THE ALEXANDRA -Clapham Common South Side

Word has it that Clapham isn’t known for its great pubs, and I am certainly not experienced enough to argue. I am a North London Boy and try not to venture this far south is possible. Nevertheless an afternoon being torn between going to see Fisher play Barnet in the FA Trophy or catching some dodgy Dutch Digital Premiereship action found me in The Alexandra.

First things first – The Alex (as the pub likes to refer to itself) is the nearest pub to Clapham Common tube. The Goose & Granite over the road is probably five yards further away, but the upshot is that this offically makes The Alexandra a station pub. Station pubs are rarely good – they exist as meeting places and are often pretty rough (enabling visiting troublemakers quick exit from the scene of the crime). We had been told that The Alexandra had recently undergone a refit – and looked it, with plenty of thrown together nostalgia slapped on the wall to suggest that it was ‘authentick and olde’. It did not succeed.

We were only in there for the length of the game (Leeds Newcastle, featuring a pretty poor performance from Leeds) but impressions last. An Irish barman who specialised in trying to serve four people at once without doing particularly well with any individual order. A bar with Budweiser and Miller on draught, but no bitters. TV’s dotted all over the place showing a variety of sports and yet nowhere really to comfortably watch them from. We stood up for much of the first half until an extra TV was found round the back and we sat on some uncomfortable stools. The place really was not designed for me to like it. And like it I didn’t.

Worse was to come downstairs in the toilets (which double as an extra exit to the Tube Station it felt). A trench urinal which on my second visit had an old fella standing at one end watching punters piss. This was enough to push us back on the Tube to rendezvous with others and go to a proper pub whilst nursing the idea that we would have been much better off going to Rotherhithe – which is something you can’t say too many times. Barnet won 5-0 by the way.

(By the way, note the link to – which is a useful resource and been mentioned round these parts before, but I am doomed never to agree with their reviewers).