The Rake

Not Rated.
The RakeThe Rake
BA SCORE
89
very good

30 Ratings
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: n/a
Taps: 10
Bottles: 120
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

14A Winchester Walk
London, SE1 9AG
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 20 7407 0557

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rakebar

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: wl0307 on 09-23-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FLima:
Photo of FLima
1.95/5  rDev -50.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

Not really a big bottle selection, less than what I have at home, in total seem to be just two small refrigerators. On the other hand, Utobeer, the beer stall from the same owners in the Borough market nearby has one of the best selections in London.
I found this pub too crowded, too small and expensive compared to other top notch craft beer places such as The Cask, Craft Beer Co, and Brewdog. Here I got the worst service in the UK, the young lady was really rude and not knowledgeable (not the case for Utobeer). The fork I got was so dirty I could even taste food on it if I wanted. By the way just snacks and 1 or 2 selections of cold food is available here. One of the bottles I was willing to buy was expired already.

No beer menu is available as we see now elsewhere. Craft beer scene in London has evolved and they stayed behind, in prices, service, quality, etc...

More User Reviews:
Photo of windypete
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of RedDieselBrewing
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of jonb5
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of atpca
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of spointon
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

My wife and I stopped in at the Rake for a few beers while on a recent trip to London. It is located conveniently close to Borough Market and several other wonderful pubs.

First off, this place doesn't have a "traditional" English pub look/feel. It is bright, painted mostly white (albeit with graffiti'd walls) and it is quite small. However, it has an absolutely huge bottled beer selection, supplemented by 8-10 cask ales. What makes the Rake pretty cool is that they don't attempt to be overly traditional in their beer selections, so they offer a lot of beers that are being brewed by British breweries that push the envelope of ingredients and style guidelines. In other words, you can get very brightly hoppy beers, beers with American hops, and beers that use unique ingredients not normally found in traditional English cask ales. Fun, fun, fun!

Prices were fair. The bartender was extremely knowledgeable about all things craft beer, and held his own in our conversation about brewing and American craft beer.

This is a great little place where you can find some very interesting beers. Highly recommended!

Photo of tbeckett
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of sleazo
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Visited a number of times on a 10 day trip to London as it was near my friends house.

The Rake is a very tiny bar with a nice sized patio and space to drink in the adjacent car port. The bar itself is extremely small but there is enough room on the patio to give you a nice sense of space. Located just outside of Borough Market there is a nice view of the Shard and Southwark Cathedral. On a nice warm summer day it is a pretty pleasurable place to have a beer. In the winter it appears they have heatlamps and a jumbrella to keep things warm and dry.

Beerwise I consistently found good things to drink. Three cask offerings available each day including some Oakham and Darkstar beers. There are also 4 draught beers which are also well chosen from around the UK and some interesting imports. Since I was visting I stuck with ones I could not get at home but if I lived here I would appreciate the choice. Some of the rarer beers get a little pricey but they are just that, rare. Very well maintened lines and excellent selection. Also being associated with a top notch bottle shop, the coolers are well stocked with a well curated selection.

I think they only sell crisps but the Borough Market is right there so there are a lot of choices.

Definitely recommended for locals and tourists alike.

Photo of Lare453
4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4

A small, but fun, nice outdoor patio, inside is very small, but very English. Tis place is super super fun to be at.

Q awesome, the beer is very fresh, have a small bottle selection but its all good stuff.

S the service is awesome, two bar tenders, that really know their shit. Able to recommend good stuff and they know all about what they have.

S two six foot coolers filled, not a huge selection but what they have is very good. 7 taps and two or three casks with local stuff while I was there. But a lot of it is amazing one offs.

V not expensive for London but may shock people form the us with the exchange rate right now.

Photo of Zive
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited this place during a four month stay in London. The selection was pleasantly broad, and included many American Beers that proved hard to find in the UK otherwise (i.e. a few by Sierra Nevada, Green Flash, Goose Island, Anchor Brewing, Bear Republic, et. al.
There were only a handful of brews (most of them from the U.K.) on tap, but again, the bottle selection was impressive. Even on a Tuesday in the fall seating was limited, both inside the tap-room and outside.
The redeeming qualities of this pub are the helpfulness and hospitality of the staff, and the amusing scribblings of the many brewmasters who have visited and endorsed this "hole-in-the-wall".

Photo of flyingpig
2.9/5  rDev -26.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

Very expensive pub and not one I'd go to again unless I was sure it was empty. It was basically a cupboard with a bar in it and a beer garden attached but you couldn't even find a place to stand never mind sit. Unimpressed despite the huge bottle selection, but to be honest just head to some other craft beer pubs instead. There was a market area that the pub had took over as well but that's basically just standing with a carryout in the street, not a pub. Nice selection but just too crowded and expensive, even by London standards.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Ok, so beer geeks told me to hit The Rake while in town. While i am glad I did, it felt more like an American beer bar vs. being in London. In fact, locally their claim to fame is all the American Craft they have. On the wall all of hte American brewers sign their names. (Garret Oliver, Sam C., etc)
I suppose for Brits this is cool as the American craft scene explodes. For me, I wanted to London experience. Please dont take these as negative comments! The service was excellent and friendly. They did have seval things on cask that were wonderful and there was a little urban beer porch/garden.

My advice is to stop here for a quick one and then head around the corner to The Market Porter for the real London experience. Also, this this neighborhood on a thurs-Sat and hit the Borough Market. Its totally awesome. Outside market with all sorts of street food

Photo of Ruds
4/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

The Rake is ... well the Rake !

It's not big, it's not the place to go for a cosy sit down and relaxing evening, you simply hit it running, put a couple of quality beers down you in 45 minutes and move on

Good selection and a bit pricey in places, but there's always something to hold my interest on tap or in the fridge

It's in a trendy are of London, so no point coming here and harping on about your local beer prices - get over it!

On my last visit, in the spring, I had Schlenkerla Rauch on keg at around £1 cheaper than you could pay for it in a bottle in other London pubs!

Photo of alfrantzell
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

After wending our way through the Borough Market in Southwark, ImperialStoat and I infested the Rake.

It's a small pub. Only eight or so beers available on draft and cask, but all well-selected. They even had Arrogant Bastard on-tap during our visit. Sitting indoors was an impossibility so we scavenged seats in the large patio instead. Its proximity to the Borough Market is a double-edged sword. It was easy enough for us to stumble in, but everyone else seemed to have had the same idea.

Being sick and dehydrated, I ordered a glass of water with each pint of beer. The second had lipstick on it. Evidently I had an admirer.

Photo of thepeter
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Been to the Rake Many times but for whatever reason never reviewed it. Very small bar with a nice little beer garden and then pleanty of room just outside by Borough Market. Inside can get quite crowded adn stuffy so I usually go outside to mingle. the bar itself is nice. 3 casks (plus the occational extra downstairs) and 4 or 5 taps all always have quality beers on and sometimes exceptional beers on offer. Service is good, the bartenders all seem to know what they are talking about and will offer help or a sample if asked. The bottle selection is mostly Belgian and American, with some British and German to round it out. Not sure about the food, I once had some stew there but not sure if it was on offer or just a friendly gesture from the bartender. . .it was OK. They have crisps and nuts behind the bar though if you are hungry. It is one of the more expensive pubs in London, But I have neve rleft disappointed and always feel as though I got what I paid for. A must go for any Craft Beer lover in London.

Photo of groswhippet
3.8/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

After a 10-day tour of Scotland + Liverpool, The Rake was a godsend. Had a lovely vacation and would return anytime but... not for the beer. Tried over 15 cask ales (excluding Tennent's, UK's version of the blond, insipid). All were OK, good for an aperitif, especially on vacation, but not one was worthy of seconds. All tasted very similarly bland. Mind you, I was sure that flavorful UK beers exist but I did not explore. But I was OK with that. I like to get the pulse of what is readily available.

Two days before leaving, I finally ended up at The Rake thanks to some research I did on Beer Advocate (thank you BA !) and to a suggestion from the people at BrewDog (sadly, they were out of BrewDog). When I saw the taps, I knew it would be, at least, a great finale. Bière du Château from Belgium, Stone Levitation and Great Divide Hercules Double IPA ! My eyes then settled on the fridge... Oh yeah ! When you see Cantillon bottles, you know you're in the right place. Could not resist the Bière du Château to start (never had it on tap) and my daugter had the Freedom English Stout which was very nice and roasted so it was our first flavorful UK beer. Then I had the Hook Norton Double Stout which was also very good. Bought some sausage, cheese and bread from the Borough Market next door which made for a wonderful lunch time on the terrace.

I must admit finding it peculiar and a little unfair really to read negative comments having to do with the lack of selection including for american brews. Yes, I have seen better selection but I view this more as the exception and unexpected surprise. I don't expect a 1,000-bottle selection every time. These establishments are worthy of an A+ rating but The Rake certainly merits a B+. I was gonna be there once for a couple of pints anyway. American brews ? Love them ! But when I'm in England, I want to sample english and scottish beers ! But a list to consult would be nice. Staff was friendly and helpful.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.8/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Don't really get the fuss over this place.

Having come straight from Utobeer (same owners) I was disappointed to see only a fraction of the bottles on display, and just one American on tap. Maybe there were more, but the coolers are not easy to see. A beer menu, perhaps...?

It's sparse and tiny with hardwood floors, the staff were not rude but also didn't offer help, there's a covered beer garden with an eclectic mix of tourists and crusties.

Had a great pint of Dark Star, but in spite of the beer mecca reputation, I just didn't want to hang around.

Photo of DerGoerzer
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I strongly advise you not to visit this place.

Selection, as previously said, is pretty impressive (although keep in mind you won't find "everything").

The place is very small, which in itself is neither a pro or a con. Tends to get crowded, but not as much as the nearby Bourough Market.

Not all of the staff is helpful and expert about beers. My request to try an Imperial Stout similar to the Great Divide ones (which they don't have) resulted in a void look, as if I was an alien speaking sumeric.

I meant to get two beers, but I've been asked to pay the first right away. Thanks god for this!
A normal 12oz bottle of Left Hand's Imperial Stout costed me: 7.8 pounds. Yes: SEVEN POUNDS AND EIGHT PENCE.

I asked to repeat the price, I was sure I got it wrong. No way, I had to pay this ridiculous sum of money (beer was already opened anyway).
I was going to laugh. A classic theft, London-style, to make the rich guys who buy it sure it's a "premium beer".

But...
I usually paid for the same beer 4.5 euro back in Italy, and for example I can buy Flying Dog's Imperial Porter in supermarket for 2.5 pounds.

Great Divide is an american brewery, not italian, so I wonder why I could pay almost half in my isolated city, and almost 8 pounds in London (definitely closer to any importer HQ).

As a side note, my beer was quickly poured in the glass, the bottle discarded. A quality beer-pub always gives you the bottle (to check contents and description) and... pouring all at once? No way. You should keep a smaller quantity inside the bottle, to add it later in order to revive the flavour.

Obviously, I didn't get a second beer.

Avoid this place my friends, avoide. If you are stubborn enough to get *that* beer, just order from Beers of Europe or Beer Merchants online. Fast delivery and reasonable prices.

Don't feed the thieves!

Photo of DerBayer
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This has the second biggest beer selection in London afetr the Sloany Pony or White Horse in PArsons Green as some call it.

150 beers + !!! Get that everyone - I dare you to try them. The bar staff are frienndly and chatty and actually KNOW BEER STYLES. They do some 6-8 on tab and even had Aventinus EISBOCK on tab once - thats 12% of mental Malt and Wheat Grenade goodness on tab.

They do not serve food but you can get amazing food stuff in Borough market where it is situated.

It s always busy but I ve NEVER seen it crowded so if you re in London it s a MUST!

Photo of Goldorak
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A Beer lover's paradise just south of London Bridge. right next to the market, behind the cathedral.

Split in two parts, the actual pub and the outside patio, we sat in the latter as it was nice out. A few casks were available, incliding the Brew Dog IPA which was good, but the real star of the show here is the bottled selection. I didn't really go for any of them because there were a lot of Belgian ans US brews, most of whom I've had before. But for locals, this place is Ali Baba's cavern. The pints I had here were fresh and somewhat reasonably priced for London standards.

A true gem for locals and foregners alike.

Photo of PartyBear
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great little bar. Hidden just away from the busy Borough Market, the kind of place you stumble across when you are badly lost.

The bar itself is very small, however there is a garden area next to it that makes the space slightly bigger but it's still somewhat "cozy" when it get busy, and it does get busy. You find that the custom spills out into a car park next door in a desperate attempt to find room.

The size of the bar is made up for by the substantial size of the beer selection. It is always changing too, so every time you go back you are faced with the same tough decisions of what to drink from the vast array.

If you have never been, make an effort to seek this place out. You can also combine it with a visit to Utobeer, the beer shop in Borough Market that actually runs the bar.

Photo of SaintNathaniel
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Great place with an outstanding selection of beers. London has a pub on every corner, and most of them all serve the same macros: Fosters, Stella, Peroni, Heinenken, etc, so this small, off-the-beaten-path oasis, is a rare find in this city. Their selection is most noted for its Belgians, Germans, and American crafts (Sierra Nevada, Stone, Anchor, etc). Although its small inside, if the weathers nice, the patio is a great place to enjoy a beer. I had a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine on draught last time I was there and a Stone Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard before that. London severely lacks in quality beer establishments, and The Rake is doing its part to correct that...

Photo of tendermorsel
4.66/5  rDev +17.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is great. Kind of small and pretty crowded once they closed the patio.

Wonderful selection on German English Belgian and American beers. 8 taps and a ton of different bottles. I had a Goulden Caroluos Christmas on tap. They also had a good selection of Brewdog beers.

I only had one pint but I saw some Stone (collaboration!) Gardin Fero, various Cantillon, rauchbeer, and various English micro brews.

My buddy said that it was pretty expensive for London but at £ 3 a pint I didn't feel that.

Highly recommended if in London. I know I will make sure to go hear again while I am in London.

Photo of futurefjp
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Best place I found in my brief stay in London this year(2008) so maybe I ain't been around enough? Oh hell I don't care...Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic-Bio was on tap(an awesome beer) recently and every day it changes those on tap. A must for any fan of beer whose looking around Borough Market on a Thursday, a Friday or a Saturday.

The venue is very small so its a bit hard to get served if you're the desperate type, but if you're a regular this doesn't really happen...its quite popular with the suited mob post 5pm most weekdays - which is a shame.

I will return soon...

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This is a very small pub, but has a large selection of beers. It ranges from US to Estonia. The staff can either be incredibly helpful or mildly helpful, which depends on how new they are and if what you are looking for falls into what they know best. The styles range from Imperial Stouts to Lagers with a few special brews (which can be very expensive). The place can get really busy, so I recommend going there during the day to have a nice relaxing pint or bottle. I always went around 2-3 pm on a Saturday and it was very laid back and nice. The deck is nice to sit, relax, and read.

The pub only has beers that brewed in the country of origin, so nothing macro here.

PS: I am employed at the pub, but this review is written from my memories of when I used to visit it. I tried to be as fair as possible, but take the review for what it's worth.

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The Rake in London, United Kingdom (England)
89 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.