London – Westminster (Borough of) – Victoria (Paddington)

This is part of my continued meander around Good Beer Guide pubs and it’s located a relatively short walk away from Paddington railway station. It is named, as so many things are, after Queen Victoria and it might have opened on the same day as she was born. But this might be a myth, but it’s what CAMRA say might be true….

The inside of the pub, which is listed on the CAMRA’s list of nationally important historic interiors. Much of what remains is mid-Victorian or inspired from the period, with the pub having avoided the modernisation that so many other locations have suffered from.

The pub didn’t have any dark beer options, for which the staff member apologised and explained they weren’t busy enough to get the throughput that they’d need at the moment. So, I settled for half a pint of Fuller’s London Pride and some Mini Cheddars. The drink was as good a pint of London Pride as I’ve had, but it was just a little disappointing this was as exciting as it got.

The service though was marvellous, engaging and helpful, with the staff being friendly and polite. It was clear that most of the customers were locals, but the pub still seemed to be offering a warm welcome to all. I think that the staff member who served me was actually the operator and if so, they’ve been here for over fifteen years. Fuller’s do perhaps need to take off their web-site though that this was their pub of the year in 2007 and 2009, there’s a limited amount that customers can do with that information given it is now ten years out of date.

As an aside, CAMRA notes that Charles Dickens might have written some of his works here and, in 1966, David Bowie hosted a gig here. Certainly, an interesting pub and it justifies its place in the Good Beer Guide, but hopefully, they can return to a wider selection of drinks as things get busier again. The pub is well-reviewed (and the owner takes great care in responding to feedback which I like) and they were also taking trace and trace seriously, with everything seeming to be managed in a professional manner. All rather lovely and a comfortable location to have a drink or two.