Tag Archives: London

One Inn The Wood, Petts Wood, SouthEast London

One Inn The Wood is owned and run by Barry and Sarah Bridge.   The premises was previously used as a wine bar. The location is perfect, on a parade of shops next to Petts Wood station right in the middle of leafy suburbia and, one suspects, no similar establishments around. We arrived at around 2pm to find the place packed with friendly and chatty regulars, many waxing lyrical about how the place had brought a sense of community back into their lives and has something that is lacking in most modern “big business” pubs.

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I’ve been astonished to hear recently of various aspiring micropubs around the country having had their change-of-use applications rejected by their local authorities.   Those planners clearly do not understand what a micropub is.   And, surely, part of their job is to understand such things!  If they spent some time visiting existing micropubs, like One Inn The Wood, then perhaps they would understand the extent to which micropubs enhance the local area.

There is a choice of 4 or 5 ales. There is a small brick built bar counter , but the ales are poured straight from the cask in a temperature controlled cellar room that is visible through a window. I tried a pint of Plateau by Burning Sky brewery, which was light and hoppy and just what I needed for the long hot ride ahead.

A quite substantial choice of bar snacks is on offer: pork pies, sausage rolls, cheese board…etc.

The decor is simple and pleasant: wood floors, typical high level micropub style seating down one side of the room and more conventional low-level pub style tables and chairs down the other side. There’s even a few tables outdoors at the front, cafe style. Something for everyone.   The left hand wall is taken over by a woodland mural. And I could tell we were getting closer to Kent because the bar was decorated with dried hops.

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All in all, One Inn The Wood is the perfect community local. Every town should have one.

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Beer Rebellion, Gypsy Hill, London

Beer Rebellion sits right opposite Gypsy Hill station in South London and is owned by the Late Knights brewery just around the corner in Penge.   The brewery owns several other bars and has also recently opened a second micropub (also called Beer Rebellion) in Peckham.

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While small and focussed on quality ale, Beer Rebellion rebels against several of the micropub norms: firstly, before setting off I had warned my companion for the day not to expect meals to be available in micropubs, and Beer Rebellion proved me wrong by offering a substantial menu of “gourmet burgers” , chips ..etc. While I agree with the micropub ethos of focussing on the important things in life and not getting distracted by food, on this occasion the food was certainly welcome because (a) it was lunchtime and (b) we were cycling. The kitchen occupies about half of the ground floor, with seating for only about 10 drinkers by the bar. It was then that Elliot, the friendly, helpful and knowledgeable barman told us about the basement, which was cavernous, with two rooms kitted out with antique/shabby-chic furniture, plus an unusual curtained off snug with seating for two people(!)   There’s also a glass viewing window through to the adjacent cellar.

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Back upstairs to the bar … and I scanned the horizon for any conventional sign that ale was dispensed from this establishment but failed to find any. It was then that Elliot pointed out a wooden dresser with an array of taps set into it. “Cool, isn’t it”, said Elliot. I thought it was a bit pretentious, but was too polite to say so. And I can see how Beer Rebellion’s clientele might find it cool. The beer is delivered to this dresser by gas pressure from the downstairs cellar, which might upset the purists, but my pint of Late Knights Morning Glory tasted outstanding.

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There’s a choice of around 6 cask ales, from Late Knights and other breweries, plus several cider and “craft keg” options. Studying my photos afterwards, I was a bit shocked at the prices for the keg beers, and wondered how much we had paid for the cask ales – I hadn’t really paid attention and we paid for the food at the same time. Perhaps these prices are par-for-the-course in this part of London.

As we arrived shortly before midday opening, we didn’t get to see the place in full swing, so I cannot really comment on the atmosphere, but I’d guess that the target clientele are a bit younger than that of the average micropub. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, and I’m certainly heartened to see evidence of younger people taking an interest in decent beer.

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Despite being part of a chain of brewery owned bars, where losing some of that personal touch is inevitable, Elliot certainly knew his stuff, and explained that Late Knights do not simply hire “bar staff”, but ensure that all staff spend time working at the brewery so they get to know and understand the brewing process.

So there you have it: Not a typical micropub, but great beer and knowledgeable staff. If you’re a fan of Brewdog, and bars of that ilk, then you should put this one on your to do list.