Not being able to locate the door of a pub due to the massive throng of people outside is a pretty strong indication that it’s going to be rather good. Though I am also aware that popularity is no degree of quality given that ‘Rock of Ages’ still appears to be on in the West End and misery festooned depression festival Eastenders remains one of the nations most watched programmes. Despite my lack of faith in the general public it seems that at least this particular crowd were onto a winner and once I’d navigated through the throng it was simple to see what all the fuss was about.
The Green Man is attractive, uncomplicated and classy – billing itself as a ‘Cider House’. It’s the sort of pub that seems to have a very clear idea about what it is and who it’s catering for and getting it right. There is a mind bogglingly wide selection of draught ales/ciders/lagers and no shortage of pedestrian to peculiar spirits to choose from – whatever your taste there is likely to be something here to suit. Given the 30 degree temperature and the primary boast of this being a ‘Cider House’ my companion and I opted for a very agreeable couple of apple based beverages and perched ourselves in a spot to absorb the rest of the surroundings.
On a warm summer evening this pub was always going to do well for ambience and was really buzzing with life when we visited. It’s not hard to imagine though that there is always a welcoming hum, it’s of a size which makes it easy to maintain atmosphere and I’m sure it’d be an excellent refuge for Sunday lunch on a dreary grey weekend. Its menu was varied if perhaps a little bit standard for the slightly more high end pub you get around London (see The Crown and Two Chairmen, The Calf or The Crown Tavern) which all seem to offer a selection of food variations involving popular TV chef ingredients like chorizo, gnocchi and falafel etc. Its hot bar snack offering has echoes of The Railway in Clapham with delights such as fried black pudding up for grabs for only a few quid.
Only tiny downside for me was that as an advocate of the real ale was the lack of more than a couple of ales on offer. But this really is the only downside I could identify. I’ll almost certainly swing by here again if I’m in the area (likely as it’s very central) and I’d suggest that you do too.
On a side note I’ve rarely been so impressed by staff who were serving drinks with composure to a horde of slightly pissed, overheated and noisy Londoners. I’d definitely have been responsible for a few injuries/arguments/murders had that been me behind the bar and a friendly smile with your change is ruddy important even if change for two pints equates to the same amount of money Starbucks paid tax on last year.