Met a chap in Tobago who told me his firm had refurbished this place and to look it up next time I was in London: so I did. Basic layout, plenty of wood all over the place and a ílived iní sort of feel to the whole set up. Difficult to find as it is hidden away with no road access, just passageways and allies. Thought it would be more interesting to be honest. I was told they found something in the toilets, but for the life of me I can not remember what it was, but it was one of the reasons I sort out the bar. Service and cask ales were fine on my one and only visit.
AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 11/20
Impressive Victorian building tucked away down an alleyway in the City. Woody inside. Bit of a local institution and used to have that comfortable (but not plush), lived-in and atmospheric feel acquired by places that have been used for the same purpose, with little alteration (but not neglect), for years. As the name would suggest beer range was not a big part of that tradition. So the beer range has definitely improved since Shepherd Neame bought the place. However, it seems to have had a bit of a tart-up in a more corporate vein that has robbed it of much of its character.
AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 12/20
Contrary to this placeís name, this is a Shepherd Neame pub. There are six casks with about four different Shep beers. The pub itself is relatively small but most people stand outside in the alley. I only know how to get here in relation to the Crosse Keys: go out the back door of the Crosse Keys and you are basically at the Jamaica Wine House. Overall the pub really isnít that impressive, but if youíre keen to get a couple Shep beers you can come here. Or take a break from the Crosse Keys and come here. But donít make this place a destination.