I caught the first train back from Bexleyheath into London Bridge, contemplating a leisurely reacquaintance with Borough’s beauties; the Royal Oak, the Rake, the King’s Arms. Now I’ve completed London’s GBG entries I can actually enjoy the place again.

But as the train approached Lewisham I felt oddly guilty about leaving Mrs RM alone for so long on her own in Stevenage, and instead worked out what I could do in the 13 minute changeover.

Not a lot once you’ve queued for the barriers, been to the loo and gone to the wrong exit, of course.

There’s, er, a few pubs outside the station,

and the closest one may not be a current Guide entry but the Shipwrights Arms has certainly graced its pages over the years.

And looks gorgeous and welcoming.

I love a London corner pub with a curved bar, proper seating, unfussy furnishings and a mix of young and old (me) on a Saturday night.

Bit surprised to get a seat near the bar, and the lone handpump from local Southwark is a welcome surprise.

By the time my pint “lands” (ugh) I realise I have 3.5 minutes to drink it, which is fine.

Blimey, it’s gorgeous. Another notch in London’s growing cask reputation.

Blimey. I’m not the only one on the cask, either. One beer is plenty if it’s good.

Though as I leave, with the train departing 3 minutes later, I spot the hidden Doom Bar pump.

Somehow, I resisted.


    1. It feels a long while since it was in the Beer Guide, Citra, and wouldn’t have been my first choice, but that Southwark was excellent (and clearly selling). As you’ve noted, less pumps on the bar can help quality. Perhaps you should test the Doom Bar next time you’re in the area ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well done, John. Your bravery deserves reward, and you got it. The anti-Doom Bar brigade have probably never drunk a pint since its award at the CAMRA beer tasting in 2004 or whenever it was.


    1. Real ale in South London Beer Guide pubs has indeed been a bit hit and miss, but probably more consistent than in West London.

      I’ve noted a real upturn in quality across London, and even if that’s because of fewer, better known beers that’s a good thing. Doom Bar will save cask !

      Liked by 1 person

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