A trip to see Tori Amos at the Royal Albert Hall, no less, a far cry from our usual “folk indie for a fiver” at the Portland Arms.
It says something about the dearth of new Guide pubs in central London that on my second trip to the City since GBG release I’ve already cracked the back of the capital. That largely leaves just London’s South-East (here be craft, if they’re open) and the West (here be soup).
In fact the only new pub in weekend-closing City was the Pelt Trader, one of those new Bloomsbury Leisure pubs you sense everyone else has already done.
You can’t miss it, just outside Cannon St station. Though we did, of course.
Visiting the City on a weekday lunchtime is still a thrilling experience for country bumpkins like Mrs RM and myself, though we took solace in the knowledge that we didn’t have to go back to a 55th floor office, stare at screens and then stand on the rickety train back to Brentwood at 8pm.
I’d expected a bar full of suits, to be honest it was more mixed than that, though I sensed we were the only tourists. I’d compare it more to the Picadilly Tap (outside of match day)than the Euston.
A bonus here is the rare sight of folk not standing at the bar, meaning plenty of space to try to make sense of the beer board.
Unlike a certain operation in Brizzle recently, Pelt Trader actually tells you what the cask beers are, and adds a nice pump clip to the back board.
As you’ll know, I come to bury London, not to praise it, but this is an exemplar of how to run a modern bar. Some breweries you’ve heard of, some beers you trust (Harvey’s, Dark Star), and some quality pints under £4. OK, not under £3, but it’s a start, and cheaper than Cambridge.
I could even see that the blokes in front were ordering the Dark Star APA and the keg Kernel, so making my choice for me.
Even better, Mrs RM had found a table (well, scared someone else off it, anyway), so we had a perfect view of 2017 EC4 life. Complete with canoe dangling from the ceiling.
Note how the suit count (and the noise, it wasn’t a quiet lunch) increases between us nicking the table and the House Special Pizza arriving.
The speed with which Mrs RM sank the Kernel (6%) may be a good measure of the keg, my cask was NBSS 4. As was the inadvisable Dark Star Hophead Extra we then shared. But by then we eating an 18″ pizza that had healthy ingredients like tomatoes and leaves on it, so that was OK.
A superb beer and pizza lunch, with ales served cool in thick glasses. And with proper music; Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia a highlight.