I’m not sure how long it has been there, but the Princess of Wales pub has started selling a very nice Pale Ale called Meantime… It tastes lovely, and is brewed in Greenwich (the logo is full of clockwork and compasses, flying around as bubbles). It doesn’t stop the PoW being a seething hell hole at the weekends, but still makes for a very nice pint whilst watching the sun go down next to the heath.
Tag Archives: beer
I’m quite conscious of the fact that there isn’t enough about Blackheath Royal Standard (the place, not the pub) on this site… The main reason is because it takes me ages to get there, unless I’m on the bus, when I’m usually heading for the delights of Sainsbury’s or Lidl. For a while the brilliantly named Hi, Standard blog looked like it would be doing the business, but it hasn’t been updated for a while.
Anyway, at Mrs Bugle’s suggestion, we ventured into the unknown, and headed for Blackheath Royal Standard (the pub not the place) last night.
My overriding sense was that it is a bit of a chilly pub… Maybe we just found some draughty seats, but I felt like I couldn’t get warm in there! The barman was friendly enough, and the pint of Pride was good (they also do ESB and Bombardier at the moment). Mrs Bugle had a glass of Chilean Merlot which received no complaints.
But the place felt a bit depressing. I have a problem with football on in pubs at the best of times… I don’t know why, it just always seems to spoil a pub. And the place was full of fruit machines, and electronic quiz machines flashing and glaring at the punters. The food looked harmless – nothing amazing, but what you’d expect from a town boozer kind of pub – chips, burgers, etc. I bet they do vegetable lasagna for the vegetarians… If there are any vegetarians… The way that stags head was staring at me from its mounting on the wall, I’m not sure that this is the place for veggies…
It looks like it has been done up fairly recently, but as though the customers chose not to notice – weird bits of tin stuck to the ceiling, and overstuffed green leather sofas – the description on their facebook page demonstrates the slightly misguided direction that the pub has gone for:
Inside, the sophisticated décor resembles that of a classy gentleman’s club. With a ‘tin’ ceiling and an eclectic mix of furnishings including big chesterfield seats, this more upmarket, open plan site is ideal for enjoying a drink alone or with friends, or some fantastic food.
As one of the commentators on the page said “who wants tables instead of pool tables?” As soon as I walked in, I thought “this looks like the sort of pub that will have a pool table somewhere”. Clearly it used to have them – it’s that kind of place… And it would be great with a couple of tables for pool, a jukebox, no telly on, and maybe selling some pasties, this place would be just great, instead of trying to be something it isn’t.
Other points of interest:
Free wifi (for the geeks, although I didn’t see any)… It’s passworded though.
Quiz nights on Sundays at 9pm, entrance is £1. Anyone ever tried this?
Oh, and Aspall cider, which is always a nice surprise.
The Blackheath Bugle’s Google Map here.
020 8858 1533
44 Vanbrugh Park, Blackheath, London, SE3 7JQ
I’ve never quite got around to mentioning The Hare and Billet pub. Just down the road from the Pagoda, and Jack the Ripper’s house (possibly not), is this quiet little pub. Much more low key than the Princess of Wales pub, but none the worse for it. You won’t find blaring music or surly teenagers serving you… It’s more of a old fashioned country pub, with nice views of the heath from the front windows.
The pub is run by Greene King, which I don’t think has the best ales. Their IPA is nice though… Abbot ale is not for me, and their Flowers has occasionally been known to be distinctly off (although when I mentioned this, they apologised striaght away, and got me a pint of something else).
They also sell Aspall Draught Cider, which is excellent, as well as lots of dodgy looking lemon and lime ciders “Kopparberg?”, sponsored by Bulmers – a name to strike fear into the heart of anyone who likes a good cider…
I can’t understand the sudden popularity of Bulmers cider – I watched the 1970s horror that is Abigail’s Party the other day, and Bev was waxing lyrical about how wonderful it is. This should be warning enough to anyone… Anyway, back to the plot…
For such an old pub ( it has been there since at least 1765), it can feel strangely generic, with adverts for bruised boxers promoting Nuts TV staring down at you in the gents toilets, flat screen TVs playing sport, and quiz machines flashing their wares in the corner. Having said that, the TV tends to be off during the day time.
It is much much better for a quiet sort of pint than the Princess of Wales at the weekend. It has a friendly looking dog (called Bonnie), and pleasant bar staff. The bangers and mash is also very good, they do great vegetarian bangers. We also had an opportunity to look at, and nearly taste the pork ones too, as they came over first by mistake! (Again, the staff were very sorry, and brough the right ones over soon enough! I think we’re just unlucky or something)…
If they only had some space outside, and some local beers, it would be a truly great pub. There used to be a Blackheath Brewery serving light ale onto the Heath in the 1820s, although I suppose the nearest thing we have to that is Zero Degrees, now.
Anyway, all in all, it’s a nice place, and well worth a trip if you fancy a quiet pint. More on the investigations into The Dacre Arms, over at the other end of Blackheath soon…
Fancyapint.com has a review here.
I went to Zero Degrees again the other day, after a very nice time at the Buenos Aires cafe… It is a strange bar. The beer is definitely reasonable, except that you are forced to drink it inside what feels like an enormous industrial kitchen. It’s so noisy, and smelled slightly of chip fat that had spent too long at the bottom of a deep fat fryer. The food at Zero Degrees always looks reasonable, but I’ve never actually risked it, mainly because you wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation over the din.
The beer on the other hand is quite good. One beer in particular is outstanding, but they almost never serve it. I’m talking about their Red Ale. It is rarer than hen’s teeth (but considerably tastier) – I’ve only had the pleasure a couple of times, and wish I’d taken some home too (as they offer take aways). The Pale Ale is ok, but I’ve had better, and the Dark Lager looks and smells like some sort of strange burnt brew to me… Both are pictured above.
The other strange thing are the people there. You get a higher than average bunch of crazies and drunks compared to some other places – they generally congregate outside, which is a shame, as it is the best place to enjoy the beer. It doesn’t get much sun though, and it is another one of those places that would REALLY benefit from a little roof terrace (just like Pizza Express and the pasta cafe next to it). Their entire upstairs seems to be used for loos, which seems a bit of a waste of space.