6
Feb 02

The Ring

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 314 views

The Ring is, I suppose, a theme pub of a sort. Situated on Blackfriars Road near the long-demolished first home of English boxing, the Blackfriars Ring, the place is a one-room shrine to old boxers, and one gets the impression that a good portion of the clientele may derive from some sort of pugilist community (from the top seat of the 63 bus you can see the training gym upstairs, too).

I find myself increasingly inclined to the simple pleasures of ordinary pubs. Put it this way: I’m happier in the Ring, say, than in the (still excellent) unique and remarkable Olde Cheshire Cheese. I’m more comfortable in the simplicity of the Wheatsheaf (thankfully re-opened by Youngs) by Borough Market than in the august and historic George just down the road.

The difficulty with talking about pubs which do the simple, good things simply and well is that they tend to be unremarkable. The Ring is friendly without being over-friendly, much like the sometime-resident pub dog. The service is genuinely excellent, the beer includes Burton Ale (a surprisingly rare treat in London), there’s a nice little telly up in the corner which will show sport without dominating the whole pub.

According to this, the name of the pub is not boxing-derived. Can that be true? Surely this is a wind-up?

It’s right next to Southwark tube Station, which means that mostly I’ve visited the place on my own, since that’s a key, erm, node on my daily commute. I’m anything but handy in a fistfight, but even when things have got a little noisy in there (which happens from time to time) I’ve never felt even worried. Disciplined, these boxers’

I think it’s a London classic.

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