Tag Archives: Imperial War Museum

The Tankard

This pub used to be the Grand Union, and before that it was Bar Room Bar, but is now under new ownership – The Draft House – and has reverted to its original 1825 name of The Tankard – bravo.

The Tankard exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

It was always a great site – at the junction of Brook Drive and Kennington Road, the other side of Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park from The Three Stags, which is invariably busy. Bar Room Bar’s stock-in-trade was opening late night on weekends (rather unusual up this end of Kennington), and the later it got, the dodgier the crowd got. But its greatest asset has always been its terrace, once used as a viewing platform for the curious to observe patients in the grounds of the original “Bedlam” next door, now the Imperial War Museum. And, in common with every other old pub in Kennington, Charlie Chaplin and his dad used to hang out there.

So what have Draft House done with it? Well, for one they’ve built roofing on the terrace – great for a summer’s day, even if rain is threatened:

The Tankard roof terrace - kenningtonrunoff.com

Downstairs the layout is the same but there’s lots of pale wood and bright red paint:

The Tankard main room - kenningtonrunoff.com

They have a big selection of craft beer in bottles and on tap, the latter of which can be bought in paddles (a little flat when we tried their three bitters – teething troubles no doubt – they’d only just opened after a super quick refurb):

Beer paddle at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

And for the teetotallers they do Brewdog’s Nanny State:

Brewdog Nanny State at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

We’d described the food as “comfort gastro”, heavy on grease, salt and beige colouring. This was beer battered cod and chips (you can see the salt):

Beer battered cod, fat chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

This was buffalo cauliflower (go easy on the Frank’s hot sauce):

Buffalo cauliflower and Frank's Hot Sauce at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

Chicken schnitzel – no complaints here:

Chicken schnitzel, buttered new potatoes and rocket salad at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

They do a good veggie burger with smoked cheddar:

Veggie burger, smoked cheddar and fries at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

We’d like to see them add a few more green items to their menu, but they do do veggie scotch eggs, moist on the inside:

Veggie scotch eggs at The Tankard - kenningtonrunoff.com

As you can see from the above, the pub was packed and noisy when we were there, so we’re optimistic that The Tankard and The Draft House will be in Kennington for a long time to come.

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 10 – Imperial War Museum café

Positives: The food, by Peyton & Byrne, is unusually good for a museum cafeteria. You can sit outside in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth park when the weather is fine.

outside tables at the Imperial War Museum, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Hordes of tourists, especially during school holidays. Often a lengthy queue at lunchtime.

Imperial War Museum cafeteria - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: doesn’t seem to have one yet

Address: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ


Come back next Sunday to see what’s at no. 9.

Three Stags Pizzeria

Since our last visit to The Three Stags, they have converted their upstairs room into an open kitchen dining room with wood fired pizza oven:

Wood fired pizza oven at The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com

The pizza was delicious – the best we’ve had in Kennington. They only do one size – twelve inches – and they make their own dough which is proved for two days “resulting in the most delicious light easy to digest base”. We had buffalo mozzarella and tomato which tasted wonderfully fresh although not cheap at £14.50:

Buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato pizza at The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com

There’s table service and the staff were particularly friendly and helpful. They’ve gone to a bit of trouble with the decor as well, with London-themed wallpaper by Timorous Beasties:

decor at The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com

As befits a pub so close to the Imperial War Museum, they have war memorabilia around their stairs:

Careless Talk Costs Lives sign at The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com

They serve food Monday to Friday 12- 4 and 6 -10, Saturday 12-5 and 6 – 10, Sunday 12-4 and 6-9 and they’re open till midnight except on Sundays (11pm). It’s a good summer pub thanks to all their outside seating, big windows upstairs and the adjacent Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

Here’s our original piece about The Three Stags if you’d like to learn more about their environmental credentials, their beekeeping or their Charlie Chaplin links.

The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com

the new look Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I by closing for refurbishment, briefly reopening, then closing again without much explanation. Anyway, they managed to reopen for good in July, and we finally made it along a couple of weeks ago.

The Imperial War Museum entrance - kenningtonrunoff.com

The cafe has relocated to the Kennington Road side of the building and now has outdoor tables in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth park which is a big improvement.

outside tables at the Imperial War Museum, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park - kenningtonrunoff.com

The food was good too – it’s run by Peyton & Byrne (not Ottolenghi but right up there), and we had a deliciously moist marinated herb fed chicken with slaw for £8.50.

Imperial War Museum cafeteria - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also have a good selection of cakes:

The cake table, Imperial War Museum - kenningtonrunoff.com

We were less impressed with the new look atrium, designed by Foster and Partners, which is slightly less spacious and seemed darker.

The Imperial War Museum Atrium - kenningtonrunoff.com

There are fewer vehicles on the ground floor to get up close and personal with although, thanks to Jeremy Deller, there is the arresting presence of a bombed out civilian’s car from Baghdad:

Bombed wreck of car from Baghdad - kenningtonrunoff.com

Admission to the museum is free but at busy times (most of the time), you’ll be a given a ticket with timed entry for the World War I exhibition, which includes a recreation of a WWI trench. That’s the huge queue in the photo of the atrium above – and one thing you can say for the new look museum, so far it seems to be even more popular than before.

The Londonist have a more detailed review of the museum itself.

Kennington predictions for 2014

An exciting year for North West Kennington with the opening of Damien Hirst’s gallery and the new Buddhist centre in the Beaufoy Institute.

Sally White will dramatically expand their range of food, open in the evenings, and provide mindfulness training for all staff.

Kernel Brewery will open their first pub in the site next to the Old Red Lion.

Waitrose will take over Tesco’s Kennington “superstore”, The People’s Supermarket will take over Tesco on Kennington Park Road, The Super Store on Kennington Lane will take over Tesco on Kennington Road, and no new Tescos will open anywhere in Kennington.

Ace Hotel will open their second London hotel in the former Days Inn on Kennington Road.

The Imperial War Museum will reopen with catering from Ottolenghi.

Lambeth Palace will open to visitors all year round.

Russell Brand will perform at Always Be Comedy.

Dirty Burger will introduce a veggie burger.

The revitalisation of North Kennington will continue with the Elephant & Castle shopping centre being listed, a Curzon cinema replacing the bingo hall, and a bunch of exciting new bars and restaurants moving in on the Brixton Village model (thanks to Oliver Dee for the suggestions).

Florence Welch will launch her guest column for Kennington Runoff by performing Addicted To Love at the Kennington Runoff pop up shop.

The heroic Mr Kennington People On Bikes will be named London’s new Cycling Superczar. His first action in this new role will be to implement fully segregated cycle lanes (with a physical barrier between car and bike) along all Kennington’s main arteries, which then spread out to Hyde Park, the City and beyond. By summer 2014. If they can build a cable car across the Thames in less than a year, then this is but a moment’s work.

LASSCO will realise the decimal point has been in the wrong place all this time and will start selling their beautiful items for one hundredth of the price.

Papier mache elephant price tag, Lassco - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Three Stags – Kennington’s most ethical and Charlie Chaplin-ish pub

Other Kennington pubs boast Charlie Chaplin connections but The Three Stags trumps them all. It has a Chaplin’s Corner where Charlie’s errant father used to drink – Charlie wrote in his autobiography that this is where he saw his dad for the last time. If you can set its morbid history out of your mind then it’s worth securing the table in Chaplin’s Corner on the right in the photo below – it’s enclosed in dark wood and frosted glass for extra privacy.

The Three Stags bar and Charlie Chaplin Corner - kenningtonrunoff.com

We recently visited for the first time since a refit. It’s a good quality gastropub with table service and a selection of real ales, but what marks it out are its ethics. It was rated as a Three Star Sustainability Champion for the second year running this year, meaning it scored highly for sourcing local, seasonal food, focusing on animal welfare, and engaging with the community and the environment. 

Plus they have 50,000 bees living on their roof, surrounded by pots of herbs such as lavender, thyme, basil, mint and sage, and flowers such as calendula, poppies, nasturtiums, cornflower and sedum. Honey can be purchased for a minimum of £20 per jar, all of which goes to fund a charitable project in Bali. Their queen bee is nicknamed Mae West and their drones are named Barack Obama.

The Three Stags raw honey sign - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Three Stags is located at the junction of Kennington Road and Lambeth Road so it’s ideal for a drink or meal before or after visiting the Imperial War Museum, and good for a Sunday roast in winter.

The Three Stags - kenningtonrunoff.com