We met in the Pommelers Rest, a JDW pub on Tower Bridge Road. It was one I didn’t know but was easy to find-once I’d negotiated the hordes of Japanese tourists using ten pound notes for origami practice. I had been assured that this JDW had a good reputation-it’s important to try and aim for a good start on any pub crawl and on this showing it deserves its rep.
Having been formerly the Tower Bridge Hotel, the Pommelers has more of a pubby feel than many other Spoons and had a good range of festival beers on. The Tandleman thermometer was produced and the beer was coming out at around 11C with good carbonation. Batemans Dragons Den proved quite tasty with the Challenger and Cascade hops working well together.
We decided to call in at the nearby Bridge House (an Adnams pub) to see if they had any East Green on. They didn’t and the taster we sampled of another beer was enough to see us scuttling out the door. It was warm enough to poach an egg and tasted terrible, as well.
Tandleman then decided we should try the Castle at Holborn. A mix-up over tube stations necessitated a phone call to his pubfinder assistant and in the meantime we called in the Penderel’s Oak. This is a GBG listed JDW and I found the interior somewhat dark and depressing. The ambience wasn’t helped by a crowd of drunken locals draped in St George paraphernalia. Luckily they were just leaving, taking their racist chanting with them*. Having said that, the beer was in good order and the Elgood’s CXXX Bitter was excellent, being moreishly bitter.
The Castle is an excellent boozer, albeit overtly keen on brown beer. The Seven Stars was very small and very busy but we kept ourselves entertained outside with pints of Darkstar Hophead. Skip forward to the end of the night and the Goodman’s Field. Not the best JDW (although I breakfasted here), but geographically ideal and it did provide an essential curry. A £4.95 bottle of Echo Falls then proved the perfect nightcap.
Next time Tandleman is in town, it’s my turn to lead the crawl. Hmmm. Better get doing some research then...
*Not confined to London. Some pubs in central Manchester closed after “patriotic” celebrations turned ugly.