Friday, 19 August 2011

The Rake, Southbank 15/20*

Location: In Borough Market, Near Beer Wharf

Visit: Wednesday after work

To Note? Best avoided if raining…and in winter

Ambiance 4/5
Design 2/5
Drinks 5/5
Staff 4/5

Extra LBS rating: They can get a * for being the first bar to stock the nectar that is BrewDog

Broken your leg? Wearing killer heels? Prefer a glass of chilled Chardonnay? Cocktail diva? All several reasons not to visit The Rake, and leave it to those who will really enjoy this little gem of a bar.

First thing you should know is that there are only two tables in The Rake. At least I think so as I have never been lucky enough to claim one; everything else happens outside. So if you have an aversion to standing this may not be the place for you. There are wooden benches running the length of the outside area with a mix of garden furniture dispersed throughout and still never enough space. The up-side is that none of this furniture is overly comfortable, and it gets nippy, so chances are someone will vacate a table without you waiting too long.

So it’s outside, with Men’s toilets being the ones on offer to the whole of Borough Market and one woman’s/disabled offering, there is a lack of seating and I am not sure I ever remember hearing music…”Why go?” I hear you clamour.


Lots of beer. You just need to see their daily “what’s on the bar” tweets to know these guys are serious. And more than happy to help you make that choice as long as you do not rock up saying you love Stella, what have they got like Stella? In fact they would probably be more than happy to educate your poor man’s palate anyway. So you stand outside with your never-seen-before beer and you just enjoy being there. There is always a convivial atmosphere, squidging up on the bench for one more, perching on chair arms and huddling for warmth.

Perhaps this is a marmite bar – bit like the aforementioned BrewDog beer – and I am imposing my rose-tinted glasses to it, but I like it. And I hope you do too.

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