Tag Archives: Antic Pubs

The Elephant & Castle pub

The Elephant & Castle pub in North Kennington has been on quite a journey these last 250 years but we’re confident its present incarnation is the best it has been.

The Elephant & Castle pub - exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

Back in 2015 it had its license revoked after a series of alarming incidents. Then it was occupied by squatters and mooted to become a branch of Foxtons, which would have been the ultimate unwelcome symbol of the scorched earth gentrification of the area. Then it was declared an asset of community value and taken over by Antic Pubs who also run The Old Red Lion, and they’ve done a mighty fine job on it. It’s certainly a symbol of gentrification but a tasteful one that reflects the character of the building and the area. I mean, it has an actual sewage waste pipe exposed beneath the ceiling – how North Kennington is that?

The Elephant & Castle pub - sewage pipe - kenningtonrunoff.com

A lot of love and care has gone into the seventies-inspired interior:

The Elephant & Castle pub - table and decor - kenningtonrunoff.com

They have some good real ales on tap.

The Elephant & Castle pub - interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

The kitchen is now open and the food is a different level to any other pub in the area, somewhat filling the gap left by The Duchy Arms whose menu seems to have gone more lamestream recently.

The Elephant & Castle pub - kitchen - kenningtonrunoff.com

We had a starter of potato, leek and cheddar frittata:

Potato, leek and cheddar frittata at The Elephant & Castle pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Sunday menu has all the expected roasts but also plenty of veggie options including this mushroom, cheddar and parsley stuffed aubergine with trimmings including an excellent Yorkshire pudding:

Mushroom, cheddar and parlsey stuffed aubergine, trimmings at the Elephant & Castle pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

And these English vegetables with goats cheese, almonds and rapeseed oil:

English vegetable and goats cheese, almonds and rapeseed oil at The Elephant & Castle Pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Wolseley would been proud of this breaded chicken schnitzel with fries and lemon & sage butter:

Breaded chicken schnitzel, fries, lemon & sage butter at the Elephant & Castle pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

The beer garden certainly has atmosphere, although it could be London’s least green and most polluted.

The Elephant & Castle pub - beer yard - kenningtonrunoff.com

See here for more on the history of the pub and the area:

history of the Elephant & Castle pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

And if you’re wondering where this pub is, it’s on what was the North Roundabout, now The Bend. Look out for their rather amusing A-boards:

Voted best pub next to a bend sign at The Elephant & Castle pub - kenningtonrunoff.com

Address: 119 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BN.

Telephone 02074038124

The Old Red Lion

If you like your pubs homely but lively, head to the Old Red Lion on Kennington Park Road near Kennington tube. It’s a grade II listed building full of nooks and crannies, with a kitchen serving superior pub grub, a nice beer garden, board games, books and more.

The Old Red Lion exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

Music features prominently. They tend to play nineties indie music, and they once had a guest ale by the band Ellen & The Escapades despite the fact that we and Steve Lamacq may be the only patrons know who Ellen & The Escapades are (they’re good though – check them out).

Here’s a recent selection of real ales. We opted for Cornish Mutiny – if we’d wanted anarchy, we’d have gone to the Dog House:

Old Red Lion drinks - kenningtonrunoff.com

In the conservatory they have a small selection of vinyl and an HMV stereogramme on which to play it. Be warned – keep the volume low or risk hearing damage – it might look like your Grandma’s dresser but this is a seriously powerful piece of kit:

Old Red Lion record player - kenningtonrunoff.com

The conservatory can be hired for private parties at no cost, but be sure to remind them of your booking on the day.

The piano is a new arrival:

Old Red Lion piano - kenningtonrunoff.com

Their monthly events include a quiz, a folk night with jam session, a vintage clothing fair, and a rock ‘n’ roll night.

Old Red Lion events - kenningtonrunoff.com

The bar is two-sided in the eighteenth century style:

Old Red Lion bar - kenningtonrunoff.com

Old Red Lion main room - kenningtonrunoff.com