Vauxhall – Kennington – Waterloo

15/06/2019 at 16:03 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In June 2019 Dimo took us for a walk from Vauxhall to Waterloo via Kennington, in London’s sunny southern side.

mi6-007.jpgWe met at Mother Kelly’s, a relatively new offshoot of the Bethnal Green craft beer house, also located in a railway arch but somewhat larger than the original, and a very convenient meeting point, with tables with a view of MI6 headquarters across the street. They certainly serve a wide range of draught drinks, with 24 beers on tap at the time of our visit, as well as draught cider, wine and even Martini – which is presumably handy if James Bond nips across the road from his office for a swift one!

A short walk to the east took us close to the Oval’s famous gasholder and the Pilgrim, a busy modern pub with a large outdoor area; last time we came here on a crawl it was being refurbished, so nice to come back with it in all its modern glory!

A short walk across Kennington Lane brought us to the Duchy Arms, a backstreet pub which has had a recent modest refresh. It is fairly small inside, but has a surprisingly large outdoors drinking area on its former car park.

pub crawl Oxymoron SE11 (3).jpgOur next call was also a smallish backstreet pub, the Oxymoron, but this one blew me away; the quirky décor was apparent before even stepping inside, and continued throughout the pub, with every surface having something resting on it, stuck on it, or hanging from it. Although there were no cask ales, the keg and bottle selection was small but with some good quality (e.g. various Kernels in the fridge), and more importantly were served by a friendly and welcoming landlord. The pub boasts not only a lovely pub dog but also a pub crow, who was taken for a walk around the pub while we were there.

Closer now to Lambeth North, we called next at the Tankard, part of the Draft House chain, so whether it will stay branded as it is for long now that it’s part of the BrewDog empire I don’t know. But for now at least it retains an extensive range of beers from across the UK and beyond, including the largest range of alcohol-free beers I’ve ever seen in a pub.

Continuing on towards Waterloo, we came to the Duke of Sussex, a smart, modernised pub which has benefitted from having a very large terrace area to the front; inside the beer fridges are up high behind the bar, which I thought was a great innovation to allow customers to see the full range of bottles and cans without having to lean over the bar and peer between the bar staff’s legs.

Waterloo Tap.jpgThe final stop was just the other side of Waterloo station, the Waterloo Tap, tucked under an arch close to the South Bank and sister pub of the well known Euston Tap (and a few others). It’s quite small but manages to pack in 20 taps of excellent beer, plus a few in the fridge.

Time was getting on by this point so this was the end of the road. After a short discussion, the Oxymoron won the Pub of the Crawl hands-down, congratulations!

 

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