It seems that purple is the hip colour for pubs to be painted at the moment as this tidy little corner boozer follows the trend set by The Crown and Two Chairmen of looking a little like an aubergine. The name of this place probably already gives away the fact that it’s plonked right next to a station, in fact two stations, and is very easy to get to. It’s a short jaunt down from Clapham North or Clapham High Street Stations and is alarmingly easy to spot given it’s purple livery.
This is fresh feeling pub, light and bright, a long way from The Griffin and it’s almost total lack of sunlight or The Rake and it’s weird lack of windows. If you opt to sit at the front of the pub then you can perch on the high tables or lounge on the sofa to watch Clapham High Street pass you by. It is worth reminding yourself occasionally that windows work both ways and you are essentially sat inside an enormous beer dispensing goldfish bowl. It’s best to exercise at least an ounce of subtlety if someone walks past with a body part you particularly admire in case they decide to detour into the pub and hurt you.
The Railway is typical of a type of pub which is common across London. It serves wasabi peas, edamane beans or spicy rice crackers from big glass jars (alternatively £12 for three hot pub snacks). There’s a weekly pub quiz. The staff look like they’re all moonlighting as actors or artists. Bloody Marys are promoted on Sunday to the bedraggled patrons who don’t have a proper job to go to on Monday. For the most part these are good things but you can find them almost anywhere and there is little that sets The Railway apart or makes it as gloriously distinctive as The Euston Tap or The Cross Keys.
There were a tidy little trio of real beers to choose from as well as well stocked fridges boasting a healthy number of exotic tipples. There’s also a very good menu here with well priced grub well worth swinging by for. Other than the inexplicably over priced bar snacks it’s all fairly reasonable here too at somewhere between the £3 and £4 mark. All in all The Railway is a safe bet and you’re unlikely to be disappointed unless you went in looking for a quiz machine. There isn’t a quiz machine.