)
- A glorious collection of Boring Brown Bitters (obvs not Proper Job)
The Wadworth was round the corner when I ordered and briefly appealed, but I dislike their new styling. Otter pump clips are my standard; their Bitter was a decent standard, holding up well in the heat (NBSS 3).
The pub is magnificent, my favourite in all of Borough. It’s rarely about the beer.
Tourists couples peered their heads through the door, saw people drinking lager and having fun, and walked straight out again. Their loss.
Not sure Mrs RM loved it as much as I do. But no-one’s perfect. Not even Mrs RM.
* Not the same as the things you want from a Stockport or Clun pub, to be fair.