2011: Year of filth and golden glory

PubSpy awards the best and worst pubs of the year

PubSpy awards the best and worst pubs of the year

First published in PubSpy by

As the year comes to an end, PubSpy announces the winners of the coveted Golden Pint and the infamous Grotty Toilet awards.

WINNER

News Shopper: The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich

READERS passing through historic Greenwich town centre this week would be advised to cover their ears or be deafened by the sound of rapturous applause directed at The Gipsy Moth pub.

The Grade I listed boozer, spitting distance from the iconic Cutty Sark in Greenwich Church Street, will be cracking open an extra bottle of bubbly this New Year to celebrate winning the Golden Pint award for being so bloody good I was forced to break the habit of a lifetime and give it four or five stars in every category except price.

Well, we are nosediving into another recession and £4.30 for a pint of Hoegaarden may be in line with inflation but my wallet seems nothing but deflated lately.

Poky from the outside, but spacious inside, a small front bar leads into a circular lounge area, bright conservatory and beer garden with palms, bamboo and wicker chairs.

Decked out like the Moulin Rouge meets the Little Mermaid, its mish-mash of Boho chic and traditional comforts results in a charming and down to earth place to unwind with a pint and a delicious dish from its imaginative menu.

If any concentration is required, it’s for the riddle chalked on the blackboard, but you’ll be too busy choosing from the plethora of lagers and ales on tap to have time to solve it.

There’s the usual Doom Bar, Stella and Carling range but also rarer fruit-flavoured lagers and continental beer, including Fruli and Leffe.

Top marks also went to the always attentive and friendly staff.

It’s no surprise, therefore, I was like a moth to a flame at this nautical but nice pub.

LOSER

News Shopper: The Northbrook, Burnt Ash Road, Lee

YOU don’t have to be a super sleuth to work out The Northbrook is definitely not the sort of establishment which serves dainty cocktails and delicate crudites.

Even from the outside this boozer in Burnt Ash Road, Lee, looked like something the cat coughed up.

Faded to oblivion, with only the ghostly silhouette of a man’s face remaining, the pub’s name sign hanging over the entrance had seen better days.

But its mortar-shelled exterior was a precursor to more scenes of apocalyptic horror.

The only feature is this pub which didn’t need sanitising when I visited was the spotless loo.

Nevertheless, it still deserves to receive the dubious honour of winning my Grotty Toilet award for its general stench of death and decay.

It might have been easier to stomach if there was a decent drink selection, but the bar was barer than the Bank of England’s coffers, with just lager on tap and the only ale being bottled Newcastle Brown.

With its worn, broken benches, ripped upholstery and smoke stained, peeling wallpaper, marked with the eerie shadows of where pictures used to hang, The Northbrook is a thoroughly depressing dive which had me swinging between thoughts of suicide and violence — preferably directed at the boozer itself.

The barman was suitably dressed in a worn, stained T-shirt but was friendly enough.

Despite the promise of cheap booze, unless you are from the demolition squad it’s hard to think of any good reason why you would spend any more time here than it takes to have a slash.

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Comments (7)

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4:19pm Wed 28 Dec 11

Pauloflee says...

Suggest you revisit the north brook. It is nothing as you describe, been refurbished, good beers on offer and not a tatty seat in sight, well worth a visit and a feature in your column. It is good to see an old pub being reborn rather than closed down
Suggest you revisit the north brook. It is nothing as you describe, been refurbished, good beers on offer and not a tatty seat in sight, well worth a visit and a feature in your column. It is good to see an old pub being reborn rather than closed down Pauloflee
  • Score: 0

10:01am Thu 29 Dec 11

No To 70M says...

Pubspy takes a photo of a pub under some kind of decoration/renovatio
n then slates it for being grotty! lol and what is this thing about checking out the toilets of every pub? Mmm
Pubspy takes a photo of a pub under some kind of decoration/renovatio n then slates it for being grotty! lol and what is this thing about checking out the toilets of every pub? Mmm No To 70M
  • Score: -1

11:59am Thu 29 Dec 11

goldenbroomboy says...

Obviously Pubspy has not been to the Plough and Harrow, Welling, this year.

Mind you, I don't blame him.
Obviously Pubspy has not been to the Plough and Harrow, Welling, this year. Mind you, I don't blame him. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Thu 29 Dec 11

Fizzy says...

The Northbrook was indeed worthy (if that is the right word) of the award ... but it has now been completely renovated and the reborn Lord Northbrook deserves another visit from PubSpy to see the quite amazing transformation.
The Northbrook was indeed worthy (if that is the right word) of the award ... but it has now been completely renovated and the reborn Lord Northbrook deserves another visit from PubSpy to see the quite amazing transformation. Fizzy
  • Score: 0

9:53am Sat 31 Dec 11

bible scoffer says...

...so what does the 'winning' pub get then ? a cheque for £500 would be useful... but seeing as we are talking about the pub-spy it will probably be nothing!! what is the point of this exercise ? surely 'pub-spy' should just retire away into some cavenous countryside now!! rofl!!
...so what does the 'winning' pub get then ? a cheque for £500 would be useful... but seeing as we are talking about the pub-spy it will probably be nothing!! what is the point of this exercise ? surely 'pub-spy' should just retire away into some cavenous countryside now!! rofl!! bible scoffer
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Sun 1 Jan 12

rojo174 says...

What are you, a closet poof or just a nosey toilet sniffer?
What are you, a closet poof or just a nosey toilet sniffer? rojo174
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Tue 3 Jan 12

ianc9139 says...

Sorry, Can't take Pubspy seriously!!!
Sorry, Can't take Pubspy seriously!!! ianc9139
  • Score: 0

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