Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
The fifth stop of the day, a warm Saturday that had BAs RichLightWeight, RobBeer, Mr & MrsBeeryMatt and some foreigner called TheLongBeachBum tackle a few London boozers. Darkness had fallen as we all left the Rake to head out to the nearby Royal Oak, not much of a walk but a nice chance to stretch the legs as a light drizzle fell.
The Royal Oak is the only Tied House in London for Sussex Brewer, Harveys of Lewes. It has a gorgeously attractive exterior which screams classic Victorian London Pub from all angles. The corner location seems to add to the charm, and certainly lends character to the interior thanks to the placement of the entrance. A three storey brick building which oozes class and Georgian architecture, it is hard not to be impressed by the exterior presentation of this gem. The lower floor is accentuated with large windows which have all their wooden frames painted in white. The wooden doors are also painted white with black highlighting which seems to complement the dark black signs with their golden lettering which run around the ground floor. A swinging Pub sign, flag poles & an old style street lamp hang from the outside, all these polish off the presentation to perfection.
The entrance itself has a wind-catcher, opening up into an interior chamber of all wooden construction which offers the drinker a choice of two rooms. To the left (our initial choice) the back room opens up with many tables & chairs which lend a cozy feel. The back room is where the Toilets are located; check out the quality Vernon Tutbury Sinks in the Gents. To the right (our revised decision for seating after initially heading into the back room) the main front room has a more open floor plan. In the main front room, lots of bench seating around the exterior walls, & underneath the expansive windows, is fronted by large tables. Wooden floors & lots of wooden fittings are complemented with period fittings & décor. Along with the entrance, the beautiful high backed stand alone Bar in the centre splits the two rooms, yet easily serves both areas with good visibility.
The beer range is very healthy. Harveys is an independent brewer dating from 1790, so seeing a range of their Real Ales on offer are always a treat, especially in London. I spied 5 Handpumps, one Guest & four Harveys brews - XX Mild, Pale Ale, Best Bitter plus the Seasonal Old Ale on the wickets during my visit, I tackled a lovely Pint of the XX Mild. Many bottles including Westons Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy too!
It seems that they serve food quite late here, well late for the UK, so when one of Mr & MrsBeeryMatts friends recommended that we eat here; we all went along for the ride. The Menu is rather good, classic English Pub Grub served at very good prices. I took the advice of the locals and went for the Egg, Chips & Ham .oh my what a great choice that was!! Thick cut home made Chips, a perfectly fried Egg with a lovely runny yolk & two massive thick slices of fresh ham. No processed food here, it all has a home made feel & the whole plate of fare was swiftly dispatched. The prices are very good too.
I have to mention the Service. When we first got in here, we sat in the far back room, and as we started to order food, RobBeer spied a larger table in the other adjoining room so we moved whilst we all ordered food & beer individually. In most places this may have caused confusion & mixed orders, but not here. The two women behind the bar were superb, not only putting up with our relocation & individual orders but doing it very professionally, with a smile & despite our best efforts to complicate matters, getting it all 100% correct.
The Royal Oak was London CAMRAs Pub of the Year in 2003 & it picked up the SPBW London Pub of the Year at the same time. This Award Winning establishment has a real back to basics feel; Great Beer, Great Food, Great Atmosphere, Great Service & all at Great Prices it really is that simple but it works immensely well. I dearly love this Pub & I cannot speak highly enough of the warmth & hospitality which was second to none, the gorgeous food, the Harveys Ales on top form & best of all, the assembled BA Company. The next time I come back here it will be for more than the one beer.
Last Visit: Saturday 28th October, 2006.
11-05-2006 02:18:31 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
4.55/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5 | $$
My wife and I visited this place on a Sunday evening while recently in London.
While the interior is basic, it is very pleasantly worn and warm and inviting. The pub is sort of separated into two halves by the bar, making it necessary to go out into the entryway to access the other side of the pub. Not a problem, just an observation.
This is a Harvey's tied house, so all of the beers were theirs. There was a nice sized selection of cask ales (8-10) with some other options as well (2-3 ciders for instance). I was very pleased to (finally) find a dark mild on cask after looking for 4 days all over London.
Being Sunday evening we ordered "Sunday Roast" and enjoyed a couple of very very good meals. We also enjoyed chatting with the friendly pub-goers sitting around us.
Overall this is a wonderful old, warm and friendly pub with great food and a large, quality beer selection. A London must-visit in my opinion.
11-15-2013 20:07:20 | More by spointon
United Kingdom (England)
3.94/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a 'good honest boozer' as my father would say: meaning it is a basic drinking mans pub without frills or fancy trimmings.
A short walk from the delights of Borough Market, this corner pub is a true throw-back to the pre lager bright light bars which now haunt some parts of London. Harvey's (the brewery owners of the pub) have just left it alone, because that is what their customers want (plus it costs nothing if you don't alter anything).
Full selection of Harvey's excellent beers, all on cask. My wife and I tried four different ones between us and all were in good condition and served with a smile. The pub was fairly empty on the Thursday afternoon in late Feb 2011 we visited. I mentioned earlier about no trimmings etc, but we did notice that some dusty Christmas decorations were still hanging around, made us chuckle a little.
The actual pub is split into two rooms, with a small area containing a serving hatch inbetween them. All areas are served by the same central bar which is mostly open, allowing you to see the other room no matter which one you're in.
Well worth the walk and finding, especially if you like Harvey's beers like I do.
03-11-2011 12:48:39 | More by BlackHaddock
United Kingdom (England)
4.22/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visited the Royal Oak on a Sunday Lunchtime and the pub was fairly busy with several tables reserved, however the friendly bar man offered us a table and we made ourselves at home, which was very easy given the friendliness of the pub. The pub is located off Borough High St and is an easy walk from London Bridge station and Tower Bridge. I had Harvey's Sussex Pale which was excellent and the Sunday Roast was superb - worth a trip to London for! Prices are reasonable for London. an excellent pub with a local community feel, excellent beer and food!
04-21-2010 08:20:46 | More by Clembo1957
3.9/5 rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Harvey's makes a great bitter. This was my thinking after ingesting their Sussex Best at the White Horse, after which I learned that some pub near the Borough Tube station had a few handles dedicated to the beers of Harvey.
They did. The mild, the porter, old ale, pale, and Armada, a hoppy pale. The pub was wrought entirely from wood. With English pubs this is a recurring theme.
Sunday roast was ordered - stuffed venison ("inverted sausage" as my friend called it) and a vegetable and Stilton pie. The venison was good but the pie was like congealed minestrone soup.
At least it threw into sharp relief the beer, which was well worth the trip.
04-12-2010 22:43:03 | More by alfrantzell
4.33/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
A few minutes walk from Borough (Northern line), this is a classic pub. Lots of regular looking types, good amount of young crowd, and more than a few CAMRA types as well. No TVs or electronic gambling in sight, lots of wood, nice postcard beer mats, low tables and benches. Big windows too.
Four or five casks with Harveys ales and perhaps three or four kegs with lager/macro stuff for oddballs. Nice full pours too. Staff doesn't really know much but the service is fantastic. Pints are £2.60-£3.00 for the Harveys stuff. In all honesty great prices for what you get.
Food is good and great value. Big double decker sandwiches - I have had both the roast beef and the salt beef - salt beef is superb for the adventurous. Cheese plate is gigantic. I've had a cheese plate at other beer bars and this is the most simple but generous plate I've seen. Stilton, bloomy goat, brie, and mature cheddar served, a bit cool though.
I highly recommend.
06-24-2008 21:43:27 | More by Antilochus
3.88/5 rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Had a very good time at this friendly,local pub close to the Borough tube.There were 4 Harveys cask ales available. I tried the mild(3.0),best bitter(4.0)and armada(4.5), all in good condition. The mild was an all malt,tasty classic.
When you think of the name Royal Oak it conjures up visions of polished brass and wood paneling. Not here.This neighbourhood pub has that old, weathered look with tons of history.The inside is split in two parts with the circular bar coming through the middle.
The pub fare is above average. I had the steak & ale pie served with a side of veggies, as good a pie as you'll get in London. It's worth a visit to the Royal Oak on Tabard St.
05-14-2008 13:44:30 | More by austin
4.44/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$
My good friend John HW inspired me to visit this great pub seeing he talks of it often and I had not ever checked it out despite nine previous trips to London. Kind of off the beaten track and buried deep in Southwark it is worth the trouble to go here. Very nice interior and comfortable. Full range of Harvey's ales and they are well kept. Prices are reasonable for London which is a good thing with the dollars poor value in the U.K. I had the mild which was a slight disappointment but Harvey's ales are pretty much can't go wrong beers and this pub is a must visit for lovers of real ale.
03-29-2008 21:47:13 | More by Mark
4.14/5 rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This was a quite nice pub, it's located on a street that doesn't look like it would have a pub. It has Harvey's beers on tap and a few ciders that I assume are associated with Harvey's. The place is kind of small, but it has a really nice atmosphere. It's quiet, no music, and I think I was the youngest person in the pub at 9 o'clock on a Saturday evening. They had the Harvey's Porter, Old Ale, Bitter, Pale Ale, and Best Bitter on tap. They had one special one that I never got around to trying, but all around good selection for any type of drinking. I don't recall seeing any macro beers on tap; however, I do remember seeing some spirits.
This pub is great for a evening with a few friends to relax and have some solid brews.
I didn't have any food, but it smelled wonderful.
Highly recommended pub, definitely a pub I'll make my way to again.
03-21-2008 12:38:06 | More by swizzlenuts
Royal Oak in London, United Kingdom (England)
93 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.