I am well aware that much of our coverage of news about pubs is on the gloomy side. I make no apologies for that; like many of my CAMRA colleagues, I feel strongly that the unfair, cynical and money-grasping activities of the big (and some smaller…) pub owning businesses need to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible, not least you, the pub-goer.
That said, let us not forget the reason why we strive to save and protect pubs; we like them, what they stand for and the beer that they serve. They are the hub of many local communities, hosting a huge range of enjoyable social events. There is, in my humble opinion, nothing (well, almost) better than having a few good pints in good company and if you look at the item about the increase in activity in the night-time economy on page 18, I’m not alone.
CAMRA has launched a new campaign, the ‘Summer of Pub’ (a paraphrase of the ‘Summer of Love’). The thinking behind the campaign is to increase pub-going over the summer and to demonstrate the importance of Britain’s pubs, as well as to highlight how CAMRA’s national and local campaigning can work well together. Of course we must continue to campaign for pubs but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun while we do it. If at the same time we can raise CAMRA’s profile as a positive, forward-thinking and fun organisation to join, then so much the better.
The campaign will be officially launched on the late May Bank Holiday on 27 May and events will be held on significant dates throughout the summer, including Beer Day Britain on 15 June and the Women’s World Cup (7 June to 7 July). Look out for details. The campaign will close on the August Bank Holiday, 26 August. You can find details of events happening throughout the period on www.camra.org/summerofpub.
I have asked CAMRA’s branches across Greater London each to nominate a pub with a nice garden or outside area. Obviously the outer areas are more likely to have pubs with gardens but I thought that readers would prefer a spread across the whole of London. These local recommendations are listed below.
|Blacksmiths Arms||Cudham Lane South, Cudham TN14 7QB||Festooned with flowers and has a delightful garden|
|Builders Arms||65 Leslie Park Road, Croydon CR0 6TP||Secluded garden at the rear – a hidden gem of Croydon|
|Constitution||42 St Pancras Way, Camden Town NW1 0QT||Canalside; multiple winner of ‘Camden in Bloom’ award|
|Duke of Edinburgh||204 Ferndale Road, Brixton SW9 8AG||Surprising rear garden|
|Old Orchard||Jacks Lane, Harefield UB9 6HJ||Stunning views across the Colne Valley|
|Orange Tree||18 Highfield Road, Winchmore Hill N21 3HA||Prize winning garden by the New River Walk|
|Plume of Feathers||19 Park Vista, Greenwich SE10 9LZ||Lots of flowers and an attractive garden|
|Union Tavern||45 Woodfield Road, Maida Vale W9 2BA||Canalside terrace|
|White Swan||Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DN||Views across the river – mind the tide|
|Wych Elm||93 Elm Road, Kingston KT2 6HT||Attractive garden|
You will find full details of all of these pubs, including travel advice and opening times, on CAMRA’s WhatPub database – see page 43 for details. Sadly, the one important aspect of this campaign that we cannot control is the weather; let’s just hope that at some point the sun shines. When it does, enjoy! If it doesn’t then sit inside…