The Maple Leaf? Sounds Canadian
There's no getting anything past you, eh. It's London's only Canadian pub that we know of — and in fact, despite the multiple pieces of Canada in London, there are surprisingly few outright, explicitly Canadian bars, restaurants, food shacks or cafes in the city.
Originally opened by The Molson Brewery (Canada's largest), it's now one of the Greene King stable, but remains committed to screening North American sports franchises, pouring Canadian draft beer, and pushing London's poutine boundaries.
Dress code: double denim? Lululemon everywhere?
Welcomed but not required. Sure, there're nods to Canada scattered everywhere — the interiors are covered with flags, hockey jerseys, Canadian beer brand logos. But this is less a themed pub, than it is just a Canadian sports bar transplanted to London soil — give or take the handful of tourists from all parts of the world (it's Covent Garden, after all), the time-difference adjustments (only open till midnight, but a valiant effort to get every live NBA, hockey and baseball game streaming that the time difference allows onto the screens), and the inescapable splash of British craft beer on tap.
The big question: what's the Caesar like?
Outstanding. Now that you can get Clamato in Big Sainsbury's, we shouldn't be so at the mercy of a deftly mixed dive bar Caesar, but we are. And the Maple Leaf mixes a good one. The ceremony of a big, chilly tankard of shellfishy tomato juice, bristling with plantlife, being slung down the counter to you: that's the feeling that Clamato needs to learn how to bottle.
The Maple Leaf tl;dr:
Lot of major North American sports on the screens. Some booths and tables around the edges, but mostly people milling cheerfully in the middle of the room. Sleeman on tap, Moosehead and Molson in the fridge. And eight different poutines to soak up their (magnificent) Caesars with. A beautiful, clam-juice-heavy dream, basically.
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