Yes, it's that time of the year again i.e. The occasion of one of the two regular HASSRALE trips (and aside from the unofficial visit to London Drinker, the first of 2004 so Happy New Year as well)! The committee did not do a formal trial run, but the information should be pretty much up-to-date. Due to some moral blackmail exerted by the proprietor of the Duke of Sussex, it has been re-instated at the expense of the Hole in the Wall which has become much busier of late due to increased local sign-posting and also the beer range and quality has suffered (sounds familiar?). As always although approximate leaving times are shown in [ ], should you be running late (or rejoining later) confirm where people are using a mobile contact number or pre-arrange a rendez-vous. The first venue is just to the south of Waterloo station to the west of the Old Vic across Waterloo Bridge Road.
1. The Duke of Sussex - 23 Baylis Road SE1 [14:00]
Beers: Shepherd Neame Spitfire plus others?
Last visited two years ago after an internal structural refurbishment. You will now note that it has just been re-upholstered, repainted and re-carpeted (note that any update has avoided the Gents loo). Obviously it retains its two-bar layout with the pool table dominating the smaller rear bar. The beer range should include, in Honest Dave's words, "something a bit special" so keep your fingers crossed and hold onto your hats (in case you suddenly need them for some reason). It is also rumoured that there may be a short quiz (not on where we were last year, I hope).
2. The Kings Arms - Roupell Street [14:30]
Beers: Adnams Bitter; Brakspears; Marston's Pedigree; Tetley Bitter.
A regular on the trip, but once again this is the preferred second pub since neither the Wellington nor the White Hart merit inclusion. For those that do not recall, it has two separate bars with the saloon to the left and a narrow "public" to the right. Both lead, via a short connecting corridor, to the rear covered courtyard which has large tables reminiscent of a school dining hall and is usually just as hectic. Should you wish to partake, the menu favours Thai food.
3. The Mulberry Bush - 89 Upperground [15:30]
Beers: Youngs Special and Ordinary.
Not visited on the trial, but unlikely to have altered. Very busy modern pub in the Coin Street development with the front open in summer (which could be today) and populated mainly by South Bank TV employees. Slightly quieter back area, which is non-smoking, but has a glass roof that on a sunny day might ignite the occupants. Stylish interior, again food is prominent.
4. The Rose and Crown - 47 Colombo Street [16:30]
Beers: Shepherd Neame Best Bitter, Masterbrew, Spitfire.
By mutual consent this was promoted to an earlier time slot so that those of us who wish to sit outside can avail ourselves of the weather, so bring your umbrellas. Yes there are tables outside in the garden by the precinct of the church, however the internal accommodation is limited (and may involve standing). There is also an upstairs bar, but generally open only for lunchtime diners.
5. The Stamford Arms - Stamford Street [17:00]
Beers: Courage Best; Wadworth's 6X; Youngs Ordinary.
Since no trial run took place we shall rely on last year's desription which in turn drew on that from 2002. " .... and last year's description is still appropriate (even to the football!). Fairly large corner pub, wooden floorboards, background music. Football on the TV, not always on one presumes (don't bet on it, see above). Bar and dining area upstairs, food apparently served till 8pm. Can get busy in the afternoons, but there are tables outside for those who enjoy watching the world (and traffic) go by".
6. The Mad Hatter - Stamford Street/Blackfriars Road [17:45]
Beers: Fullers ESB, London Pride, Chiswick and Honey Dew.
Large Fullers pub and hotel in former Midland bank premises. It can get very busy, but the seating area extends right through to the back. N.B. Last year we found that it was fairly busy and populated by customers that had decided that after lunch, office premises offered a poor alternative. I recommend that you head straight for the tables at the back.
7. The Prince William Henry - 217 Blackfriars Road [18:30]
Beers: Youngs Special and Ordinary.
Last year the previous pub proved to be the nemesis for nearly everybody on the trip. In the event just three made it this far. Despite its reputation for being busy it was surprisingly empty last year although there was extensive evidence (empty glasses on empty tables) that much previous imbibing had occurred. However nobody has ventured back since. Maybe this year?
8. The Ring - 72 Blackfriars Road [19:15 or whenever]
Beers: Marstons Pedigree; Fullers London Pride.
Included on many a HASSRALE trip, notably the starting point for the Christmas perambulations. Famous one-bar pub built on the site of the former boxing venue destroyed during the Blitz. The pub is festooned with photographs of former boxers and there is still a training ring upstairs that can be heard in use on occasion. It underwent an internal refurbishment subsequent to its closure prior to the 2002 Maundy Thursday trip. It is now run by the former owner of the Kings Arms (pub number 2). You will also notice that above the hubbub of the customers chatter there is distinct background/middleground music. Always busy at this time of the day. Plenty of seats outside!
At this point we are at the corner of The Cut opposite Southwark tube station (Jubilee Line). However those who are heading back towards Waterloo Station may wish to call in at the Anchor and Hope (now Evening Standard Gastropub of 2003) or perhaps the Windmill. Hopefully see you all at some stage and have a pleasant Easter.
Survey details: Edmund & James Featherstone and John Wright (all relying on unreliable memories).Back to 2004 Trips