I don’t much enjoy pubbing in West London, but there’s no choice. I needed to be able to do this;
Yes, London was complete after a couple of exhausting trips with the Travelcard before Christmas, when you might expect to see beer at its best, albeit pubs at their worst.
On the other hand, you do frequently see pubs looking like this one in Kingston,
overflowing with folk of all ages and levels of hairiness. I like that.
So into the breach, Kingston on a Saturday night. In the rain. I thought the whole point of London was that it never rained ?
To be fair, couple of great pubs on that map in Woodies Club in New Malden and the Antelope in Surbiton, but Kingston itself has struggled recently.
The only other GBG entries are the beery Willoughby and the vast Spoons, which looks strangely alluring, More alluring as a place of refuge than the Bentall Centre. anyway.
But of course the Spoons vouchers aren’t valid in December, and anyway starting a London crawl with a pub you’ve already done is a bad idea. I would know that.
The Albion is one of those attractive back-street locals that Kingston used to specialise in when brewery-owned places were allowed in the Guide, before you had to serve ten beers from micros to make it.
The Albion has a lot of handpumps. And keg fonts. It’s what people want, I’m told.
At least, unlike the last new entry in town, it doesn’t have bath tubs for seats.
The seating in the Albion is a model for suburban London.
Not quite enough seating for me at 5pm, so I stand at the bar with a half of the Big Smoke House beer (NBSS 2.5), feeling a little left out. You can judge a beer’s condition by the head, can’t you ?
The bar staff eye the bloke standing at the bar with suspicion, but you can’t sit on the floor, can you ? Perhaps you can in London.
Plenty here for Simon to enjoy, with families dressed straight out of the John Lewis adverts and wagging dogs tripping you up.
I pressed on to the delights of Norbury, pursued by some Wombles and Latics.