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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with rpadam on the Pub Forum

Rose & Crown, Southwark, SE1

47 Colombo Street
Phone: 02079284285

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Rose & Crown

Hidden away down the old back street of Southwark, this is a cosy, traditional boozer of the sort that is becoming harder to find in the city centre. The pub has a simple L-shaped layout that clearly signposts a former multiple room layout, not least by virtue of there being no less than four entrances (two of which are now blocked up). Both remaining doors lead into the same bar boarded front bar area with some full length tongue and groove panelled walls and a lovely dark wood bar counter with a pleasing curved front section under an attractive old fashioned gantry and white tile bar back. High tables and stools offer basic seating along the front wall, with a single regular tables to the left, under a wall covered with nice old black and white photos and a blackboard listing various food options. The large fairy-light bordered windows to the front and right have modern etched glass panes with the pub’s name and the Shepherd Neame Brewery logo picked out. The room extends down the right hand side into a raised rear space with more wood panelling, a few more tables and chairs and a long button backed banquette under another collection of black and white photos. A couple of TV screens were on, showing subtitled news coverage whilst a series of dreadful modern pop tunes played loudly through a pub with just three customers. A surprisingly large patio garden with lots of benches can be found out the back – ideal for local office workers to get some fresh air.
There are four handpulls on the bar, but only Shepherd Neame Spitfire was available, with a Whitstable Bay pump clip turned and the other pumps unclipped. The barmaid checked that I wanted the Spitfire ale and not the kegged lager of the same name (not always a given in Shep’s pubs, as I’ve found to my cost in the past) and poured a reasonable pint which I quite enjoyed despite not really being a fan of the beer.
I found it quite difficult to judge this pub on such a quiet mid-week afternoon visit, but it struck me as a very nice traditional pub that suffers from a limited ale range. It’s good to see pubs like this still trading though and whilst it didn’t quite work for me, I’m pleased that I finally got round to visiting. It’s worth bearing in mind that the pub has limited weekend opening, with an early finish on a Saturday and full closure on Sundays, so don’t do as I did and turn up here at the wrong part of the week!

On 11th February 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Rose & Crown

Excellent Shepherd Neame pub, with a good atmosphere and somewhat 'old fashioned' (in the best sense of the phrase...) interior. Comprises a compact. slightly split-level 'L'-shaped bar with limited furniture and dark decor. However, its best feature is the pleasant beer garden to the rear (left open following wartime bomb damage). On this visit, I found Whitstable Bay Pale, the two Spitfires - original and Gold - and the seasonal Early Bird (£4.65, and in fine form as the beer always is here) being dispensed from the four handpumps. Well worth seeking out.

On 12th May 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about Rose & Crown

A great looking Shepherd Neame pub on a backstreet corner, a real survivor, all adjoining buildings were bombed in WWII, evidence of this in the rendered raking shore to one side and the very large (for central London) rear garden. There are tales of the pub dating from the 16th century but I cannot buy that, the building style is distinctly Victorian, perhaps parts of it are older.
Slightly split level ground floor area inside, a compact bar to the front with some carved wood, boarded floor and high tables in this area. The return of the L-shaped room has more regular seating. There are full height panelled walls, lots of framed stuff including pearly kings and queens, river scenes, abstract art and old local scenes. Three remaining doors, two in use, hint at this small pub's once layout of three tiny rooms. Some etched glass remains also. Iggy Pop was the soundtrack while curiously the TVs showed some old film with subtitles.
Sheps beers, Spitfire plus Spitfire Gold, Early Bird and Whitstable Bay turned around.
This is a fine pub indeed, a superb building, highly recommended. I can take or leave SN beers generally, if this place had an eclectic selection it would be right up there with the best.

On 22nd March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Rose & Crown

In a side street off the Blackfriars Road, a 5 minute or so walk away from Southwark Tube Station is The Rose and Crown, a small traditional welcoming Sheps pub.

Although you probably wouldn’t think so at first glance, the building apparently dates back to the 16th century. Notably, it’s a stand alone building, reflecting the fact that, whilst most of the buildings nearby were completely flattened and destroyed during the Second World War blitz, the pub somehow survived unscathed.

An L shaped bar serves what was obviously a two bar layout once. The larger area at the front has boarded wood panelling and is traditionally furnished with banquettes, wooden tables, bar stools etc. A series of framed photos show celebrities who have dropped in over the years – Darren Gough, Ossie Ardiles etc. We also see that the pub is the Headquarters of the London Branch of the Royal Sussex Regimental Association and various items of interest are displayed.

Towards the rear of the pub, there is a smaller more comfortable snug style area with banquettes and carpets and old photos of the area and some of the ubiquitous Sheps war-themed posters. Upstairs is a luncheon / function room – The Crook Bar ( “crook” here refers to the stick used by shepherds and not a gangster / criminal )

There’s a very traditional feel to the place, enhanced by the mahogany bar counter and gantry and huge drape curtains, although on a cold dark winter’s evening, they remained undrawn, as appears to be the trend nowadays.

The pub has a good cross section of customers – ranging from local office workers to people using the nearby sports ground or gym facilities. Occasionally you can be lucky and some rather fit looking young ladies from the netball team drop in after a game. In summer months, people spill out into, what, being just over Blackfriars Bridge from the City, could be regarded as a notably large beer garden.

I have vague recollections of it as a Courage pub, but it’s now one of Sheps numerous hostelries in the area. On my latest visit, Kents Best, Master Brew, Spitfire and Amber were on, the latter being a beer not seen previously. The Kents Best is a fine pint when on form, as it invariably is here, and, at £ 3.10p, represents what I regard as good value for the area.

This pub is well worth seeking out when in the area.

Finally, do note that, after years of not doing weekend opening at all, mine host and hostess are now experimenting with Saturday opening from 12-6pm

On 15th February 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Johnstone left this review about The Rose & Crown

One of the nicer pubs in the area and it's friendly and comfortable.
Once got a cab here in my more affluent days and the cabbie commented that in 25 years he had never been asked for Colombo street.

On 29th April 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 98 recommendations about 98 pubs]

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Chris 87 left this review about The Rose & Crown

Hidden away off Blackfriars Road is this example of a traditional English local; A cosy Shepherd Neame pub with Spitfire, Master Brew, Kent Best and Amber Ale on cask. Music is piped in and Sky News on the telly somewhat unneccesarily. Kent Best reasonably priced at £2.85 but something about Shepherd Neame beer, Whistable Bay excepted, just doesn't agree with me; They all seem to taste the same and it isn't a particularly flavoursome taste to boot. Nevertheless, its worth a look as its relatively unspoilt for the area and welcoming.

On 3rd March 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Rose & Crown

A small Shepherd Neame pub which nevertheless manages to pack in most of their ale range including a seasonal (I sampled the Porter in here over Christmas).

It stands alone in the immediate vicinity, presumably because the Nazis bombed the rest of the nearby buildings during the war. The interior is relatively unspoilt, which means that there's not much room to swing a cat, so a good place to go with a couple of friends but not a big group. Prices are fair and the food looked decent as well. The beer quality was good too.

All in all, a good little boozer and I'd be happy to go back.

On 18th February 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Rose & Crown

This is a Shepherd Neame pub so they were serving up Spitfire, Porter, Kent's Best, Masterbrew, Oranjeboom (I can't remember the last time I saw this), Holsten Export, Guinness and Strongbow. I'm very partial to a pint of Spitfire and I really enjoyed my couple of pints in here.

The staff are very hospitable and the pub had a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, even though it is tiny and there wasn't room to swing a cat. There is a small TV and the background music was very low as to not intrude on peoples conversations. There is also a selection of bar snacks and sandwiches available on request, but you wont find any infused dishes covered with jus in here.

This is a simple friendly boozer and it is fantastic!

On 16th January 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3599 recommendations about 3579 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Rose & Crown

This is a Shepherd Neame pub with the full range of SN ales on offer. I had the Kent’s Best which was excellent. A smallish pub with the feel of a traditional local about it, it has quite a large garden (by Central London standards) which makes it very popular in the summer. The food has always been pretty good when I have eaten there, and the service has always been friendly and welcoming. Compared to some of the other places in the general area, this is a real gem.

On 7th May 2008 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2506 pubs]