London, England pubs

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lister
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Postby lister » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:27 am

Bytowner wrote:Don't think I ever went to the others, I'll keep an eye out.


Definitely go to Cask Pub+Kitchen. For me it was kind of out of the way but worth the trip. I scheduled it on the day the ladies were doing Harrod's so it was a short tube ride away.

Looking around BA it doesn't look like the scene has changed too much. Frankly I'm more stressed out about picking the right restaurant for our "all out" night.


What sort of restaurant? I can look through where we went and see if any we liked are a match.

Our next trip to England will definitely be without the mother-in-law. I'll have to do more touristy shit but the evenings will be early dinners followed by pub visits practically every night. It's annoying that pubs close so early.
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Postby Bytowner » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:47 am

British. I've never been to a Michelen starred restaurant, so am considering doing that one night. Intrigued by the idea of eating at Dinner by Heston, but not sure if it'll be worth it (like anything at that price can be worth it).

Otherwise, modern takes on Brit food, so good gastropubs would probably be ideal. Certainly want to do a quality Sunday Lunch.
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Postby lister » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:44 am

Bytowner wrote:British. I've never been to a Michelen starred restaurant, so am considering doing that one night. Intrigued by the idea of eating at Dinner by Heston, but not sure if it'll be worth it (like anything at that price can be worth it).

Otherwise, modern takes on Brit food, so good gastropubs would probably be ideal. Certainly want to do a quality Sunday Lunch.


That's what we usually do when visiting places, just do the local food. Here are the places we went to for dinner. Reservations are a must. Personally I wouldn't bother with the oyster bar. Michelin star restaurants were out for this trip as we had to fit four weeks in Europe into a particular budget. The meals at the first four places were all excellent.

Harwood Arms
http://www.harwoodarms.com/

The Mall Tavern
http://www.themalltavern.com/index.php

The Jugged Hare
http://www.thejuggedhare.com/

Hereford Road
http://www.herefordroad.org

J. Sheekey Oyster Bar
http://www.jsheekeyoysterbar.co.uk

Nightjar
Cocktails & live music
http://www.barnightjar.com/

We planned to go to Newman Arms for pies but that got changed due to scheduling issues. I can't remember where we went instead.

A few lunch places we went to were Poppies Fish & Chips and the Iron Duke. Most lunches we had were utility lunches.
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Postby Bytowner » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:21 am

That's great, thanks Lister. Harwood Arms definitely keeps coming up.
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Postby Philip1 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:27 pm

I was back in London last month.

Earlier in the thread lister mentioned The Cleveland Arms. I stopped by there on my way from Paddington station early on a Saturday night. It seemed like a neighbourhood pub with the patrons and staff all knowing each other. I had a pint of Harvey's Best Bitter for 3.30 (I can't get the pound sign on this keyboard) making it the cheapest pint I had in London, other than at a crappy sports bar during happy hour where I watched the Canada v USA hockey game.

Not that far from the Cleveland is the Mitre, quite famous in the past with beer enthusiasts. I didn't enjoy it that much due to some loud drunken patrons, a surly Polish barman, and the extreme heat of the place near the fireplace. I also did not enjoy my pint of Young's Best Bitter (price 3.74) which wasn't very tasty. Most of the casks seemed to be Young's. There was also a Hackney Hopper for 4 quid - though the Czech pilsner Kozel was more expensive than any ales at 4.74. They had some unusual (for London) bottled beers such as Brooklyn Lager.

Around the corner on Bayswater Road I had a pint of a Fuller's beer called Seafarer's Ale at The Swan. This pub is quite well known too, especially for its traditional English Sunday dinners (prepared and served entirely by friendly Spaniards on the Sunday afternoon that I was there!). I think all the real ales were Fuller's.

Other places I visited:

The George (Soho) - delicious Whitstable Pale Ale for approximately 3.80

Pride of Argyll - Adnam's Explorer 4 pounds even. This seems to be a tourist pub but they had quite a few cask ales.
The Maple Leaf (Covent Garden) - yes I admit it but there aren't too many other places in London to watch Olympic hockey! - Golden Sheep for, I believe, 4.15
The Ship (Soho) - Fuller's Pride 4.15 (I had a Fuller's Discovery Ale at this place in 2010 for 3.30 so prices have gone up significantly).
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Postby Bytowner » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:23 pm

It's interesting that the same recs come up for London as I got when I moved over there 4 years ago (with the notable exceptions of Craft Beer Co, Euston, and CASK).

London seems to really punch below its weight as far as brewing goes. Nothing much seems to be happening, and what is, isn't particularly interesting. Wonder if it's a property price thing.
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Postby JerCraigs » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:15 pm

Bytowner wrote:London seems to really punch below its weight as far as brewing goes. Nothing much seems to be happening, and what is, isn't particularly interesting. Wonder if it's a property price thing.


My understanding is that there are tons of new places and new breweries. Probably just means not enough of us are travelling there often enough.
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Postby Bytowner » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:01 pm

JerCraigs wrote:
Bytowner wrote:London seems to really punch below its weight as far as brewing goes. Nothing much seems to be happening, and what is, isn't particularly interesting. Wonder if it's a property price thing.


My understanding is that there are tons of new places and new breweries. Probably just means not enough of us are travelling there often enough.


Yeah, I was being unfair, found a couple new breweries in the past couple days, looking forward to hunting down their wares... though they seem disturbingly focused on bottled beers.
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Postby jmcnally » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:21 pm

I'll be heading over to England for 2 weeks in June, and will be mostly in London with perhaps a couple of days in Liverpool and/or Cambridge. I found this "chain" which seems to operate decent pubs all over the country and wondered if anyone knew anything more about them:

http://nicholsonpubs.co.uk/
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Postby MattB » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:55 pm

Nichlson's is a fairly decent chain, with generally a good selection of ales. The Coal Hole on the Strand near Charing Cross in London is one of their best -- a really nice boozer, with a number of guest ales every day. They usually have Thornbridge Jaipur IPA on cask, one of my favourite British beers. And that's a good reason to visit.

For other pubs (not Nicholson`s), if you're around the Borough Market, I recommend the Market Porter. It`s an independent with a huge, ever-changing selection of cask ales. Also, the Craft Beer Co. on Leather Lane near the Chancery Lane tube station. Fantastic selection.
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Postby Bytowner » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:25 am

So I got home on Friday after a great week revisiting old favourites and discovering new ones in London.

Overall impression: craft beer is really surging. There is always a focussed craft beer bar within a 10 minute walk. This is both good and bad. The English are producing some great craft beer but, generally, when you talk about craft there, you're talking keg. Loads of American and Belgian styles, and they take pride of place at the hipster joints that are popping up around the city. Their cask ales are obviously something we would consider craft, but generally quality kegged beer is what the new wave of beer geeks is talking about in London.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great breweries making tasty IPAs and Saisons, but I was much happier in the Harp drinking a pint of mild from Sambrook (or even a pint of Sam Smith's for 2.40 at one of their pubs), than drinking a Lagunitas at Draft House.

The latest must-do for beer geeks in London is the Bermondsey Beer Mile. This started a few years back with the Kernel opening up shop under the railway arches around Maltby Market. This has now expanded to 6 quality breweries along the railway line:
http://www.bermondseybeermile.com/

I can't imagine it will be tolerable much longer. Hasn't been discovered by tourists yet, but the market itself was hardly navigable on the Saturday we were there.

My favourite two breweries were:
Brew by Numbers
Anspach and Hobday

Brew by Numbers is just a great concept. Embrace variety without appearing schizophrenic. All their beers were just excellent. I liked Anspach and Hobday because they showed an appreciation for what makes British beer so well-regarded. Their Dapper IPA/Bitter was excellent and their porter was one of the best I've had (if a little on the heavyweight side of things).

Favourite new pub I visited: Finsborough Arms. A real local's pub with a theater company in the basement, and they'll order in pizza for you from the decent join next door. Had about 6 hand pumps (4 running) and 5 interesting keg beers. Preferred it to the White Horse nearby(ish) just because of the crowd.

Holborn Whippet is a decent craft beer pub if you're in the British Museum area. Good split between keg and cask. Had an Adnams South Town, which is a fantastic red, and Burning Skies Plateau, a brilliant golden ale.

The Draft House has a couple of pubs in London now, run by really passionate folks. Expensive as anything I drank though, which goes for their intriguing bottle takeaway selection as well (5.20 for a bottle of Weird Beard's Saison I bought for Tayyabs).

I didn't get to any of the Craft Beer Co pubs, but they're sprouting like mushrooms and are opening up a new one in Convent Garden, so that's worth a look.

Favourite remains the Harp, just a fantastic pint every time, decently priced all things considered, and sausages to boot.

Drinking in London is becoming prohibitively expensive, especially at these craft bars, so beware. Also a creeping trend of 1/3 and 2/3 pints at full prices, which makes me sad. For this reason, Sam Smith pubs remain essential. But even they have increased their beer range, providing most of their bottled products under the counter. HOWEVER, a bottle of their IPA set me back 6 pounds, which was absurd considering I could get a pint of bitter for a third of that.

Had a great Sunday Lunch at Hawksmoor Seven Dials, and a memorable dinner at Dinner by Heston in the Mandarin.
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Postby jmcnally » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:20 am

Thanks for the recommendations and glad that London seems to be hopping (bad joke) with new and old beer places. I just downloaded CAMRA's mobile version of their Good Beer Guide and that should be useful during my trip as well.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:22 am

jmcnally wrote:I'll be heading over to England for 2 weeks in June, and will be mostly in London with perhaps a couple of days in Liverpool and/or Cambridge. I found this "chain" which seems to operate decent pubs all over the country and wondered if anyone knew anything more about them:

http://nicholsonpubs.co.uk/


One cool thing about the Nicholson's pubs is their Ale Trail promotion where if you hit like 5 or 6 pubs in the same area and drink a beer you get a free T shirt. The terms say you are not allowed to go to more than 2 in a single day, but there is no way to check it and I hit 5 in one day back in 2009.

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