As where we stayed and where any of you stay is pretty much irrelevant I’ll start day two’s journey at the same point for ease as Day One which was Euston Station, or perhaps let’s make that the Euston Tap as you know you’ll go there.
From here take the Northern Line southbound to Leicester Square to be in a short walking distance of The Harp (47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS). In reality we didn’t actually visit The Harp on the day (I had to allow Mrs Beersay some shopping and sightseeing time) but have done in the past many times and it’s well worth a stop off.
Walking back to Leicester Square take the Northern Line again southbound to Embankment, change to the Circle Line eastbound for Tower Hill and head for The Dean Swift (10 Gainsford Street, Butlers Wharf, SE1 2NE), you can use Tower Bridge but either way it’s a bit of a walk but also a good way to build a thirst…
Dean Swift is in a lovely area of London near the river, offering a great selection of beers including a full bottle range by the very local Kernel Brewery, fabulous food to be had here too.
This was the venue for the last years International IPA day feast, as featured in the Summer Wine Brewery’s blog post here. To my knowledge at least, there is no way other than to yomp back to Tower Bridge and the wonderful Borough Market area which is alone worth a visit for the great foodie treats whose aromas assault your nose on arrival. Thankfully there are other reasons to visit, the superb beer shop Utobeer (found inside the market) for those all important beer hauls and of course The Rake which is a small but extremely functional must visit bar, found on Winchester Walk.
When we visited it was approaching the weekend of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster and the guys at Rake had chosen to commemorate the historic event by serving a selection of beers from Stoke On Trent* (*birthplace of Captain Smith) based brewery Titanic.
Nothing wrong with that you might say and I’d normally agree. However, hailing from Burslem and using Titanic brewery tap Bulls Head as my local the last thing I wanted to see on the bar was not one, but four beers from Titanic including their keg stout (not pictured), talk about a busmans holiday..
There are a few more places to visit in the area that we sadly missed at the time including The Market Porter (Borough Market), but one I’d definitely look for next time around is Brew Wharf (Stoney Street, London SE1 9AD), keep checking their website for details. It’s also worth doing the above two pubs in reverse and leaving Tower Hill out of the equation. This means that you can start at the Rake and call in on the way back for refreshments after your walk. Also if it’s a Saturday you have to visit Kernel Brewery, it’s the law!!
Our final venue for today (after a couple of hours back at Brewdog Camden) was to be Cask Pub and Kitchen. Take the Jubilee Line westbound from London Bridge to Green Park, change taking the Victoria Line westbound to Pimlico, Cask is found at 6 Charlwood Street SW1V 2EE. If you’ve not been before it’s a bit of a surprise on arrival, tucked away at the base of a block of apartments you’d be forgiven in walking right on by, DON’T..
This visit reaffirmed Cask as my favourite London drinking venue, we arrived at around 8pm the place in full swing and every table inside and out taken. Food is a big plus here and obviously popular as this was Wednesday night and everywhere folks were tucking in. That said I was served quickly and found a little nook to settle in as we slowly made our way up the table pecking order, before finally getting one near the bar (and an electric socket for a much-needed phone top up). The beer range is absolutely massive and comes from all over the world, you could easily spend a whole day here if your legs/brain are able to get you home afterwards. We spent a full evening here and barely scratched the surface.
For me though it ‘s not just the beer and food that make the place, the atmosphere is brilliant, buzzing away like a hive of bees around you. The venue is comfortable, part candlelit at night and painted in pastel shades, it’s just a nice place to be. Most importantly though the staff are friendly, knowledgable and remarkably patient, taking time to explain what beers are or what the next logical step would be to old and newbies alike. Top marks guys, we had a wonderful night.
If you are in town on May 5th 2012, I’d also recommend checking this night out at Cask too, a night of fantastic beers will be in store for attendees for sure!
So that’s it, the end of our day was done and a good time was had by all. I hope though that these guides have been useful and are at least accurate enough to allow you to pick and choose your own route and pit stops on your visit. Tomorrow I’ll post a simple list of all the pubs suggested to me and their nearest tube station, hopefully that will serve as a handy carry around version.
Of course again I stress I am not a Londoner and these are my own interpretations of directions etc, if I’ve made glaring errors please point them out and I’ll change the details. Similarly I know that this has probably only scratched the surface and that local sand regular visitors will be screaming inside about their favourite, so if I’ve missed an “unmissable pub” let me know that too in comments and help make this a functional living post.
For further and a much more detailed look at pubs, bars etc in London and hundreds of other places besides, I’d heartily recommend you visit Des de Moor‘s website Beer Culture, this guy knows his onions.