Tag Archives: real ale

The Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath

The Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath

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.

Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Greene King IPA

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…

Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Aspall 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.

Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Inside view

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.

Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Pork Sausages
Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Dog
Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath.  Veggie Sausages

12 Comments

Filed under blackheath, food, pubs

Zero Degrees

zero_degrees_front

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.

zero_degrees_glasses

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.

Their shiny shiny website is here. Or you could email them, and ask them to start selling red beer all the time. Beerintheevening.com review here. Or “Stonch’s Beer Blog” comments here.

zero_degrees_inside

zero_degrees_brewing

4 Comments

Filed under blackheath village, food, pubs

Booze Busting in Blackheath

Booze Busters

Blackheath is not short of places to buy your favourite tipple.  There is the lovely Nicolas of course, pricey and slightly confusing if you know nothing about wine, but very nice nonetheless.  And they do a lovely sparkling dry cider (Duché de Longueville Brut) that is much more within the Bugle’s pocket.  There is another type of this cider made by the same people that is even better – less sparkling and even drier, but the nearest place to buy it is the greenwashed Sainsbury’s in Greenwich.

The Oddbins opposite Nicolas always looks a bit sad by comparison, but is actually much better for English Ales.   They hide them right at the back, near the floor (they obviously want to keep it all for themselves), and I recently found both Summer Lightning and GFB, both made by The Hop Back Brewery, and both delicious.  Their website doesn’t tell you what GFB stands for, but I have a fair idea.  Previously the only place I’ve found this beer has been at Borough Market, or on draught at a wonderful hidden-away pub in Colliers Wood of all places.  The other thing going for Oddbins, is the music.  Last time I went in there, they were playing Cesaria Evoria – always a pleasure.

Then there’s Booze Busters.  I’m sure I should call it McColls Newsagents or something, but it will always be known as Booze Busters in our house, because of the ugly banner above the shop.  This place is ideal for buying a copy of the Daily Mail, and filling your body with High Fructose Corn Syrup, both of which should be avoided at all costs.  They do sell cheapish lager though, which can be handy if you’re having people round who haven’t seen the light.

Then Shepherd Foods, which I’ve gone on about too much already (check out the fizzy australian ale though), Hand Made Foods who sell some alcohol, (I’m sure its lovely, but I’m always too scared to even look at the prices).  And the wonderfully 1970s CostCutter, whose name should be done for under the Trade Descriptions Act.  It’s a strange sort of place, but some of their £8 wines aren’t bad.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of right now.  The combination of a grim nightshift tonight, and an extra-special summer cold is making me think I might prepare a hot toddy to keep me going.  If you think of anywhere else worthy of a mention, please drop me a comment!

3 Comments

Filed under blackheath village, shops