There are no decent pubs in Clapham. It is a given. That is okay, generally the denizens of Clapham have no need for decent pubs, considering the amount of trade many of the overcrowded and unpleasant bars do. Wander away from Clapham however, say west of Clapham South Tube and you start to get near Wandsworth. Home of the Young’s brewery and a much more generous scatter of at least okat pubs. The Nightingale on Nightingale Lane is a pleasant little local boozer seemingly untroubled by its Clapham neighbours. All the trad Young beers are on display, a pint of Pilsner was very pleasant, though the pub does seem to have mislaid its print of the Queen Mum pulling a pint. We got into a pretty unintelligable conversation with a Scotsman about deserts and footballs (disapproves of the former, Celtic fan in the latter).

Word of warning though. The Sunday lunches are an acquired taste. That is you will like them if you like stale roast potatoes. The ‘6.95 choice between Roast Chicken, Lamb and Beef was standard, the ordering method was a touch idiosyncratic. You had to ring a hand bell for service, which briefly turned the pub into Fenn Street School at the start of Please, Sir! The service was odd. My beef came within one minute, the time it took to fill the plate to the rim with gravy. The lamb and another beef came five miuntes later. When it was pointed out that the second order had been for lamb and chicken our aproned server exlaimed a loud “Fuck” and stomped off to the kitchen. All entertaining but not exactly service with a smile.

The Young’s pubs in the area do not appear to have Sky football by the way. Which meant that I was whisked back to earlier days, watching the football results scroll in on Ceefax. The Nightingale seems to be stuck in the past in so many ways, it might be worth your time: poor food, service with a scowl and the scores on Ceefax. It could be 1991 again.