Not the first place that comes to mind when you think of traditional farmhouse cider. However, as I visit London quite often for work and pleasure, I decided to investigate if the quality of cider pubs in London we list on The Real Cider web site is still agreeable.
So travelling by bicycle on a fine spring afternoon, first stop was trendy Pimlico and Chimes SW1V 2LP. First impressions are a colourful British restaurant that doubles as a shrine to cider and perry. It’s your chance to get stuck into glasses of Old Rosie, Stowford Press, Kent’s Bibbenden Extra Dry or the house cider here. Very relaxed atmostphere.
Central London and it has to be the The Harp WC2N 4HS in Leicester Square, to escape tourist hoards. A marvellous pub. The Harp always comes up trumps with a superb selection of off-the-beaten track. CAMRA London Cider Pub of The Year 2008 They have a changing range of ciders from jugs/bottles in the fridge.
Next up, in Fitzrovia is The Green Man W1W 7EP, described by its owners a traditional London cider house, albeit a quirky one. The Green Man has a choice of 32 different ciders (View cider list PDF). Perhaps Fitzrovia’s best kept secret – and the main characteristic all these pubs had is that they were not the commercial pub you normally find in the city.
Next we headed north to Islington and The Wenlock Arms N1 7TA, CAMRA’s 2009’s London Cider pub of the year. Always a interesting selection of at least 1 draught and a selection of bottled ciders.
Leading the way for superior Spanish cider in London is Bar Camino, N1 9NR, the Islington bar and restaurant are open until 1am. One of the most enticing drinks on its extensive menu is Zythos Sidra Natural, a small-scale cider from Asturias, northern Spain’s apple-growing region.
Next up the road in Kentish Town is The Dartmouth Arms, NW5 1SP. Cider is big with gastropub-goers, too. The Dartmouth Arms has more than a dozen bottled boutique ciders as well as draught on rotation at the bar. The fresh lobster served with a bottle of Dunkertons’ organic perry is on promotion at £15 until the end of the month.
Finally heading back towards the city, a very traditional pub in Hackney is The Pembury Tavern E8 1JH, has sold a vast range of regional ciders since it has opened. The website will tell you what it is currently serving. Interesting building and interior, plus a bar billiards table complete with instructions! With regular beer and cider festivals.
Also don’t forget the cider stall at Borough Market every weekend managed by New Forest Cider.