A plea from the pub-goers of Greenwich (or maybe just me)

Dear Antic Ltd,

I see from a trip to Lewisham that you’re opening a new pub there soon, the Ravensbourne Arms. Good idea – the old place, the Coach and Horses, looked like a right old pit. I’m sure it’ll be a roaring success, like Jam Circus in Brockley, the Royal Albert in New Cross, and your other pubs across south London and beyond.

But we in Greenwich can only look on in envy. Our pubs are largely crap. Between the Greenwich Union and Richard I in the west and the Pelton Arms and Plume of Feathers in the east, central Greenwich is almost bereft of decent boozers. Yes, there’s the wonderful Old Brewery, but the popularity of that shows just how dire the competition is. And there’s almost nowhere good left in SE10 to watch football.

You know Greenwich exists, because you’ve bought some old brewing kit from Meantime. So, please, come and save us from the crap chain pubs, bland and badly-managed boozers, and tourist traps that Greenwich has to endure. In return, we’ll come and drink your beer, eat your food, play your board games and win your quiz nights. And we’ll rave on about you to last orders and beyond, and bring all our friends down.

Imagine how good, say, the Kings Arms would be with you in charge, eh? Or the rotten old Coach and Horses, which contained just two punters and a barman almost rocking with boredom when I walked past the other night. So, please, consider our plea. Come and buy a Greenwich pub. You won’t regret it.

The pub-goers of Greenwich.

PS. You might want to try the Old Brewery‘s 9% Imperial Golden Ale, based on a Lovibonds recipe. It certainly has an effect…


  1. I actually quite like the Hardy and the Gypsy Moth, and I’m a big fan of the Trafalgar (or is that ‘East Greenwich’?).

    While on the subject, it’s a shame the Vanbrugh is slowly dying a death though as that is a fantastic little pub with good food and live sport. It’s not helped at all by staff who like to shut early. Last Saturday for example; 10.30pm, 12-14 people settled in and the two staff decide enough is enough and close the bar, even turning people away as “it’s been dead here since 8pm”.

  2. the problem with central greenwich pubs is they dont have to try because of the amount of tourists, and possibly to a lesser extent, students who go there.
    the spanish galleon is probably the least awful of them – praise indeed. that student one up by the station has the matches on, and it’s bearable.

  3. The pubs in central greenwich are indeed awful and any decent additions would be welcomed. Having said that is there the demand? As you say West Greenwich is pretty well serviced by the Ash and Guildford Arms, the Tolly and Union, whilst the ‘East’ has the Plume, Pelton, Cutty Sark and Vanbrugh. Looks like these people could do a job on the old Prince Albert mind.

  4. I think the old Prince Albert’s main problem is that it’s just too close to pubs that can offer more; it’s quite nice inside, and the beer and service were pretty alright when I was last in.

    It’s the middle of Greenwich, around the market that is most poorly served (in both senses of the term), given the potential demand. East of the centre too many of the pubs are run down, and the apparent demand doesn’t seem to be high enough to justify the sort of cash required.

  5. The difficulty with Greenwich town centre is that most of it is owned by Greenwich Hospital and many of the pubs in central Greenwich (Admiral Hardy; Bar Du Musée; The Coach and Horses; Greenwich Park Bar & Grill; Trafalgar Tavern) are run by the INC group.

    It would be brilliant if Antic ran a pub in Greenwich town centre (agreeing with your assessment of Jam Circus), but it’s probably unlikely due to this monopoly.

  6. Both the Admiral Hardy and the Trafalgar were great pubs at one time (as was the Gypsy Moth). But they’ve plummeted in quality over the last couple of years, especially the Trafalgar, where the last meal I had was rank – even the choice of beers seems to have diminished. The last time I went for a lunchtime drink, the Trafalgar was completely empty – the students that used to frequent it have gone – until a coach party came in. But I can’t see how the coach parties can sustain this once vibrant, beautiful building.

    Equally, you can’t drink now in the front (older, nicer) section of the Bar Du Musée – you have to go in that cheap, cavernous conservatory in the back which again is empty in the week. If Frank Dowland, who owns Inc, is such a business whizz you have to ask – where are the customers?

    The advent of someone who actually cared about their pubs in Greenwich would be a fine thing; the unholy alliance of Greenwich Hospital Estates might make it difficult – but their clientele is surely there for the taking. Maybe the Meantime group could expand once more?

  7. @Paul

    What’s happened to the front of the BDM then? I have lovely memories of sitting there in the good old days drinking rioja…

  8. Can I bang on about Charlton again please? The Angerstein, the Pickwick, the Bugle, the White Swan (as was), the Antigallican, the Royal Oak and the Horse and Groom are all eyesores and brilliant examples of why people would rather drink at home. The Anchor is fine on a sunny day and the Rose of Denmark is a decent pub but it’s on a main road and limited physically. All of those bar the Anchor and the Denmark are threatened with closure in the short-term without investment, imagination and strong management. I’d even frequent a decent wine bar in preference to what we have – if we had one.

  9. If any pub in Greenwich can provide pork pies of the same quality as the Royal Albert’s they can count on my support.

  10. I drank in coach and horses for years as its my local. They have started turning up music around 11.30pm until closing. When I asked the new manager why, and asked how he felt we residents felt, he told he replied, he didn’t care as residents come and go, and licence allowed him to do it! I’m using the Union now.

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