Hassrale Trips: Borough High St

Date: Wednesday 18th March 1998

This trip starts from Borough Station and ends up at London Bridge Station, i.e. only one stop on the Northern line. Out of the station cross the High Street at the lights head along Long Lane turning on your right down Tabard Street

1. The Royal Oak - 44 Tabard Street [18:45]

Beers: Harvey's Armada, Sussex Best Bitter, Old & pale Ale

Formerly a Grand Met house with no Real Ale according to the 1994 SE London Beer Guide. Now an excellent two-bar street corner pub that has been taken over by Harvey's as their first London tied house. Comfortable all wood (bare-boards, new pews, chairs and stools). Very pleasant with an atmosphere reflecting a Second World War establishment (this comment was brought on by the dim lighting and external explosions on our first visit here on November 5th). Full range of the brewery's beers always available including any seasonal brews. The beer has been in very good condition on all our visits.

Back up to the High Street turn right across the junction heading north to ..

2. The Blue Eyed Maid - 173 Borough High Street [19:15]

Beers: Morlands Old Speckled Hen, Fullers London Pride

Originally a Whitbread establishment (may still be!) This is now a one-bar pub, still Victorian in style. Narrow, with the counter down one side illuminated by large globes (the last one called "Nickys"). Apart from the large number of bar-stools the seating is at either end, with a miniature stagecoach above the doors to the toilets at one end and the large screen TV at the other. Apparently has comedy every Thursday night @ 8:30 (£3).

Continue to the right and then turn right at the next to ..

3. The Kings Arms - 65 Newcomen Street [20:00]

Beers: Courage Directors & Best

Old-fashioned back street boozer. Brightly lit with an L-shaped bar. Looks as though nothing has changed for the last thirty years apart from the introduction of velour padded bench seating around the periphery and the re-painting. Pin-table, music system and TV conflict to grab your attention. Apparently the pub-sign set into the building facade is Grade II listed, although one would doubt if the rest of the premises are!

Back onto the main road then right and a little further on is ..

4. The George - Borough High Street [20:45]

Beers: Morlands Old Speckled Hen, Greene King Abbot Ale, Fullers London Pride, Whitbread Flowers, Boddingtons, Restoration Bitter (3.7% ABV)

Large galleried, old coaching inn "re-built in 1676" with a courtyard overlooking Guy's hospital. It is now owned by the National Trust, however since they do not go in for brewing the range of beers seems to come from the Whitbread stable (take that as you will). Adverts in the London Drinker state that it holds a beer festival on the 3rd Monday of the month, normally lasting 5 days and featuring an extra eight ales. Several rambling internal drinking areas, all traditional with scrubbed wooden tables, uneven wooden floors (especially at this time of evening). The former bedrooms are now converted into restaurant and dining rooms.

Keep heading north and eventually there is a turning on the right ..

5. The Bunch of Grapes - 2 St Thomas Street [21:15]

Beers: Youngs Winter Warmer, Special and Bitter

Popular large one-bar pub with a 44 seat dining area that doubles as a function room. Busy (even @ 9:30PM). Rather cramped (compact?) seating, otherwise perch by the etched glass partitions by the entrance which has a ledge to rest drinks on and bar stools to sit upon.

Again up to the High Street, past the shops and then cross the road under the rail bridge to find on your left ..

6. The Barrowboy and Banker - London Bridge [22:00]

Beers: Fullers ESB, London Pride, Chiswick Bitter and "1845 Ale"

Yet another of Fuller's conversions (where have we encountered this before, JDW?) from a former bank. This was a NatWest that now provides a different form of life support. As similar ex-bank establishments this is a vast pub with a very high chandeliered ceiling. Large painted murals and an obviously new huge sweeping staircase that partitions off the left hand seating area. 1845 Ale is the bottled brew, produced to celebrate Fullers 150th anniversary, but now on draft.

Well that's all folks. Across the road is London Bridge station (mainline and Northern line tube). Buses cross the bridge to Fenchurch St & Liverpool Street Have a safe journey!

Trial run: Wednesday 11th February 1998

Present: Edmund & James Featherstone, Mark Chambers, John Wright

Back to 1998 Trips