Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Old London Boozers

With homebrew stocks still quite high, even after the Christmas festivities, it might yet be a week of two before I fire up the brewery for the first brew of 2013. I also need to do a proper stock-take of all the hops I've got sitting in the freezer, so I can plan ahead.

Anyhow, before all of this, I took some time out to visit a few old pubs and thought it might be good to do a quick post of those I visited.

The journey centered around the City of London, the financial heartland of the capital. The first port of call was the Counting House.
Counting House

Formerly occupied as a bank, the Grade II Listed building has been considerately converted with the main banking hall now a modern bar. The conversion won the City Heritage Award for being one of the finest examples of building refurbishment in the City.

Owned by Fuller's, all the usual suspects were available, plus their Black Cab Sout and Jack Frost. The beers were in good shape and the stout was my first beer of the morning.

A large glass dome formed part of the ceiling. We returned here for more beer and pies later in the day.

The Jamaica Wine House

Our next watering hole was The Jamaica Wine House, which is also known as the Jampot.

The history of this pub dates back to 1652. I understand that shares were traded here long before the stock market was set up. It's also understood to have been the market place for slave transactions too.

Once again, the beers were good, allowing for the fact it's now owned by Shephed Neame. I've had many a bottle of Spitfire in the past, but never on draught, so that was my beer of choice on this visit.

Of all the pubs we visited during the day, this one felt the most 'comfortable'. Whether it was the size, the partitioning, or the fact that it was just very old, it made for a good drink.

From here we moved on to one of the smallest pubs in the City. The Swan Tavern. And what you see is what you get. The inside shot of the narrow bar is all there is.

The Swan Tavern

Lamb Tavern

Visually, the Lamb Tavern which followed was very impressive. Shame the beer wasn't equally as good. Tired and lifeless - with the majority of these pubs catering for the City trade, they tend to close at weekends and I'm wondering whether on the Tuesday, we were drinking last Friday's beer?

A few doors along was the next pub on our list, The New Moon. The beer here was better. I downed a nice pint of Old Speckled Hen.

The last hostelry before departing homeward was a Weatherspoons, the Crosse Keys.

A Massive building, with huge marble pillars, this was also a former bank. Built in 1912 for the Hong Kong & Shangai Bank it was apparently named after a nearby Inn which was lost in the Great Fire of London.

Crosse Keys
As a 'spoons pub, the beer was cheap and I opted for a pint of Salopian Oracle. Full of American hops, perhaps a tad bitter for my palate, but a nice enough pint to end the day with.

So there you have it. Six old London pubs with a bit of history. I'm off now to do that stock-take of the freezer to see what hops need using up. All this talk of beer has got the brewing juices flowing again.

Happy New Year to you all.

1 comment:

  1. I thought I knew my way around London reasonably well, but I’ve never been to any of these places. Must put some of them on the list for my next visit.