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Review: Auctioneer, Greenwich
From 13, I was the one friends relied upon to get served in off-licenses and ensure we had enough beer for those cold evenings in the park.
I’m not condoning under-age drinking, believe me.
It would pain me to see a modern day version of the teenage me getting hammered on cheap cider and puking all over themselves on the bus home.
But nearly 15 years have passed since those tragic times and I have learnt to be much more responsible with booze – probably because I’m legally allowed to drink and I somehow seem to have less disposable income these days.
So when my similarly legal friend and I decided to meet up for a nice bottle of red, dinner and a catch-up, I never dreamed I’d have any trouble getting served, especially in a pub full of students.
But that’s exactly what happened when we chose Scream bar Auctioneer in Greenwich for our sophisticated rendezvous.
Most annoyingly, we picked a comfy couch to sit on and spent ages carefully checking out everything on the delicious-sounding menu.
My belly started growling at me impatiently as I struggled to decide between the lamb and mint Bombay Burger served in a naan bread with mango chutney and the healthier vegetarian Thai Noodle Stir Fry.
I forced myself to be good and settled on the noodles, my friend throwing caution to the wind and choosing a juicy burger.
It was all going so well – and then our mouth-watering dreams were snatched cruelly away.
I’d left my friend to guard the lovely couch and went up to order our treats.
I think my crucial error came when I started to have second thoughts about my meal choice and for one second appeared a little too indecisive and unsure.
My eagle-eyed barman clocked this moment of insecurity and stopped in his tracks.
“I’m going to need to see some ID.” He said.
‘Why, how flattering’ I thought, ‘there’s a first time for everything.’
But when I quickly realised I had nothing to prove how distant a memory my 18th is, and a railcard simply doesn’t count, the smile faded from my bothersome fresh face.
“I have to ask everyone who looks younger than 25,” He said, “and you don’t look 25.”
Agreeing to let the supervisor decide my fate, he handed over the responsibility but it only took two seconds to get denied wine once more.
My (younger) friend tried to help by producing her ID but by then all hope was lost.
Despite holding up her driving license she was told she would not be allowed to order booze while I was around.
“OK.” I sighed.
“Can we just order some food and a couple of Cokes?”
“Um,” The barman uttered sheepishly, “No, not without ID.”
The atmosphere all turned very strange and no-one dared to address the enormous pink elephant at the bar.
I went for it: “So, you’re asking us to leave then?”
He simply replied: “Yeah.”
And with that, the gavel had gone down at the Auctioneer and we scrambled into the nearest eatery to stuff our faces.
To be fair, these guys are merely doing their jobs and it is good to know teenagers today will find it harder to harm their livers.
I vowed to return soon, passport in hand, because I am desperate to give that lamb burger a try.
How Auctioneer rates:
DECOR: *** (bright and colourful)
DRINK: *** (lots of spirits, lager and wine on offer – just remember your ID)
PRICE: **** (affordable for students)
ATMOSPHERE: *** (comfortable, casual and relaxed)
STAFF: *** (very cautious but friendly with it)
Address: 217-219 Greenwich High Road, Greenwich, SE10 8NB