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The Rake, Borough Market, SE1

14 Winchester Walk
Phone: 02074070557

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

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Rake

A conversion from a small shop unit,this could well be described these days as a "micro pub".The modest square room has four circular high tables and stools arranged alongside the plate glass window side and there is a small shelf to rest a pint but little else in the way of furniture.Unless you are very lucky ,vertical drinking is the order of the day unless you go outside to the covered courtyard with patio heaters.The internal walls have scrawled messages from drinkers about their favourite tipple sampled here and together with a collection of pump clip shows that some award winning brewers output may be encountered here.
The three handpumps were drawing Oakham JHB & Jester's Ferret and Highland Dark Munro MILD ,all three were in top condition but given all three were below 4% and £3.60 the team were disappointed there wasn't a stronger option.The five keg taps below a sign "No Crap on Tap" had an eclectic selection of Continental beers but a 7.4% Belgian offering was an eyewatering £4.70 a half !!! There is also a decent selection of bottled beers but the wallet bashing was taking it's toll and we departed for pastures new.Very limited selection of bar nibbles,but lack of space means this will always be a wet led pub.The service is swift and knowledgeable ,so no long wait to be served.
It's easy to do a walk past to see what ale is on ,and I would certainly pop in if I spied an outstanding pint,which must always be a possibility.The ale quality here is higher than anywhere else around Borough Market,which warrants a visit to this GBG regular if you are in the area,despite the high prices.

MARCH 2015
Another very good visit and the ale selection and quality was top notch.There is such a volume of sales that there is a constant change of barrels and the Oakham Citra lasted less than two hours.You are likely to find output from some of the new London area micros and the Big Smoke and Canopy beers on during my trip were excellent.There is now a short menu of bar snacks and nibbles all under £5 and I discovered that only brewers are allowed to write on the walls,so the scrawlings make interesting reading and shows what a real ale institution this pub is.Now the best place in Borough Market IMHO and rating increased.

The eye has been taken off the real ale ball here.Two recent visits resulted in poor brews from avarage brewers,there seems no longer a persuit of excellence.Even the keg range is much more conservative and lacked interest.They may well showcase up and coming brewers,but some of the brewers leaving messages on the walls would not inspire you to go out of your way to visit here.Shame as I used to enjoy my visits to The Rake.Downgrade.

On 16th March 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2054 recommendations about 2054 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Rake

Quite a small basic basic interior as described below with a patio area at the side. 3 real ales and "craft keg". Bar snacks available.

On 26th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2692 recommendations about 2636 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Rake

This one has been pretty thoroughly described by others before me. The single inside room has just three tall and small round tables, with tall stools of course. Luckily they have a bit of outside seating, where you can enjoy the sounds and smells (fishy smells when I was in) of Borough Market next door.

Three pumps were clipped when we walked in, but one went off straightaway leaving a stout, and a 5.9% hopbomb called "Shameless" from Red Willow Brewery. No boring brown bitters here, unfortunately. But the Shameless turned out to be superb - I would rank it above the similar ABV Jaipur. Don't think there was any food - at least I didn't see any. This place is certainly worth a punt, but because of its small size it's best to arrive at an off-peak time if you can.

On 26th November 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Rake

I also noticed an interesting array of brewers signatures, written around the walls, three of which were signed from Anarchy Brewery, Morpeth, Northumberland.
The owner/landlord was an interesting character and would happily spend hours chatting about beer. Three ales on handpump, we went for the Orkney Brewery Northern Light 4%, which was in excellent condition. I paid £3.90 for a pint of Orkney, which for this area was quite reasonable.

On 20th July 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2975 recommendations about 2975 pubs]

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

Funny little place, which suffers from its own success because it is always (over)crowded. A big range of bottled beers in the fridges behind the small bar, several unusual craft beers on tap, and three handpumps offering rarities such as the Farmer Walloon from Brains Craft Brewery on my latest visit. Would be better with a bit more space, but otherwise pretty good.

On 6th March 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Rake

A great little bar , always seems to be busy and always something interesting on one of the three handpulls, last Saturday for me it was St Peters Fruit Beer, the most extraordinary grapefruit flavours,its amazing what can be done with hops. Very much a "happening" place and one to visit whenever possible.

On 7th October 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1322 recommendations about 1308 pubs]

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I L left this review about The Rake

Update 15 April 2013
Still our favourite pub in the Market area. It does suffer from its own success due to its small size but earlier in the week it's well worth visiting as the range of small brewers and foreign brewers is great and always interesting. Really good staff even when it's really busy later onion the week.
End of update.

If you like a beer a bit different from the norm then this is a good place to go. only three handpumps for cask ales but half a dozen taps for unusual foreign beers quite often including USA microbrews. Has a huge range of bottled beers in the cabinets at the back of the bar. This is a samll pub with the outside area being larger and normally covered by a huge heated umbrella. Its often warm enough to sit outside even in winter months. Get there early in the evening if you want a seat. A favourite of ours.

On 15th April 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 287 recommendations about 284 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Rake

This place was opened in the mid-2000’s by the people that run the renowned Utobeer next door in the food-tastic Borough Market. It’s painted blue like the TARDIS but unfortunately doesn’t get much bigger inside which is basically a small, stark rectangular box with three tables and eight chairs that smells faintly of damp. There’s about twice the space in the decked rear patio, with striking primary-coloured garden furniture like you’d see in an infant school and a number of eco-bothering patio heaters. There’s a huge range of bottled beers in the cabinets at the back of the bar from around the world, along with a variety of UK and imported ‘craft’ keg products. Prices for the aforementioned can be quite high (regardless of whether they’ve been imported or the abv) and an obvious lack of menu (that I can see) to allow you take a ponder and make an informed choice is unhelpful; there’s only so many times you can ask the staff “and what about this one…?”. So I stuck with the ales on my last visit. Three pretty strong ones on the go, my Moorhouse wasn’t as expensive as I’d feared but the quality was so-so. A slightly odd atmosphere inside on my late afternoon Monday visit and I felt rather like the gooseberry. Given that the pub (or bar, really) has little in the way of comfort then you need to be in the frame of mind of not coming here for the location or decor, just the beer selection. With the advent of the Craft branded pubs, BrewDog outlets and the Euston Tap, what was once a trailblazer in the capital is looking distinctly less appealing and the faults are now more obvious. Still, it does open at 10am...

On 25th October 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

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paulof horsham left this review about The Rake

One of the original 'craft beer' bars in London, but can be hard to find. I picked the right side street, so we popped in. Handpumps were dispensing Oakham Citra (on good form) and Dark Star Espresso. Companion couldn't believe that beer could be had at 9.2%, so I also got us a third of Hardcore IPA - served at a good temperature and not gassy: please take note Brewdog. That latter point serves to emphasise the pub's interest in 'interesting' beer from around the world, some on tap but mostly bottled. You'll pay a lot for some of them but they know their stuff.

It wasn't too busy on our visit but, as a small venue, we took our drinks outside rather than pack into the bar area.

I don't visit every time I'm in the area (it can get silly crowded), but I do like to pop in from time to time.

On 2nd April 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 286 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

. Wittenden left this review about The Rake

A small, one roomed pub in the trendy Borough Market, its footprint doubled by the heated decked patio “outside” in the Market. Attracting a young clientele, I was about twenty years older than most on an early Saturday evening in late November.
Primarily a show case for a firm of beer wholesalers in the Market, the Rake is a sister pub to the new Tap East , over at Stratford’s Westfield shopping centre. Three handpumps dispense a constantly changing array of eclectic cask beers, together with “Craft Keg” and a large assortment of specialist bottled beers. Dark Star seems to be a favoured supplier, and a glass of Winter Meltdown proved a fine conclusion to a rigorous day’s beer tourism and reminiscence.
This pub seems a bit less frenetic than the Market Porter, and much less impersonal than Brew Wharf across the way, and is handily placed when I need to wait for a train at London Bridge.

On 15th December 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 243 recommendations about 242 pubs]

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