Those seeking to enjoy an impressive and thoughtfully chosen range of quality beer (draft, cask and bottle) will find the latest of three Draft House pubs (this one at Tower Bridge), a fine setting for a sampling.
On our invited visit, Londonist enjoyed a few different beers all suggested by our server or paired especially with our dishes. Liquid highlights included a draft pulled Meteor Seasonal (from a family-run brewery in France founded in 1640, apple toned without coming across as fruity), a bottle of well balanced Goose Island Honker Ale (an “English Ale” via Chicago) and the locally brewed cask ale, Sambrook's Wandle. Most beers are priced around £4 for a pint or bottle (but half and even third pint drafts are available).
We found the food menu tastier and more inventive than at most pubs, though some work on presentation of dishes might be in order. Venison and hazelnut cabbage with pear (£6.75) was certainly delish, ample and seasonally agreeable but not the prettiest assemblage we've seen on a plate. Beer battered East Coast haddock with minted peas, chips and tartar sauce (£12.70) looked and tasted as it should have and was particularly massive. Stuff we didn't try but would like to give a go: something from their bagel menu or one of their burgers with an added “slab” of foie gras. Forgoing dessert, we went with a chocolaty Westmalle Dubbel that seemed to round the meal out nicely.
Pub purists might find the light blue diner style booths and tables in the dining area a bit off putting but should be won over by the stellar selection of drink. There's a short but smart wine list, and service appeared to do a great job attending to a surprisingly full house for a miserable Wednesday night.
The Draft House is located at 206-208 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP. Find out more about it and its sister pubs at www.drafthouse.co.uk.