London – Sutton Arms

This pub, chosen by Nathan on our meander to London Liverpool Street railway station, felt like what might be called a traditional London boozer, although that’s not a word that I frequently find the need to use. Carpeted, old-fashioned and entirely indifferent to modern design trends, it ensured that it maintained its authenticity. What the pub did offer was an excellent array of real ale, including a couple of dark beer options from Burnt Mill, a small brewery near to Stowmarket.

Excuse my crude editing here, but the lady was sitting in front of the list of beers and I was keen to take a photo of them to remind me of what there was available. In terms of the welcome, this was authentic and unforced, with a warm atmosphere and an unhurried ambience which isn’t always achieved in London. The customers were varied in all manner of ways, primarily including what appeared to be a mix of locals and visitors which is often a positive sign.

CAMRA helpfully have the background on this pub, noting that it’s a former Whitbread outlet which is now a freehouse, as well as mentioning that the name is from Thomas Sutton, who founded nearby Charterhouse many centuries ago. The pub is closed on weekends and although I’m sure there’s a good reason for this, I’m not sure what it is. Anyway, I can see why this is a CAMRA favourite, although not so much that it has reached the Good Beer Guide. All I can say to that is the standards in this area must be particularly high for a pub like this not to be included.

The pub serves food, which seems to be of a decent quality from the reviews, but it hasn’t gone done the road of being a gastropub, a route which has been so heavily overdone. This meant that drinkers knew that they were welcome, the Sutton Arms remains as a pub which is all about the beer, which makes it all rather lovely.