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The Mulberry Bush, SE1

89 Upper Ground
Phone: 02079287940

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Mulberry Bush

Located a short stroll away from the Thames Path behind Gabriel’s Wharf, this is a traditional looking pub from the outside but has clearly been “renovated” at some point and now seems to cater to a primarily younger clientele. Our Friday evening visit found it very busy, with the music somewhat too loud for easy conversation.

Décor wise it’s a mixture of traditional and modern with grey slate style tiling on much of the floor with large areas of inlaid wood strip elsewhere. Paintwork was mostly a dark green with further areas of dark green wood panelling as well as green iron supporting pillars, whilst a freshly plastered ceiling had been painted white. Large bi-folding doors all along the front of the pub no doubt make it light and airy in the warmer weather, and there looked to be some sort of more contemporary extension at the rear with light oak panelling, although we did not investigate this. Lighting was predominantly exposed filament light bulbs, which are of course de rigour in any pub renovation these days.

Despite five hand pumps on the bar, only two were in use dispensing Young’s London Gold and Proper Job, with two appearing to have run out and one seemingly unused. Not a great start to the weekend. To make matters worse, the solitary cider was Aspall’s Suffolk. Had I caught this at a quieter time and with a better drinks selection available I might have warmed to it a bit more, but as it was I don’t feel any particular urge to rush back.

On 5th February 2020 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

hondo . left this review about The Mulberry Bush

Young’s pub that hasn’t changed much from the reviews below.

On 26th October 2019 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2699 recommendations about 2643 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Mulberry Bush

This modernised Young's pub always seems to be doing a roaring trade whenever I pass it, perhaps benefiting from being situated just a short distance from the Southbank. You enter into a small lobby with a single high table and stools in a draughty spot beneath a staircase. A door to the left leads into the main bar with the servery running down the left hand wall and a raised seating area to the right. The bar has a chunky curved counter and a decent mirror and bare brick bar back. The room has bare pine flooring throughout which created a very loud and echoing environment on a packed weekend visit - so loud in fact that my companions left midway through to watch a firework display on the Thames which they claim was significantly quieter than being in the pub! There are a few long tables directly opposite the bar, ideal for large groups, with smaller tables and standard chairs on the raised platform to the right. The walls are painted white with a few sections of glazed brick tiling and the decor hints at the nearby TV studios with a giant clapperboard on one wall. Elsewhere there are some nice framed mocked-up book covers for classic titles and the obligatory picture of the Queen Mother. In the front right corner there is an attractive curved glass wall which screens a spiral staircase leading up the 'The Green Room, which is seemingly a separate dining area. Elsewhere, a few nice etched glass partitioning screens add a bit of character to a pub that has obviously been given a very contemporary makeover. To the rear there is a wide but shallow area that almost feels like a separate room and seemed to have been reserved for one large group on this visit. Some comfy looking seating options were available back here under wood plank walls decorated with various mirrors and lamps, whilst stacks of books filled the window sills.
The pub was remarkably busy when we arrived but we were rather lucky that a group left whilst we were milling around, so we were able to bag their table. A very friendly chap who was collecting glasses, spotted us taking a seat and came and took our drinks order to save us getting stuck in the scrum at the bar, which was very good for us, less so for those waiting at the bar. There were three ales to choose from - Youngs Ordinary and Special and Wimbledon Common Pale. I tried a pint of the latter and thought it was in very good condition and it went down very well after a long afternoon of sight seeing around the city.
I felt a bit conflicted about this place, as the lively atmosphere, good service and well kept beer were spoilt a little by the corporate interior design, uninspiring beer range and maddening noise levels. I'd say this is a decent enough place to stop off if you want to avoid the pubs on the Thames Path, but you'll need to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

On 12th December 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2494 recommendations about 2494 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Mulberry Bush

This is still a Young's pub, and had five ales on - Young's Bitter; Special; London Gold; Bombardier; and Autumn Gold (£2.20 a half- that's London for you). Most people in here appeared to eating on Wednesday afternoon, but I didn't see a menu.

It's unchanged from Maldenman's visit. It's still a typically madeover, modern and grey Young's pub. It was a fine day when I visited, so the folding doors at the front were fully retracted making it much lighter and airy than it otherwise would have been. There's a fair bit of flagstone flooring around the bar area, some tables that appeared to be constructed from reclaimed wood, and a few booths on the right. There's another room at the back with more reclaimed wood on the wall, and upstairs is the "Green Room", no doubt so named after the hospitality room one might expect to find in a TV studio - such as the ITV studios over the road. There was one of those water jars on the counter, but this one went a step further than most, containg sliced lemon and sliced cucumber.

I'm afraid I didn't rate this place very highly, although it clearly serves a purpose as it was well patronised on the midweek lunchtime when I visited. It's more a bar and restaurant than a pub.

On 1st October 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Mulberry Bush

The pub has a rather bland modern interior featuring all known types of seating and also a good mixture of floor coverings. The bar runs along a side wall and opposite is a slightly raised area. To the rear is a sort of semi-conservatory with a half glazed roof. The front elevation has a full run of glazed doors which can fold back when the weather allows which must be pleasant. There's a fair bit of grey paint around, décor includes a bit of framed arty stuff, a display of old SLR cameras and a recess has beermat themed wallpaper. Board games on a side table. Upstairs is "The Green Room" which I didn't bother taking a look at but there looks to be a bit of a balcony up there. There is a bit of pavement seating too.
It's a Wells place with Young's branding, Bitter, Special, London Gold, Bombardier plus guest Truman's Blindside which was a decent drop. The place is rather foody, plenty eating on Monday lunchtime, mains £10-£18, also a "Grazers" menu of smaller bites. A busy place, the ITV studios are nearby so I expect they provide a fair bit of trade, it's ok for one as a stop off if passing by.

On 22nd March 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Mulberry Bush

Modern Youngs pub located in the South Bank no-man's land between the River Thames and the railway stations. Notable for having fully openable frontages for both the ground-floor bar and upstairs Green Room. Compact interior supplemented by a small conservatory at the back. Always gives the appearance of being well managed, and the beer is always very well kept, with Ordinary, Special and London Gold plus Bombardier available from four of five handpumps on my latest visit (with a draught cider 'back soon'). Nice, relaxed atmosphere if you go at a quiet-ish time.

On 5th July 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6109 recommendations about 6109 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Mulberry Bush

A fairly characterless modern Young’s pub tucked away but not far from Waterloo Station.

The most unusual feature is the fully retractable frontage which does make it feel like you are drinking in a large furnished garage from inside when the front is open. The décor and furnishings are quite modern and the lowish ceilings make it feel a bit cramped. There is slightly raised section opposite the bar and a narrow conservatory style extension at the rear with a few old arty black and white photos of the area but on the whole it is a pretty bland and soulless place. I didn’t venture as afr as the upstairs room simply because I didn’t even notice it!

There are 6 hand pumps but just the Wells –Youngs Holy Tribnity available - Ordinaery, Special and Bombardier with the latter somewhat overpriced at £3.50 a pint. Main courses from the menu were priced between £8 and £10 although I didn’t try anything or see anyone else eating.

The place was very busy when we arrived around 7pm with office workers (ITV is situated in the large building almost opposite) but it soon emptied out. I can’t really see the appeal unless it’s on your doorstop although form other reports I may have had an off day with the beer choices and I suppose I will venture here again at some stage to discover what delights the upstairs bar has to offer.

On 19th May 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Mulberry Bush

The Mulberry Bush is a modern style Youngs pub not far from the back exit of Gabriel’s Wharf and opposite the ITV London Studios.
The downstairs bar is open plan, very open if the patio doors at the front of the pub are fully pulled back as they are in summer, and then there is a conservatory section at the very back. The bright modern, largely sterile light oak decor is complemented by the full range of Habitat furniture you get in these places and basically the only thing in this pub with any character are the bar staff.
When the doors are open there are some additional high chairs and tables out on the pavement and there is a spiral staircase to the right which leads to a first floor room with additional seating.
The upstairs area is a good retreat when the downstairs bar area is busy, which it frequently is due to workers and audience from the TV centre opposite. On these occasions the main bar is a fairly noisy place for a pint.
And that brings us to the one saving grace of this place because, as god forbid if this is an example of what we have to expect of new pubs interiors that will replace all the traditional boozers closing at a rate of knots at the moment, At least the beer is good
The bar supports six hand pumps, which were dispensing four ales as the Youngs Bitter and CW Bombadier were doubled up. Fortunately this Youngs pub is one that does embrace the guest ale policy and the additional Youngs London Gold was complemented by Sambrooks Wandel, which was a very good pint, albeit at a wallet hurting £3.35 a pint. And I’ve always found the bar staff to be a cut above the usual experience in central London
So in conclusion, not a place to go out of your way for , but if you’re going to the TV centre or on your way down the SouthBank and can’t make it to Blackfriars without having a pint, then this place is OK for a quick one.

On 8th August 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1701 recommendations about 1650 pubs]

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Philip Carter left this review about The Mulberry Bush

Right opposite the television centre. Could see some stars in there, although I haven't yet. None that I recognised. Has an upstairs bar. Real ale on sale, had Youngs Kew ale, very tasty.

On 28th July 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 753 recommendations about 716 pubs]