The Royal Oak in Borough
Published: Sep 9th, 2009 |
The Royal Oak in Tabard Street, Borough is Harvey’s only London pub. That’s not to say that Harvey’s beers are not available elsewhere in London – most notable at the Dispensary and the Peacock in Aldgate, and the Harp in Covent Garden. But the Royal Oak is the place to go to see how it should be done.
The Royal Oak is an old-style pub with no games machines, no piped music – just conversation, and tonight some live music from a folk quartet in the corner of the snug bar. It’s busier than it used to be as there has been a lot of development in the area, but everyone seems friendly and the barstaff acknowledge you if you’ve been before.
Beer-wise, the pub offers a good selection of Harvey’s beers. Tonight there is: Mild, Pale, Best, Armada, Olympia and Lewes Castle Brown Ale. I think you’d have to go somewhere like the Garland in Redhill to get a better selection from the Harvey’s range.
The Royal Oak also always carries a Fuller’s beer – allegedly in return for Fuller’s allowing the Lewes Arms in Lewes to stock Harvey’s Best. However this is something that the landlord of the Royal Oak denies however. Tonight the guest is the wonderful Gale’s HSB – always a personal favourite. Given how well the beers are kept at the Royal Oak it’s no surprise that the HSB is in top form too.
This evening I am eating here as well. The food in the Royal Oak is good and simple – with big portions. There is a standard menu, but with a specials board too. If you’re very hungry and the lamb shank is available then that would be an obvious choice. I would advise avoiding the rabbit though – all those little bones…
This pub is one of my favourite London pubs and I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s worth the walk down Borough High Street from London Bridge.
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