Archive for the ‘Pub Watch’ Category

Hi beer fans.

Here’s 9 crazy facts about beer which I put together for Twentysomethinglondon ahead of our upcoming Rooftop Brewing beer party!

1. In 1814, 8 people in London died by drowning in beer when one of the huge vats of ale gave way sending 1.4 million litres into the streets.

2. The oldest recipe for beer is 4000 years old, made by Sumerians.

3. Hops are a very close cousin of the marijuana plant.

4. Beer is higher in protein and vitamin B than vino and also contains iron, calcium, phosphates and fibre. Vitamin B particularly folic acid helps prevents heart attacks.

5. In the Middle Ages beer was consumed more than water since it was healthier and safer to drink than water (boiled water is used in the brewing process).

6. The geometry of a beer glass affects how it looks, tastes and feels

  • A narrower top than the middle traps the aroma inside the glass
  • An outward taper helps maintain the size of the foamy head
  • A wide rim or flared glass delivers the beer into your whole mouth not just to the    tongue which changes the way flavours are perceived

7. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

8. Oatmeal stouts were the advised drink of lactating mothers due to the nutritious benefits of drinking it.

9. The Czech Republic drinks the most beer per person in the world.

– See more at:


29 Cornwall Road

London SE1 8TJ

The White Heart, Waterloo.  Boozer worth seeking out

The White Hart, Waterloo. Boozer worth seeking out

I’m unsure which emotion to use when describing this place… Part of me is ‘ahh, this place is so cosy, warm, inviting, historic I want this to be my local!’ kind of way, or ‘ahh! How have I never discovered this place before, it is aweseome!’.

I was brought here by a friend as we were looking for a place to dive in for a drink after a wander along the South Bank.  Located conveniently close to Waterloo as well as the The South Bank, this is your perfect destination pub.  It’s in spitting distance of Waterloo, convenient for when trains are cancelled and easily walkable if you want a decent beverage and can’t face the tourist traps along the South Bank.

The pub itself is a Mitchells and Butlers’ owned establishment nestled in a cute back road amongst neat and pretty terraced cottages.  You can feel the history of the place even before you enter.  It skilfully toes the line between Oldy Worldy Dickensian character but is light and airy enough that you don’t need night goggles to see the person opposite.  I liked the traditional central bar despite it taking up 80% of the potential seating space but it adds character and breaks up the room so every table feels like it is in its own little space.

The beer is also very good.  It has a large selection of taps (up to 20) serving a variety of good European pilsners and wheat beers alongside some of the larger London breweries like Camden and Meantime.  Mainstream craft beers from UK, Belgium and USA are attractive enough to bring in a younger crowd and satisfy most beer geeks. They also serve 3 Cask Marque real ales on rotation.  There was also some decent nosh available and I am told it’s a great place to graze on a hearty roast whilst absorbing the Sunday paper.

It’s a gem of a pub, heaps of character without being full of old codgers and completely unbeknownst to 95% of the commuters passing right by its door each day.  So now you know.

Cask Pub & Kitchen, Pimlico, SW1


Good for: great beer and good vibes with friends.
Food: Burgers

This pretty inauspicious looking bar is like your girlfriends ‘really pretty friend’. Not a great looker but great personality. You could easily walk past Cask without a second glance, but once you get over the awkward appearance and slightly unsightly exterior you’re sure to find a new BFF.

It has exactly what you’d expect from the guys from Craft Beer Co. chain of bars, namely great beer. There are 10 real ales on cask and a further 15 craft beers on tap which tend to have the good UK beer from likes of Thornbridge, Magic Rock and Dark Star as well as many smaller breweries on rotation. They get a good selection of London bottled craft beer (the new stuff from Anspach & Hopday, Kernel, Partizan, Brew by Numbers, Weird Beard) and hundreds of import bottles from USA and Europe (regular size and Bombers). The sheer choice can be overwhelming and so can the ABV of some of the beers. Warning: It can be a challenge to find anything less than 5%!

What I like about this place is the atmosphere. It is consistently buzzing with the good vibes of people hanging out with friends. It feels a little like you have the run of a school classroom with chairs packed in and assembled haphazardly as people spin them around an assortment of tables, but with absolutely no danger of getting a ticking off from the teachers. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and seem to blend into the crowd. It doesn’t attract the hipsters and there aren’t too many pretentious craft wankers… Nobody judges you on what you are drinking or what you are wearing.

If your peckish, the menu is small but the burgers (brought to you by Forty Burgers) are impeccable. The smell of them wafting across the bar is almost impossible to resist.

The Lighthouse, Battersea

Good for: Sunday lunch, newspapers, board games and great beer

The Lighthouse, Battersea

The Lighthouse, Battersea

Predictably, I chose to take my parents here for Sunday lunch since I saw they had fantastic beer. Surprisingly, it was the food which stole the show. I was utterly blown away by the quality of their Sunday lunch. Great thick slabs of mouthwatering beef, piles of fresh vegetables and a headline grabbing Yorkshire pudding. The pork belly was also beautiful and the soup thick, creamy and delicious. Based off the quality of the main courses it also proved difficult to avoid having a pudding. Sign of a good restaurant when you just HAVE to try it!

Ok, so back to the beer… The Lighthouse also is not tied, so it also boasts a great beer selection. Around 5 cask ales, alongside a great bottle selection including beers from USA (Odell), Australia (Little Creatures), numerous Belgium beer and some good local brews from Camden and Beavertown.

The Sunday we were there, it was full of young Battersists, kicking back absorbing the newspapers, playing board games or celebrating with a pint after a hockey match. They had a pianist tinkling some jazzy tunes in the background which all combined to create a fun, friendly but chilled Sunday vibe.

Come for the Sunday lunch, try the beer and if you can’t manage the whole meal, it’s a dog friendly pub so you can always slip it to Rex under the table.

check it out here

The other weekend a friend persuaded me to venture up the Northern Line for a few crafty ales at The Southampton Arms in Kentish Town.  Not really knowing what to expect, I dully made my way there, beer tokens at the ready (no cards accepted).

I was greeted by a quirky local drinking establishment with a friendly friday night buzz in the air.  The place was busy without being packed, but we were lucky to grab a pew (literally a church pew) tucked in the corner.  The folky style music and shabby wooden interiors creates a lively cosy atmosphere which successfully treads the line for a place to enjoy a few Friday night beverages whilst also being a good place to load up on good beer before heading on somewhere more lively.

The Southampton Arms.  A real English pub

The Southampton Arms. A real English pub

The beer itself is only sourced from independent breweries constantly rotated and served by knowledgeable staff, happy to let you to take a sample before diving into an unknown ale.  I had a Redemption Hopspur Bitter and the Belleville Battersea Brownstone, which were both delicious.

The unpretentious yet eclectic mix of genuine local drinkers and trendy younger crowd together with the great beers and ciders and epic meat snacks make it a worthy pub to visit if you are a beer hunter or looking for great London pubs.

If you are in the area, please do check out The Bull and Last, which is a cosy gastropub just up the road. More of a foodie pub than a drinking venue but nevertheless, the beer offering is fantastic.  Beers at the time were from Tiny Rebel, Bristol Beer Factory and Five Points on keg and bottle.

The Southampton Arms

139 Highgate Road, London N5 1LE