In continuing our search for decent real-ale outlets in the vicinity of Headquarters office, we now base our next trip on the interesting location known as Vauxhall. Leaving aside the fact that this area which boasts few obvious charms, you will relieved to learn that the majority of this trip takes place after dark.
Once you have managed to get to the Underground station from wherever you hail, take the BR Station exit, (it is easier is to travel by BR from Waterloo). Passing the Elephant and Castle pub on your right, pass under the railway via the long tunnel to get to South Lambeth Road. Negotiate the traffic lights and continue down aforementioned road, keeping the park on the opposite side to ...
[TIMES OF DEPARTURE AFTER PUB]
1. THE WHEATSHEAF - 126 South Lambeth Road [18.30]
Beers: Courage Best, Directors.
Convivial, two-bar pub: A lively public bar with pool-table, juke-box Not many seats, though there may be more room in the lounge, which is somewhat plusher, catering as it does for lunch-time diners. Unfortunately there appears to be a dearth of food in the evenings. A good rendezvous.
Continue along South Lambeth Road to Tradescant Road, follow this, and turn left, the left again...
2. ROYAL ALBERT - 43 St Stephen's Terrace [19.15]
Beers: Flowers Original; Wethereds Bitter; Greene King Abbot; Marston's Pedigree.
Remarkable pub, near to Albert Square. Consists of one large, sprawling bar area, with a library section boasting leather settees leading to a small paved terrace. No lack of seating. Pleasant pub, though pricey, it seems out of character with the area, until you see some of the property, (Porsches etc outside). Probably, no food.
Retrace steps a little, but turn left at Tradescant Road and right, back to South Lambeth Road ...
3. THE CANTON - 177 South Lambeth Road [20.00]
Beers: Charrington IPA; Bass; Greene King IPA.
Extensively re-furbished large pub, with a strong sense of "newness" about it. Central rectangular bar. Derives its name from the 26 Cantons of Switzreland and has a strong theme on this line in the decorations. Very smart, with a myriad of seats in various styles, including leather settee. Bar billiards in public-bar area, left side. Grand Piano, but no food.
Cross the road, down Thorne Road and Camel Street to reach Wandsworth Road, turn left to Southville ...
4. THE SURPRISE - 16 Southville, off 357 Wandsworth Road [20.45]
Beers: Young Bitter, Special Bitter.
The most Westerly point on the trip this is very close to South Bank Polytechnic (the other one). A small, originally two-bar pub, with limited seating, unless one wishes to brave the elements to use the benches outside. Basic boozer with fruit machines and, I seem to recall, a fiendishly modern pin-ball machine. (P.A.T)
Retreat towards the hallowed edifice of Market Towers, as far as Thorncroft Street, to ...
5. THE NOTTINGHAM CASTLE (BURKE'S FREE HOUSE) - 257 Wandsworth Road [21.45]
Beers: Burke's Lion Bitter; Young Bitter, Special Bitter; Greene King Abbot.
From the people who brought you The Hole in the Wall, The Wellington Arms ... here is their SW London establishment. Not as wide a range, of beers though. Favoured haunt of those seeking solace from Mkt Twr own pub. The Podium. Certainly a real pub, populated by locals from the various housing estates. Beer generally good, but ...
Finally, continue in the same direction to the next street to ...
6. THE GLADSTONE - 1 Wilcox Road [22.30]
Beers: Courage Best, Directors.
So, back to the same beer on which we started, and just as much a locals' pub. Rather quieter though, and could be an ideal one in which to finish. A mere stone's throw from Sainsbury's, (assuming you've bought some peaches). Has tapes playing rather than using the juke-box.
WELL, that's about the end of this jaunt, the only remaining task being to negotiate the streets back to Vauxhall Underground. Directions will be given on the day.
Map for trip
Triallists: John Wright, Paul Tiffany, Campbell Robb, Debbie KirkwoodBack to 1989 Trips