14
Jan 02

THE ALEXANDRA -Clapham Common South Side

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 1,458 views

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 Fancyapint.com – which is a useful resource and been mentioned round these parts before, but I am doomed never to agree with their reviewers).

Comments

  1. 1
    Lou Lyddon on 29 Oct 2011 #

    I went in the Alexandria in Clapham Common for a pint today, 29 October 2011, the first time I’ve been in there for fourty years, the last time was on the same date in 1971, when I joined a group of nineteen going on an overland expedition to Nairobi and Johannesburg. This was courtesy of “Safaris to Asia and Africa Overland” and were based at 7 South Side. We travelled in TWO Land Rovers, and thinking back even Ryanair seating seems luxorious. One Yank, an ex WW2 veteran got off in Algeria, two teenage brothers, both plasterers mates from Hackney left us in Kano in northern Nigeria so they could visit an old school friend of theirs in Lagos. Apparently he lived in an area of Lagos where the police only went in in battalion strength, I wonder what happened to them? We carried on to Nairobi, arriving just before Christmas, where the group split up. On the 31st December 1971 six of us travelled on to Johannesburg, arriving about ten or so days later.
    What happened to “Safari Overland? In the following year it folded, as the Asia trips were a front for smuggling drugs back to the UK.
    Why this travellogue when the website is about a pub? To the guy who said there are no decent pups in Clapham, try the bloody Sahara!!!

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