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Le Gothique, Wandsworth Common, SW18

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
Royal Victoria Building, John Archer Way
Wandsworth Common
SW18 3SX
Phone: 02088706567

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Le Gothique

I visited this pub/bar during the last beer festival, so I guess my experience was not typical of what one might experience at any other time of the year. As far as the festival itself is concerned, there was not enough space to accommodate the numbers who attended – at least that was the case on the Friday night – with only a handful of seats being available, and the grassed areas being out of bounds.

Probably the best thing about the bar is that it is located in the quite spectacular Royal Victorian Patriotic Building. Think of a cross between Cinderella’s castle and a schloss on the Rhine. It was apparently built as a home for orphans of the Crimean War. There were several handpumps on the bar, which I hope would be in use at times other than for the beer festival, and the room in which it’s sited has something of a Gothic feel (surprising that!). I’ll probably visit again when there’s not a festival on, but my initial reaction is that it’s definitely worth the walk up from the main road to visit a bar in such a spectacular building.

On 28th November 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about Le Gothique

Something of a revelation, this one. I must have driven past this building a thousand times, always wondered what went on and always promised to stop and have a nose round sometime. I noticed recently that it hosts beer festivals and is listed in the GBG and that provided enough incentive to call in. I rather expected a sanitised hotel bar with a couple of handpumps thanks to a real-ale drinking manager but the whole thing is much, much better than that and is described perfectly by PSM below.

Both times we've called - early evening mid-week - it was very quiet; the few other customers were I suspect other users of the building rather than outsiders like us. They seem to make their money from conferences and weddings as much as walk in trade.

On a hot day the cool leafy courtyard makes the perfect spot to unwind for half an hour on the way home.

On 13th July 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 488 recommendations about 480 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Le Gothique

Situated in the inner courtyard of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building – a gothic monster built back in the 1850’s – Le Gothique is a strange combination of French restaurant and Good Beer Guide listed pub. The building has a very interesting history and this is detailed in part on some information boards in the corridor leading to the pub from the main courtyard. It was originally built as an orphanage and girls school for children of servicemen who died in the Russian War before being converted to a hospital in the First World War. During the Second World War the building was taken over by MI6 who used it as a prison and interrogation centre, with the cells still existing beneath the present day pub. Rudolph Hess was perhaps the most well known prisoner held here. After the war it returned to being a school, but soon fell into disrepair before being sold for a nominal fee and converted to a mix of apartments and studios, as well as a drama school and theatre.
The bar can seemingly only be reached via the main courtyard at the rear of the building. It is a fairly small room with bare floorboards and limited wood panelling. Some nice period tables and chairs, including one chair that seems to be made from an old church pulpit, give the pub an air of authenticity without it feeling too much like a restaurant. The servery is sited at the rear of the room and opposite there is a huge statue of a goddess (Aquarius?) pouring water from a jug. The rest of the room is decorated with various pictures and paintings and muted lighting creates a warm ambiance, despite the fact that there were no other customers during our stay. Stairs lead to a mezzanine level which is the formal restaurant and there is plenty of seating in the pleasant smaller courtyard outside the front of the bar. We tried some food whilst we were here and found it to be very nice, if not exactly cheap.
Just the two ales were on when we arrived, both from Shepherd Neame – Whitstable Bay and Kent’s Best. The pint of Whitstable Bay I was served was undrinkable and I was a little wary giving the Kent’s Best a try, but happily this was on top form. Sambrooks and Downton breweries are often well represented here as well, so I guess I just got a bit unlucky with the restricted ale choice. Two large beer festivals are held here each year as well in conjunction with the local CAMRA branch.
This place is well worth a visit for the unusual setting, hopefully accompanied by a decent pint of beer. I half expected this to be a restaurant that does ale, but thankfully it has enough of a pub feel to it to make it worth an extended stay and if the weather permits, the courtyard is an excellent spot for al fresco drinking and dining.

On 9th June 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2449 recommendations about 2449 pubs]