This place is lovely, it's small, downstairs and upstairs. It really doesn't matter though it's got bags of charm and more to spare!
The staff are great, Binny and Sarah run a very tight ship and if you can't cut the mustard you won't be there very long. They see everybody that's waiting and they let you know you'll be served. It's a basic of customer service but I'm always blown away by how much it means when it actually happens. Just one of the reasons I think, why it got CAMRA's overall pub of the year.
The beers are all in top notch condition and there's both recognisable and the totally unknown on the nine hand pumps.
On this visit I chose to stick with the Dark Star, for me it does pale thirst-quenching beers very well and that's exactly what I was looking for yesterday, I'd been walking for hours and just wanted a place to sit down with a pint, so when we wandered into this bustling busy little boozer and saw a free table with a couple of chairs it was one of the most welcome sights I have ever seen.
We had one drink before Mrs Rabidbarfly had to go to a meeting. Having been on the Hophead I opted for another and went back to my seat. I had another couple of beers including the new Hophead Citra which whilst it was in good condition was not a patch on the original Hophead, there's a saying about not fixing unbroken things that springs to mind.
The bar was busy and the ambient noise was kind of soothing, it gave a feeling that all was right with the world, if you closed your eyes you could have been in one of those documentaries about pubs and life in the early part of the last century where there's added background noise with sepia pictures of people in suits and hats all smiling, holding pints and having a great time. You know that if those images and that busy murmur were to ever disappear you'd be losing part of your heritage and a tragedy would have occurred. I do wonder what took CAMRA so long to give a London venue pub of the year when there are lots of places like this around, any thoughts?