Borough Pub Crawl

1Borough Pub Crawl 28/3/2009

Despite a small turnout, 4 members to be exact, those that came had a great day visiting some of the historic and interesting pubs to be found in the Borough district of London.

We started at the Royal Oak in Tabard St where the Harvey’s was in excellent condition.  It is an interesting locals pub and a great place to get away from the tourist throng on Borough Main street. Our next stop was Lord Clyde in Clennam Street, a wonderful little Edwardian back-street gem which is on CAMRA’s London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest and thus is included in a CAMRA book called “London Heritage Pubs” which is on, allegedly, 2London’s shortest street.

We then tried to visit the Charles Dickens but it does keep odd hours and was closed. This was meant to be our lunch stop so after a brief discussion it was decided to return to the Royal Oak where we had a great value meal and some more Harveys. By this time the weather was closing in with some very sharp showers but we soldiered on.

The next port of call was an unexpected find, tucked down a cul-de-sac was the Horseshoe Inn. A bare board rather echoing pub served a reasonable pint but was not good enough to merit a longer stay; the food menu looked good value. The Shipwright’s Arms on Tooley Street boasts a rather interesting central island 3bar and a rather nice tiled picture. Again the beer was not exciting so it was off to
the George on Borough High Street and also in the London Regional Inventory.

This is owned by the National Trust and is London’s only grade one listed pub. The beer was mediocre and pricey but the surroundings magnificent. In one of the bars is a rare beer engine which works but sadly appears to be no longer in use and, with a bit of sweet talking, the bar staff allowed one of us in the bar area to take a good picture of it.5

The final stop of the night was the Market Porter. Now it was dark and the Borough Market was closed the ‘Porter was a lot quieter. That being a relative term in this always 4busy and popular pub. The usual vast range of beers, 12 on this visit, was flowing our only sadness was not to be able to try them all.

Some news we learned was that even though the Wheatsheaf has closed it is going to reopen soon nearby in Southwark Street where the Hop Cellars once stood.