A London Miscellany: Borough

A South Bank ganglion. Tourists crawl out of London Bridge station, suits shuttle over the river, Jeremy and Jocasta clutter up the market. Beer lovers seek history at the George, ticks at the Market Porter, a damn fine pint of Harvey's Best at the Royal Oak. And a slice of madness at The Rake.

It still seems improbable. An ex-greasy spoon café at the back-end of a mostly-weekend market riddled with railway arches. More space out on the terrace than inside the bar. But there could be three reasons why this place attracts a better class of barfly, beer ticker and boorish toper.

It could be the beers; cask from the cream of contemporary British brewing: Thornbridge, Summer Wine, Otley, Harviestoun, Fyne. Or kegs by the likes of Stone, Ommegang, Chimay, Brewdog. Bottles from all points of the compass.

Or maybe it's the ebullient manager, Glyn 'Womble' Roberts. Runs a tight ship, knows how to keep a good beer and has a banter bank permanently in credit.

Perhaps it's the atmosphere which, just for once, is part-written on the walls. The far side of the bar has been signed by passing brewers and reads like an A-Z of brewing. And so there's always a chance that you'll bump into a Sharpie-wielding brewer or two. Like this:

Or this:

One thing is for certain. If you're in Borough and think you're having a normal day, go to The Rake. Your sense of world-class abnormality will be swiftly restored.

Props to Summer Wine Andy who's signing the wall and to Summer Wine James & Glyn 'Womble' Roberts for donning the ginger merkin. Especially as you know where it's been...