Monday, September 10, 2012

This old New England Beer Examiner examines the new Old London Pubs VII

This is series of visits and reviews of the very highest rated London Pubs according to CAMRA (Campaign to Save Real Ale), Cask Marque, Time Out London and (along with some very pleasant surprises along the way).
In brief, the better London pubs of today capture most of interesting architecture, style, charm, character, comfort and feel of the pubs of yore, but they are so much more. Oh, so much more!
See part one for the criteria for a New Old Pub;
Market Porter - 9 Stoney Street | Southwark, London SE1, England
Man, that busy Borough Market can be a challenging place to muddle your way through! This is especially true if you happen to suffer from any sensory overload issues, or dyslexia…or dementia. It’s a wonderful place to sample England’s finest all-natural, and/or organic foods, or select some one-of-a-kind artsy trinkets, or, drum roll please: pick up some rare British (and beyond) Ales. YA! But it is a bit confusing and one must be vigilant to guard his wallet from the local pickpockets and/or from some of the pricier merchants.
Before completing your ordeal in the Borough Market, try a tasty meat pie from Pieminister. Focusing on the pie (add gravy) certainly helps ease the drone of the swarming mob. Next, head door to the laid back Market Porter for a pint or two of some Real Ale.
The din of the crowd fades to a hushed level the instant you step inside. Ahhh!
Rich dark woods, etched mirrors, leaded glass and muted colors help create a warm and inviting appeal.  The furniture is a mix of old and old and worn (in a good way, of course). At a casual first glance you will spy the “Usual Suspects” taps. It sort of lends the impression that the Market Porter is a touristy kind of boozer. But, a closer looksee reveals a proud array of Real Ale pulls that quicken the pulse. If you’re a bit uncomfortable craning your neck and ogling the tap handles behind the regular’s backs at the bar, a board to right provides an impressive list to contemplate.
Andwell Ruddy Darter, Daleside, Half Nelson, Heritage Copper, Sunner Republic, King John Amber, Kiliman Yard and Beach Blonde were the offerings of the day. I can attest to the Darter and Kiliman Yard’s quality and tastiness! Delightful!
The stairs to the left of the bar leads to an additional, slightly more formal-looking dining room, but it’s the famous floor-level pub that stars here. Speaking of star, the pub was made over for the role of ‘Third Hand Book Emporium' in the film 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.
Quite content to stay awhile longer, my wife coaxed me on. She knows the best way to lure me out of a comfy pub is by steering me towards another, and we still had ‘The Cittie of York’ on the pub agenda before doing some shopping and attending a play that evening.  London’s a swell town!
Market Porter - 9 Stoney Street | Southwark, London SE1, England
020 7407 2495
Monday - Friday: 6am – 8:30am & 11am – 11pm
Saturday: 12noon – 11pm
Sunday: 12noon – 10:30pm
Next week: ‘The Cittie of York’

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