Sunday Afternoon. Four thirty. I know it is the end of the football season, and pretty much everything is decided, but how many people do you think might be in a Battersea bar watching, on a very generous big screen, the Arsenal Fulham game? If we leave out the bar staff. One.

Well three when we enter Raven 144 for a swift pint. Why we left the nice pubs (The Woodman and The Castle on Battersea Square) I have no idea. But entering this spruced up ex-pub it was quite clear that the area did not have any time for it. The barmaid was sitting on the punters side of the bar sipping a desultory half of lager. The other occupant sat in a leather sofa slowly nursing a third of a pint of Guinness Extra Cold*. He did this all the time we sat there.

The place was probably a pretty rubbish pub before its refurb. I am using the law of averages for this, since the two nearest pubs on Battersea Square, the Woodman and The Castle are both really rather nice. Both the Castle and the Woodman have decent beer, very friendly atmosphere and a strange kind of cobbled together jumble sale of furniture which felt welcoming. The Castle is a Young’s pub, the Woodman operating from the Bitburger/Badger axis recently identified round here. Raven 144 on the other hand operates on Stella and Guinness on tap and bottled beers.

Raven’s last hope rests on the current refurb of The Woodman. I was horrified to find that this lovely little pub was being refurbed, though apparently it is a long awaited sprucing up, the landlord is remaining the same. I cannot imagine its punters going to Raven instead of The Castle, but maybe these neighbourly pubs have an emnity which seperates its custom. I shall report back.

*You could tell it was Extra Cold because they did not do regular Guinness.