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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

London Bridge- sorted!

What a week we are having- I love half term! Following our mammoth day on Saturday at the Wenlock and Hoopers, we followed it up on Sunday with a London Bridge area crawl with the main aim of trying each beer on in the Market Porter and the Wheatsheaf. Add the newly vamped up selction in the Horniman to the mix, and there is a permenant beer festival waiting at the end of a 10 min train journey.
We started off the day in Lewisham Wetherspoons to use the WIFI, but of course could'nt escape without a couple of halves; the obligatory Welton's on offer today was Old Cocky, and they also had Brewster's Decadence, a bit too bland to be that decadent, to be honest!
Hotfooting it up to the old LB, we went striaght to the tourist haven that is the Horniman at Hays to make the most of the riverside seats in the sunshine. No such luck, lots of South American teenagers had got there first. The bar was a little understaffed for the manicness of a Sunday Roast frenzy, but an American OAP came to rescue and asked the barman to 'serve this young honey next, sir!'. How chivalrous, but I had to stop thanking him when I saw he ordered Fosters. So much for 'Ye olde English ale' that American tourists usually hunt out. At least he asked the barman to top his pint up, but that didnt stop him dramatically underfilling my glasses too. The tragic thing is, there are so many people who just accept a poor measure. Don't let 'em get away with it folks!
We'd read about The Horseshoe in The London Drinker and after a Dickensian style romp through railway arches, we found it tucked away but heaving with people looking out for beach balls during the Liverpool v Man U match. We snuck upstairs to the roof terrace with Hogsback TEA and Robinson's Wags to Witches- yum yum yum. Even if it did make me think of Colleen Rooney while I was drinking it.
We headed further away from London Bridge into the surrounding residential area, and stumled upon three or four backstreet pubs, like one which had a seemlingly encylopaedic range of whiskey, but was sadly shut. if anyone knows anything about these pubs, I would love to hear about them. We did find one that was open though, the tiny fronted Whitesmiths Arms, that whilst only serving Courage Best, was charming witha lovely garden which had a TV mounted to the wall under a gazebo on which we watched the rest of the Liverpool match, whilst chatting with the Chelsea supporting locals.
From here, we made our way to the Southwark Tavern, were we tried Adnam's Kolsch from thier new Around the World range (which was really good, for Adnams!) and the Autumnly perfect Cameron's Fireside.
After bargainous gourmet cakes from a desperate end of the market day baker, we settled in for a session at the Market Porter. Despite the Lewisham knocking from the fellows we met at the bar, we had a good chinwag with a couple of fellow 'tickers' who never quite seemed to accept that I might know what I'm talkign about. Sadly, considereing the season, the beers on offer were all quite pale and golden, even the Halloween themed ones, and we left, after trying them all, hankering for something dark and rich (and an Autumnal beer would be nice too!).
On to the wonderful Wheatsheaf which has not left me disappointed yet, and Nethergate's Holy Smoke rescued me from the abyss of bland beer with its peaty, almost bacony flavour. It was Frazzles in a glass. Our second Fireside of the day, this time by Black Country, was as warming as the label suggests and ensured that todays contest finished as Wheatsheaf 1 Market Porter 0. I never thought I'd see a day when I preferred somewhere to the 'Porter. Goodness. Well done Wheatsheafers and big up to South of the River.

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