Category: Railway

The traditional English pub: a place where blokes go to drink. On their own, with their friends. That’s it, really. Sometimes you don’t want any more. Often, no more is offered.

This particular Railway offers no more than the absolute basics, and even those basics it offers with a grudging bad grace. Eventually getting around to serving us, my lovely companion asked if there was any beer available via handpumps. After the laughter, we were told “you won’t get any beer on handpumps within 40 miles of here”. It seemed a wild claim, and we toddled off, Guinnesses in hand, to a mucky table.

The Railway Tavern has the feel of a pub on its last legs, stumbling along towards refurbishment (as a different kind of pub, or – worse – flats), though obviously I have no idea how successful or otherwise it is. There’s no need for a lack of maintenance to mean this kind of vacantly hostile atmosphere. I remember the last weeks of the Green Man in Bethnal Green: the pub was totally falling to bits but the people there were insanely friendly, kids running around having fun and the whole thing had a kind of end-times abandon which was a whole lot of fun.)

This place fixes its eyes grimly on the racing, scowls, then tears up another wasted slip.

Overall mark: 3/10

(Note: an FT correspondent speaks up for this place here. Maybe I caught it on a bad day at the bookies…