Mayfair revisited

26/02/2012 at 20:11 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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For the first crawl of 2012 Alan took us back to Mayfair, carving out a new crawl in an area visited once before.

A short walk from Green Park tube amongst the beautiful people of Mayfair brought us to this month’s starting point, the Only Running Footman on Charles Street. I’d wanted to try this well-known pub for some time, indeed since when it had its original name I Am The Only Running Footman, but sadly it was something of a let down; rather full of boorish men and with some very poor quality Greene King IPA.

From here it was a very short hop indeed to the first Coach & Horses of the night, this one a Shepherd Neame pub, where sadly the beer let down what is a pretty attractive and cosy pub.

The next pub is probably the most famous in the area, the Punch Bowl. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Mayfair and is pretty decent inside, but is most famous today on account of its part-owner Guy Ritchie. Unfortunately, the pub has upset its neighbours with its noise, so everyone was crammed inside by the doorman (in the picture) despite the mild February weather. As a result it felt a bit like drinking in a lift, despite the fact that the beer was an eye-watering £4.40 for a pint of Deuchars of dubious quality. Nevertheless, I’m pleased I’ve now been to this well-known pub.

A short walk later, past a lamp post formerly used by the KGB as a marker for a dead letter drop during the Cold War, we came across the first egg hunt egg of the evening. There are currently 200 of these scattered around central London, some of them quite beautiful, and quite a few seem to be clustered around Mayfair.

I was already familiar with the next pub, the very grand Audley. This is a lovely pub, and my favourite of the evening. While most of the pubs in Mayfair were built for the ‘downstairs’ staff of the wealthy houses in the area, this one is aimed at the gentlefolk, and sports a plush late victorian interior in lovely condition.
A few minutes walk east now, through Berkeley Square and along Bruton Street where the Queen was born in 1926, brings us to the second Coach & Horses of the evening. It’s a pretty small place,

but room enough for us by this time of the evening. Despite being small, it offered the beer of the evening – Galaxy, Marston’s seasonal Single Hop beer for February 2012. It’s flavoured with Australian hops and was the beery highlight of the evening. I’d recommend coming back to try the others in the series, I’m already getting thirsty thinking about the Citra brew coming in October!

Onward now past Savile Row, the home of the tailored suit, to the Windmill on Mill Street. It’s evidently aiming high on the food stakes but we were only here for the beer, which was fine once it was finally poured. Why do some bar staff need the whole order before they start pulling the first drink? Anyway it was a pleasant pub, and large enough to allow us to get off our feet for the first time this evening. Well worth a visit if you need a break from shopping in nearby Regent Street or Oxford Street and want to sit down with a pint.

Almost across the road now to the final stop of the evening, the Masons Arms. This had the youngest crowd of any of this evening’s pubs, so much so that a barman came over to check the IDs of the people on the next table (they passed muster). Despite Rich’s best efforts, he declined to check our ID, another sad reminder that those days are long past! Being past closing and with Westminster’s dodgy licensing policies in mind, we didn’t risk hitting the next pub past 11pm so stayed at the Mason’s for a final nightcap of IPA before dashing for the last tube home.

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