Sunday, 26 August 2012

Crossharbour and South Quay


A cheeky mid-week jaunt along the DLR enabled us to tick off 2 further stations.  This is yet to be officially confirmed though as more research is required to ensure that we have covered every drinking place at South Quay.  It appears that we have been remarkably quiet on the DLR Challenge front over recent weeks and whilst this is partly true, there have also been two visits to the Tower Gateway area which I have not thus far got around to writing about.  It was when studying this stop that we have discovered another stumbling block in our attempt to visit every pub at every station.  At first glance Tower Gateway seems to have no fewer than 26 drinking establishments.  We discussed potential ways of getting around this problem and perhaps bending the rules slightly (ideas ranged from just visiting the 10 closest pubs to the station, to just outright lying and pretending we went to each venue – all that would be needed for that would be a mischievously grinning shot of Tindall standing outside a pub and people would be none the wiser).  But no.  That would not be in the spirit of the challenge, so we’ve instead opted to visit that area on occasion and intermittently check off a couple of pubs.  I’ll detail those pubs at a later date but at this stage we have been to 4 places there.  Just the 22 pints to go then.

On this evening though, our thoughts were firmly on rounding off Crossharbour and South Quay.  

Crossharbour only has 2 pubs, one on either side of the water so we knew we’d be able to complete our 7th station of the challenge, and as far as we can tell South Quay only has one.

We began at The George, a very quaint and traditional looking pub that had clearly been there long before the DLR ever came into existence.  It serves as a perfect place for both local residents and suits who fancy dropping by for a quick beer on their way home from work.  This blend of customer was immediately evident on entering as we were presented with a local man (complete with local intimidating dog that spent the whole time staring at and unnerving Tindall as he sipped his pint) jokingly throwing an empty crisp wrapper at the barmaid, whilst at the same time a posh City worker could be heard approaching the bar and uttering ‘marvellous, great timing’ to his other upper class pals. 

It was certainly a fairly relaxed venue, which we initially marked down somewhat for facilities (it is a little grubby) until we left the pub and noticed that in all there are 3 separate bars that make up The George.  There is the main pub area where we sat where you can enjoy a pint and watch the football, or for the quieter drinker there is an option to wander on through to ‘Ma Bakers Bar’, a room that a sign confusingly but thankfully incorrectly shows that you can only get to by walking through the Women’s toilets.  And additional to both of these there is a third bar, complete with a conservatory and beer garden and an ideal place to sit and order food. 

The George Ratings

Facilities – 4

Atmosphere – 2.5

Cost – 2.5 – Seemed pricey but we’d switched to Guinness for the evening due to Tindall’s recent outing to Dublin and his new found love for the black stuff.  (He really has taken a shine to it, returning home last week in a Guinness T-shirt, and also hoarding a Guinness paperweight and Guinness keyring and Guinness shot glass.  He is also now the proud owner of a certificate detailing his ability to pour the perfect pint – of Guinness, naturally).

Entertainment – 3.5

Selection – 3


We ended up in The Spinnaker next, wandering off course slightly and over to South Quay (not a deliberate ploy, we got lost whilst trying to seek out any other hidden pubs in the area).  Although glorious in setting (the main drinking area backs onto the Quay), The Spinnaker is essentially a Wetherspoon in terms of style.  Slow service, a sticky bar and a lack of atmosphere really makes the pub difficult to recommend.  One real plus point though is the fact that it opens at 8.30am – ideal for alcoholics and those that fancy a huge breakfast before work. 

The Spinnaker Ratings

Facilities – 3.5

Atmosphere – 2

Cost – 3

Entertainment – 2.5

Selection – 3.5


We didn’t hang around at South Quay for any longer than necessary and quickly headed back to Crossharbour to enter our third and final place of the night.  Called ‘Pepper Saint Ontiod’ this bar was a delightful place to drink.  Spread over two floors it would appeal to a range of people.  The ground floor is more relaxed, with books and board games and a decent menu for those seeking an evening meal.  But upstairs is where we headed and made ourselves comfortable watching the football in front of the big screen where we sat and relaxed for the rest of the evening.  We were pleased with ourselves for finally making a bit more progress as Crossharbour is now complete although displeasing for me as our inactivity gives me very little else to write about.

Pepper Saint Ontiod Ratings

Facilities – 4

Atmosphere – 3

Cost – 3

Entertainment – 3.5

Selection – 3.5


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