“ Belgravia(SW1), Chelsea(SW3,SW7,SW10), Earl's Court(SW5), Fulham(SW6,SW10), Parson's Green(SW6), Knightsbridge(SW3), Pimlico(SW1), S.Kensington(SW3), St.James's(SW1), Victoria(SW1), Westminster/Whitehall(SW1). „
For the past three and a half years, I've worked in a funny little area in central South West London called Vauxhall. It's a ten minute walk from Victoria, and five minutes from Soho on the tube, but it's nothing like the rest of Central London - there are no real shops, for a start, and decent pubs/restaurants are few and far between. I've already written an op on the best place to eat should you find yourself in this particular area - a fantastic Indian restaurant called 'Hot Stuff' just off the Wandsworth Road - but where should you go if you find yourself in need of a cold beer and some decent pub grub? It has to be The Wheatsheaf. **** GENERAL INFO The Wheatsheaf is the only decent pub in Vauxhall. Located along South Lambeth Road, about five minutes from the tube station (turn right out of the main exit and keep walking, you can't miss it) it's a fairly large, traditional style pub with two bars, the smaller of which contains a pool table, and a recently refurbished beer garden which is a nice little sun trap - not that we've had much sun so far this year! **** DRINKS The Wheatsheaf serves a good selection of cold beers and lagers, and some decent wines, including Jacob's Creek Chardonnay (my fave!) and some really nice reds. The prices are pretty average for this kind of pub in London - about £2.50 for a pint or a glass of wine, and £2.10 for a spirit and mixer. They also serve good quality filter coffee and tea. **** EATS The food they serve at the Wheatsheaf is basically no nonsense, good quality pub grub. The standard menu offers things like ham, egg and chips, steak with chips, mushrooms and peas and a few different kinds of omelette. In addition to this, there is always a selection of 'specials' which usually includes a soup of some kind, a pie and some type of meat in sauce with rice. My personal favourites include : Spicy meatballs with rice £3.50 Spicy Chicken and potato soup £2.50 Minced lamb and Rosemary pie £2.60 Continental platter £3.50 Seafood Chowder £2.60 Liver and bacon with mashed potatoes £3.50 The food is always piping hot, obviously home made and delicious. I don't know how they manage to create such great food in the tiny kitchen they have at the back of the pub, but I'm very glad they do! **** ATMOSPHERE The pub gets very crowded around lunchtime on a weekday, so it's best to get there early if you're planning to eat. The atmosphere is lively but relaxed. They often have sport on the telly in the main bar. The tables are far enough away from each other that you don't feel cramped, and the staff are all very friendly and chatty. My one complaint would be that the main bar is quite dingy. It's lit by old fashioned chandelier style light fittings, and the management could do with fitting a few more of them or replacing them with some modern, brighter light fittings. Now that there's a beer garden, my colleagues and I usually sit outside in the fresh air. **** OTHER PUBS Here's how the Wheatsheaf compares with some of the other pubs/bars in the area : The Wyvil (Wyvil Road) - a light and airy bar, okay for a quick drink but the food isn't all that. Drinks are pricey, and you may have to stand. The Beehive (Harleyford Rd) Dingy and smells of stale beer. Crap food. Cheap but nasty. The Nott (Wandsworth Road) This is a nice little pub but it's a bit of a walk from the centre of Vauxhall and for some reason, it's nearly always empty. Not sure why, the foods good and they have a good selection of drinks, though
they're a bit pricey. The Lavender - A trendy restaurant/bar across from Vauxhall park. Lovely but both food and drink are VERY expensive. It's impossible to get a seat unless you've reserved a table. **** CONCLUSION If you find yourself in the area, with a hankering for some decent English pub grub and a couple of bevvies, the Wheatsheaf is your best bet. it isn't fancy, but it's a pleasant place to relax and enjoy an inexpensive lunch. I pay it a visit at least two or three times a week, and I heartily recommend it.
Underneath Southside halls of Imperial College is the Southside bar. Staffed and occupied mostly by students, it is not a student-only bar, but the only non-students tend to be builders from one of the many Imperial College projects (all currently ongoing, overbudget and not on schedule). General prices are £2 a bottle of alchopop, under £2 for a pint, and around £4 for a double spirit and mixer. Wine is available, but it is the Imperial College wine, not recommened at all <g> There are a couple of pool tables and a darts area, quiz nights on Sunday and it is usually full most nights. And you can bring cheap pizzas in from Basics - or take your pints up into the restaurant. It is very relaxed and has a good atmosphere. The only disadvantage is that after experiencing 'student' prices, you'll find that normal London prices will begin to make your hair stand on end! Just ten minutes from South Kensington tube station. Nearest Bus: 14, 74 or 345.