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The Southwark Tavern, Borough Market, SE1

22 Southwark Street
Phone: 02074030257

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Pub Type

Castle (Mitchells & Butlers)
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Delboy 20 left this review about The Southwark Tavern

Yet another decent pub near London Bridge station. 6 beers on when I called. Service was good even though the place was rammed.

On 11th October 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1086 recommendations about 1043 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Southwark Tavern

A classic London pub building occupying the site of a former prison, the cells of which can still be seen in the basement bar. The ground floor bar is well described below. It was previously a Friary Meux pub and is now run by M&B. Aside from the architectural and historical interest, this visit disappointed. The staff were difficult and indolent, while the majority of the customers, many in family groups, were stroppy non-locals who thought they were in some sort of theme park where they could insult everyone with impunity. The beer was OK, once we'd been around the buoy of what constitutes a full pint a few times: Reunion's Opening Gambit, Alexander's Fine and Dandy and Firebird's Parody sat next to Doombar and Proper Job to provide a promising line-up. I'm not sure it would be my first choice if I'm in this area in future despite the good beer.

On 1st February 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2600 recommendations about 2574 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Southwark Tavern

This unbranded M&B (Castle) pub has an interesting curved tiled façade, although the mustard-brown colour is not exactly inviting. Fairly standard 'olde London pub' interior, although circulation is somewhat hindered by the irregular layout. Further seating downstairs in the Debtor's Bar and in a series of cell-like brick snugs located down a few more steps. As busy as any other pub in the popular Borough Market area, but it usually has a decent selection of real ales from the six handpumps (including Black Isle Ursa Major and Blackout porter from the Great Yorkshire Brewery on this visit). NB - It is worth noting that it is one of the nearer places to London Bridge station open after 11 pm if waiting for a late train.

On 12th November 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6198 recommendations about 6198 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Southwark Tavern

Retains it's tiled exterior and has a bare boarded interior. 6 real ales and food served.

On 26th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2719 recommendations about 2662 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Southwark Tavern

Been in this pub numerous times but never reviewed it.Always very busy and a good selection of Nicolsons guest beers.Very small serving area at the bar and can be difficult to get served when busy.Had Navigation -Apus lovely hoppy beer.

On 25th April 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Southwark Tavern

I've walked past this pub many times in the past, but the other day I had the time and opportunity to pay it a visit. It's typical of a central London pub - a mix of tall tables/tall stools and standard tables and chairs; busy, and with the emphasis seemingly on food. But this is a striking pub because of its (possibly inter-war) brewery brown tiling on the exterior, and solar themed leaded lights in the windows. The bar counter looks an original piece, although the top has been replaced at some stage, and it's painted a sort of duck egg green. There are a few gastro touches as well (large floral display and ice buckets on the bar counter), but I wouldn't regard this as a gastropub.

There was a good range of ales on - Purity UBU; Timothy Taylor Landlord, Doom Bar; Liberation Blonde; Harviestoun Broken Dial; and Navigation Brewery Apus American IPA. That's a very good selection. I didn't scrutinise the menu in great detail, but there was a good range of recognisable stuff on it such as the pork and chorizo burger (£12.25) and fish (hake) and chips for £12.

There are a number of really superb pubs in this area, and although this one doesn't rate quite that highly, there are area of London where this one would be the best for miles around.

On 2nd April 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Southwark Tavern

A busy and popular pub on Borough High Street, it is split across two floors, a street level and basement. The corner plot building is curved which makes for a slightly unusual shape inside.

The street level bar has oak wood panelling on much of the walls with leaded windows and a wood strip floor. The lighting may either be described as gloomy or atmospheric depending on your point of view, with coloured lights behind leaded glass above the bar counter. A curved staircase in one corner leads down to the lower level and this opens out in to an area that may perhaps be more intended for dining with flagstones on the floor and an old fire-place to one side. The most interesting feature though is the old debtor’s cells which extend out under the pavement. A brick passageway follows the perimeter of the pub and there are a number of arched cells off of here. The brickwork separating each of them looks to be a lot more modern that the arched ceiling, and I suspect in the old days there was no metal grill between each one but they are nonetheless and intriguing feature and quite cosy now that they have had some furniture added and some old metal advertising signs fixed to the wall.

Food wise, the menu looked to consist of a decent selection of pub grub dishes such as fish & chips, pork & chorizo burger or fish cakes and these were mostly priced in the £10 - £12 range. A chalk board in the bar also listed a number of snacks such as a lentil scotch egg, sausage rolls or white bait for around a fiver.

Beers on tap were Top of the Hops, Doom Bar, Deuchars IPA, Adnams Shingle Shells, Hop Back Winter Lightning and Rev James. Ciders were Aspall’s Suffolk and Addlestones. Overall I quite liked this pub, it was a little tidier and more up together than some of the others in the vicinity and the cells were a unique feature.

On 1st December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Southwark Tavern

The pub has a well preserved brown tiled exterior which sports the inscription, "Mieux Perfect Ales". They are no longer to be found inside obviously, but there were a decent range of six on, Doom Bar, Brakspears Oxford Gold, Stonehenge Eye Opener, Adnams Green Bullet, Oakleaf IPA and Itchen Valley Godfather. The service was not exactly swift as has been mentioned, but we got there in the end and it was a full pint.
A central horseshoe bar, wood panelled walls, mixed seating, the pub has large leaded windows, some with a sun motif which give excellent views of The Shard under construction. Downstairs is a separate area, full of brick arches and containing a feature fireplace. There are four small recesses with seating for small groups which are signed cell 1, 2,3 and 4. As this is named The Debtor's Bar I wondered if it was once a Debtor's Prison?
The weekday menu is listed on a large chalkboard, generally between £8-£11, steaks dearer, sandwiches and bar snacks available also.
There are a handful of tables outside on the pavement for those wanting to watch the world go by or have a smoke.

On 7th November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Southwark Tavern

I ventured in here recently as it was the only pub in the area that seemed to be open after 11pm on a Friday night and perhaps unsurprisingly it was completely packed. A good selection of beers was available including, Hook Norton Old Hooky, London Pride, Davenport Strawberry Fields, Sharp's Doom Bar and Meantime Pale Ale. The only problem was the long queuing time to get served and the fairly slap-dash service that resulted in me ending up with just a vague approximation of what I had actually ordered. Admittedly the confusion could have been caused by the loud noise level, but it was nonetheless just as tricky to rectify.
There was plenty of seating on all sides of the U shaped room and whilst the interior was nothing special, it wasn't quite as drab as some of the previous comments might suggest. There is a downstairs bar as well, but I didn't go down there as I was only staying for a quick drink before the last train home.
A decent enough alternative to the often packed Market Porter, but I think I would be more tempted to walk the extra 50 yards to the Wheatsheaf instead.

On 6th September 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2541 recommendations about 2541 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Southwark Tavern

I've never bothered to go into this pub before as on the previous winter evenings I've gone past the lacklustre brown-tiled Victorian façade has never appealed. But on this warm summer evening the double doors were open and there was a large crowd drinking outside, so I decided to venture in.
It's a two bar pub although I didn't make it down to the lower bar. The ground floor has a central bar serving a decent enough wide range of drinks including continental lagers and a decent array of handpumps including London Pride and Hook Nortons Old Hooky.
Not the smartest on service as, of all the pubs I tried on this crawl I had to wait the longest to be served in the Southwark Tavern.
Bat, although not very rapid, the bar staff were serving in order, so all in all, a decent enough stop close to Borough Market.

On 21st June 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

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