The Angel SE16 4NB (Tube: Rotherhithe/Bermondsey)

Like the last bastion of a fallen empire, The Angel stands proud and defiant below a London skyline that increasingly blots out the blue between river and cloud. A short pub. A squat pub. If a pub can ever look like Ray Winston, then this is that pub. It stands at least fifty metres from any other building, either because everything else has been wrecking-balled and The Angel refused to budge, or because all the other buildings are shit-scared of this tough-looking little bugger and daren’t get any closer…

It is this stubbornness that makes this pub. It is depressing that, in this most multi-cultural of cities, there are so many anonymous places serving the same drinks in the same rooms with the same old faces. This pubs has given the proverbial middle finger to all that, almost certainly at the behest of some income.

It goes without saying that it is a Sam Smith’s, with simple inoffensive décor, the usual range of Taddy’s/Wheat/Bitter beers and a quite, contemplative clientele. Two pints came to £4.67 (?), the nuts had a warning on that the packet “May Contain Nuts” and there was a 1.58% charge for using my card –  having become well acquainted with this Tadcaster brewery I somehow doubt this charge is linked to the Retail Price Index. And to the great delight of anyone that has been to any café/bar anywhere in France ever, picnic is not interdit here!

The best thing about this pub though is the window it offers on to London past, present and future.

The Thames salt fills the nostrils. Gazes left westwards reveal converted dockside warehouses; northwards to renovated wharfs, and the Captain Kidd. (Admittedly modern) clippers zag upstream like those of yesteryear. Visible upstream The Tower of London hides behind its namesake Bridge. In the same vista spot more 21st century icons –  the Gherkin, Shard and BT Tower. All this interspersed with herds of cranes like gigantic giraffes in an urban safari, straining to insert the next gleaming, twisting, physics-defying tower into the blue.

Turning your back on this London and heading inside for a second drink (or the piss that inevitably follows the first) you return to the simple things that a pub should offer. Warmth, real and perceived. Cheap, tasty ale. And a sense that, while the news reels jerk from crisis to crisis, you are safe, if only for the duration of that next drink…angel

2 responses to “The Angel SE16 4NB (Tube: Rotherhithe/Bermondsey)

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!

  2. Pingback: The Calf Clapham SW4 0DR (Tube: Clapham Common) | Raiders of the Lost Pubs·

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