Mayflower update

13/08/2011 at 12:03 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have just updated my Mayflower page, in light of the fact that it has new management; previously the beer offer was poor, and the landlord somewhat grumpy. But the new management have now installed some rather more interesting beers, so hopefully this excellent pub will now begin to really live up to its potential!

The Dean Swift, SE1

07/08/2011 at 17:51 | Posted in pub reviews | Leave a comment
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I first tried out the Dean Swift, in Shad Thames, about 3 years ago. It was a smallish corner pub, with a young crowd, and I thought the odds on finding a good beer were fairly low, but I was surprised to find some good beers on, including a tasty Landlord. We went back a couple of times and started to really like this pub, so I was slightly disappointed when we tried to go one time and found the place closed and builders moving in.

I was fearful that a decent pub had been lost, but in fact it was not only being refurbished rather than converted to some other use, but being turned into something of a local beer nirvana. It still has four fine ales on handpump, some of very exciting provenance – there was a draft cask IPA from New Zealand last week. But they have also made an effort with both bottles and keg.

Lots of bottled beers are available – perhaps not quite on the same scale as some of the much larger craft beer pubs beginning to pop up around London, but they do have some great ones including from Bermondsey’s own Kernel brewery.

And the keg offer is pretty fine too. We’re not talking John Smiths extra smooth here but craft brews from around the world. Last week there was an IPA Day and Stone IPA, all the way from San Diego, California, sat alongside the Black IPA from Kernel, just 500 metres from the pub, along with several other interesting brews and the house pilsner. Their Twitter feed has updates of the latest beers on offer.

So if you’re in the Shad Thames area, near the southern end of Tower Bridge, you could certainly do worse than drop by the Dean Swift for a swift pint (or three).

The Mayflower, SE16

01/08/2011 at 18:03 | Posted in pub reviews | 1 Comment
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My local pub is the Mayflower in Rotherhithe Street, SE16.

It’s well worth a visit, especially since new management arrived in the summer of 2011 and introduced rather more interesting beers than the previous landlord; it’s located in Rotherhithe Village, opposite the Brunel Museum and a stone’s throw from Rotherhithe station, and is on the banks of the Thames. In decent weather you can sit on the jetty over the Thames, and on poorer days you can sit inside and admire the old-fashioned interior, with some of the wood panelling being very old, although much of it was installed in a post-war rebuild.

It is called the Mayflower because it was from here that the famous ship departed for Plymouth, where it picked up the Pilgrim Fathers for transit to the new colony in America. (The ship’s captain is buried in the churchyard opposite.)

It wasn’t always called the Mayflower though; it was originally the Ship, along with several others in the area, and then became the Spread Eagle & Crown. It was in this guise that Pathé visited in 1949 to film a short piece on the pub, which is online for posterity here. Fortunately, the development discussed in the film never came to pass.

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