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Simon the Tanner, Bermondsey, SE1

231 Long Lane
SE1
SE1 4PR
Phone: 02073578740

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


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Simon the Tanner

Limited frills pub with a few gastro-pub style pretensions (such as the clipboard lists of snacks and drinks) and rather curious fenestration at the front. The 'L'-shaped counter (although hardly large) takes up a fair amount of the floor-space in the bar so many of the tables are to be found in the opened-out back room. Plainly furnished too, although there is a good display of pump clips behind the servery. Three real ales - Marble Manchester Bitter, Great Heck Navigator and Gun Parabellum milk stout (£3.80) - plus a cider on handpump, together with a reasonable selection of craft keg offerings.

On 12th November 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]


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hondo . left this review about Simon the Tanner

Quite a small plain interior with the bar area at the front a more foodie area to the rear. 3 real ales and "craft keg" served.

On 26th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2693 recommendations about 2637 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about Simon the Tanner

Set in the middle of a terrace along a prominent road in the trendy part of Bermondsey, this is a traditional pub given a bit of a modern makeover. The pub has a single room layout but retains two distinctly different areas, with the front part sporting dark floorboards, an unusual but not entirely unappealing paint scheme and plenty of standard tables and chairs. Décor includes stag's skulls and antlers, a beer board and some Warhol-style paintings. A simple curved servery with an art deco counter and plain bar back covered in pump clips stands midway into the room on the right hand side. As you move past the bar, the floorboards change and you find a space with four small tables, a large TV screen and a few unremarkable decorative bits. A small recess opposite the bar houses an upright piano and a collection of board games and next to this was a plaque commemorating John Shirley, also known as "Ale John", who was one of the pub's first and most loyal regulars. Limited seating is available on the pavement outside and there was an indie music soundtrack playing throughout my visit. The menu seemed a little basic, with just five main meals available, each costing around £9.00, which sounds pretty reasonable to me.
The pub, previously tied to Shepherd Neame, is now operated as a freehouse and has appeared in recent editions of the Good Beer Guide. Siren Undercurrent, Otley Thai-Bo, Adnams Lighthouse and Hamerton Pentonville Oyster Stout occupied the handpulls alongside one real cider. I tried the Undercurrent which was passable, if not quite up to GBG standards. Keg stuff included beers from The Kernel and Gipsy Hill, whilst the fridges (and beer menus) boasted a strong range of bottled goodies.
I had quite high hopes for this place, which seemed like a good bet for some interesting beer in a part of town where good cask ale seems to gravitate towards London Bridge. However, my pint was a bit of a let-down and the place lacked the character of their sister pub, the Queen's Head in Kings Cross. Perhaps one for a revisit, but not quite up to scratch this time round.

On 20th October 2015 - rating: 6
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Alan Winfield left this review about Simon the Tanner

Simon the Tanner is set in a terrace,this used to be a Shepherd Neame tied house that i tried going in years ago but it never opened,the pub still sports the old Shepherd Neame pub sign and paint work.
Once inside there is a single L shaped room with the right side,the seating is normal tables and chairs.
There were four real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Belleville Northcote Blonde which went down very well,the other beers were Adnams Lighthouse,Vale Malestrom and Hackney Golden Ale.
Background music was playing,the pub reasonably busy for a late Tuesday afternoon.
I was happy enough having a drink in this pub,just a shame the Sheps beers are not on here any more.

Pub visited 26/5/2015

On 26th May 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


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Danny O'Revey left this review about Simon the Tanner

Modern-ish fit out of a small, plain boozer. Dimmed lighting, tee-lites on the table, worn wooden floor to the front of the pub. 4 real ales but served too warm though otherwise ok.

On 29th October 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1276 recommendations about 1253 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about Simon the Tanner

Unassuming (Georgian?) mid-terrace with a sign and frontage that reminded me a little of Sheps branding (and reading below I see that it once was an SN outlet). It’s a fairly plain L-shaped bar, painted in a light battleship grey with darker trim. Dark laminate flooring. Not too much décor, just a couple of mounted antlers, some pump clips and an upright piano (oddly located behind a shallow arch) in the main bar. The rear area is more set for dining and looks a little more inviting with quarter length wood panelling and a sun-themed clock. A wall-mounted was TV switched off. Five pumps, three ales (W&E Kohinoor, Adnams Ghost Ship and Fusilier Hop Stuff). I tried the Hop Stuff which was warm and a little below-par. Not to be put off I also had a half of Kohinoor which was worse, a real disappointment as I know how splendid a beer this is as I spend plenty of time drinking it in Reading. Also a cider (Lilleys Crazy Goat) and a small craft keg selection. Special mention of the barmaid, who was very friendly. Disappointing, I doubt I’d return; quite how this one got into the 2014 GBG is a mystery to me. I read somewhere else that this place is the sister pub of the Queens Head on Greys Inn Road which surprises me even more.

On 10th June 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]


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Bucking Fastard left this review about Simon The Tanner

A small mid terrace pub refurbed in that very modern style with lighting provided by numerous bulbs with trendy lampshades hanging from the ceiling.The front section has a few wooden tables below the windows and two alcoves opposite the bar,one housing an upright piano,played one night a week.Towards the rear there is a square section with more tables and although menus decorated each table,it is quite possible to simply drink while seated,tables weren't laid for diners.There are also several bar stools on which chatty regulars gather,and the welcome from behind the bar was very friendly.There is an eclectic choice of recorded music played here at modest volume,and at a Saturday lunchtime the vibe was very laid back.
The free newspapers on the bar were The Guardian and The Independent which give an indication that customers tend to be part of the gentrification of the area rather than longer term residents of Bermondsey and the prices of both real ale and the food on offer reinforces the point.
There are 5 handpumps ,with on my trip ELB Cowcatcher (well kept and £3.80),Adnams Mosaic,Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild with a clip reversed while line cleaning went on and one pump unused.A decent selection and the quality justifying the GBG 2014 listing.There is a large collection of pump clips on the walls showing that you may well find output from leading microbrewers in here. There are also 9 keg taps with an interesting selection including Kernel and Camden produce.There is no flatscreen ,juke box,gambling machines nor any sign of mass produced lager brands.The food was pretty good,my fish finger sarnie with skinny chips was spot on,and portion sizes are generous.
I will certainly pay a revisit and could consider it a good place to sink quite a few quality pints,it's far enough away from the tourist trail to maintain a calm atmosphere.

On 12th April 2014 - rating: 8
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Malden man left this review about Simon The Tanner

This is a fairly small L-shaped one room pub with a bit of a modern cafe-bar/Habitat feel. Boarded flooring, regular seating mostly in fours, there are numerous chalkboards advertising and declaring this and that, some sort of antelope skull with antlers, a sun themed clock and a trio of photos of iconic women, Marylin Monroe, Liz Taylor and some other one. There is a piano in a recess which apparently sees some action on Wednesday evenings, a few novels and a few boardgames. No TVs or machines, little pot plants on the tables as well as clipboard menus advertising pretty regular sounding fare such as chilli and rice (£9) and fish and chips (£10.50), snacks available such as half a pork pie with pickles for £3.50.
Four handpumps, seemingly a rotating policy, Adnams Sole Star, Trumans Runner and Dark Star Partridge which was in good shape. The fourth was reversed, the clip indicating a cider.
Friendly on the ball staff and the barmaid/landlady politely advised us that the pub was to close shortly for a private function but that we had time for another round should we wish.
A photo near the piano indicates this was once a Shepherd Neame pub but clearly free of tie nowadays.
I quite liked it here despite its non-traditional feel and would happily nip back in for one if passing by.

On 27th January 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


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Rex Rattus left this review about Simon The Tanner

The three handpumps were clipped with Adnam’s Extra Special Ale (I think that’s what it was called), Kelburn Goldihops, and Windsor and Eton Guardsman. I had had an excellent pint of W&E Windsor Knot recently so went for the Guardsman (metaphorically of course) which unfortunately went off as the barmaid started to pull it. But the Goldihops turned out to be a pretty decent pint, and not overly hopped as the name might suggest. And at ££3.20 a pint not overpriced either.
The pub itself has clearly been given a thorough makeover. It’s bare-boarded, but with original boards by the look of them, and the walls are painted magenta up to the dado rail level, as is the front of the bar counter. The rest of the walls are painted a mix of dark and light grey. All the furnishings are normal (but solid wood) tables and chairs, apart from the obligatory handful of stools at the bar. The walls would benefit from a bit more in the way of decor, as at the moment they are sparsely populated with a few isolated prints. The bar counter bears that other hallmark of upmarket aspiration – a wicker basket containing the stock of crisp packets – and all the tables had little pots of flowers on them.
This is a fairly small pub, with the bar counter occupying the right hand side, with just three or four tables/chairs to the front of it, and a few more to the left and rear of the room. I assume that the space at the rear is intended as the dining area, this based on the fact that the tables there had menus on them, whereas the tables at the front didn’t. There are no fruit machines, or other machines of that ilk, although there was some low key music being played. This is a decent enough little pub, with some important plus points, such as decent ale and no mechanical distractions, even though it has had an upmarket style makeover.

On 21st April 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]