Beer Guide London Visits 28 – South West London
After two days of longer distance travelling I decided to spend a day revisiting some of the Guide entries closer to home starting with a relatively short bus journey in to Twickenham, alighting outside the Sussex Arms for the first visit of the day. This pub is a member of the Big Smoke family and their beers are well represented as well as plenty of guests amongst the 20 plus beers on offer. The bar area as you enter is quite small but the pub opens up towards the back and includes a large beer garden. The one thing to bear in mind is that it gets very busy on rugby match days, and I mean VERY busy.
From Twickenham Green it is a short bus ride to Teddington and two contrasting back street Guide entries. The first of them was the Masons Arms an absolutely classic community street corner pub, the sort that used to be found all over the country. No pretensions, just a genuine warm welcome. Add in a great selection of beer and you could quite happily while away many an evening in here.
From here it is a short stroll to a pub that at one time would have been very similar, but the Abercorn Arms has been taken under the wing of Big Smoke and been updated, but in the usual sympathetic way that they employ. No identikit pub group offering here just another great local pub with the beer line up that you would expect from pubs in this group.
I made the journey from here to the outskirts of Kingston-upon-Thames and the Park Brewery Taproom. They have an industrial unit on a side street a little way out of town with the brewing kit sited on the ground floor and a spacious tap room on the first floor. Good selection of their beers available on both cask and keg dispense.
After a couple of beers here I made my way back in to town and my fourth Big Smoke pub of the day, the Albion. This is a large, popular, corner pub in the leafy back streets. As you would expect there is a good beer range available with plenty of their own beers. I took advantage of the same beer being served on both cask and keg to do a side by side comparison and on this occasion the cask version just edged it.
A walk in to the town centre brought me to 7000 Jars Of Beer, a great bottle shop that also has three taps. Thankfully their original licence conditions insisting on eating if you wished to drink in have been eased and you are now more than welcome to just sit and enjoy the beers.
I jumped on a train and made my way to Surbiton for a visit to the Antelope, my fifth Big Smoke venue of the day and the original home of the brewery. A small area as you enter quickly opens out to a huge space at the rear and a beer garden where you can see the outbuilding that housed the original brewing kit. Again, the usual good selection of Big Smoke and guest beers.
Onwards, and I made my way to the Putney area, starting on Putney Heath with a first visit to the imposing Telegraph. This is part of the Brunning & Price group and is typical of their offering with a focus on dining but with drinkers made more than welcome. Around 20 beers on cask and keg from around the UK are available.
I took a bus in to Putney for a first chance to take a look at the newly refurbished Bricklayer’s Arms. They have done an outstanding job with the pub now having a light, airy, modern feel whilst still retaining it’s original character. and of course it still has it’s main selling point, the full range of Timothy Taylor beers, unique in London.
I was in Putney so I couldn’t end my day without a visit to one of my happy places, Ghost Whale. The only problem here is choosing what to have from the 8 taps and extensive packaged range. On this occasion I took advantage of the tail end of a tap takeover and had three draft beers from German brewery Fuerst Wiacek. A great end to an excellent day.