For those of you who don’t wince at the idea of unnecessary human contact I imagine the sensation of a ‘hug’ is much akin to how I feel when I walk into the warm embrace of a hearty pub. The Vauxhall Griffin is precisely this kind of place and from the second you enter it’s confines you feel it exudes the silent charm which convinces you to stay for just ‘one more pint’.
Tucked away on a street in the rapidly ‘up-and-coming’ Vauxhall area this is a tricky little place to find and is not a place you’re likely to stumble across unless you’re looking for it but it’s certainly worth popping down to. Ample beer options, solid menu and classic décor immediately ensure that this pub is always going to do pretty well in my eyes but it’s the few extra quirks which launch it into legendary status.
Entertainment in pubs is a lost art in London. Dart boards a rare sight due to space saving concerns and tetanus fears. Quiz machines relegated to dingy corners or rarely turned on. Even fruit machines, which admittedly confuse me deeply, are not oft seen. The relentless move towards carbon copy bars which serve their meals on chopping boards and use every spare inch of floor space to cram in another stool is seeing the death of pub pastimes. Given its sheer determination to buck this miserable trend The Vauxhall Griffin deserves a bit of recognition – not only does this pub boast a pool table but it has the largest collection of board games I’ve seen since watching ‘The Hoarder Next Door’.
A lot of effort is going into other forms of revelry here too. Theme nights and good old fashioned quizzes can both be expected throughout the year. Even the menu gets a seasonal treatment now and again with pizza night on Thursdays thrown in for good measure. I get the impression that things are rarely dull in this cracking little corner pub.
This is exactly the type of pub everyone wants to have as their local and as you might expect from this review I was reluctant to leave after one beer. I whiled away a very pleasant few hours here. I thoroughly suggest doing the same.
The only fear I had crept in as I enjoyed pint three whilst reclining in a reassuringly firm armchair. As the area does become ‘gentrified’, thanks to the relocation of the US Embassy, I worry that this stalwart of classic pubishness will cave to the coffee culture and yummy mummy pandering like so many of its cousins have in the past few years. Let’s hope not and for now raise a glass to an almost perfect pub.