In the spirit of LardButty telling it how it really is it’s only fair to let you know that The Draft House(s) lost the *favoured pub* status in 2013. An isolated mishap could have (and would have) been overlooked but – on the few occasions I’ve visited in 2013 – service has been a let-down. It’d be dull to go into too much detail, but just to give you an idea:
i) Jan 2013 @ The Draft House Tower Bridge – poor service + cheeky tip:
Ate food in bar area (not restaurant) one Sunday afternoon. Table service was slow but as we were sitting so close to the bar we ordered our drinks at the bar ourselves. Now, we don’t mind paying £5+ a pint for an interesting real ale, but to add a 16% (yes, 16%) tip on to the drinks we’d got up and fetched ourselves was a little cheeky.
ii) 26 May 2013 @ The Draft House Westbridge – very poor service, ate elsewhere:
Sat in restaurant (mostly empty – it was a sunny day) intending to have a leisurely Sunday dinner here. Ordered snacks (foot long pork scratchings and sth else) while choosing our main Sunday dinner course. Browsed the draft beers in the bar room; placed drinks order at bar; bar staff said to sit down and they’d bring drinks through to our table. At our table, the snacks had arrived (ate them) but the drinks didn’t. Twenty or 30 mins after ordering beers at bar, we returned to bar room to see if they were coming – pints had been pulled when ordered but had been left, forgotten on corner of bar. Disappointing. After countless failed attempts to get the attention of the sole waiter/server in restaurant (to place our main food order) we gave up. Instead we went for a lovely little pub crawl around Battersea and had a really good meal with good service somewhere else.
iii) 29 July 2013 @ The Draft House Tower Bridge – inability to pull a fresh pint:
Lunch time drink with a friend over from Belgium. She ordered us two draft beers. Hers ran out half way through being poured. The bar girl apologised that there’d be a wait as the barrel needed changing (not a problem at all) and took payment in advance. Barrel changed, the bar girl topped up the glass (that was half full with the last spits from the previous barrel) with the first spits of the new barrel. And served.
Since writing this, I’ve noticed that other customers have had similar experiences, judging by comments on Tripadvisor, including quotes like “an expensive pub which would be fine if the food and service lived up to it”, “unimpressed with the service” and “Waited an hour for food to be delivered – no show and in the end asked for our money back”.
It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a great pub (chain) lose its way.
Recommending… The Rake
If you’re around London Bridge and fancy an interesting cask ale, served by friendly knowledgeable staff who like a chat and to share some tips about the range of beers they’ve got on (like The Draft House *used to be*) then head over to The Rake at 14 Winchester Walk, London, SE1 9AG, just around the corner from Borough Market where they guarantee ‘no crap on tap’. Check out their facebook page for daily listings of ‘what’s on the bar today’.
We’ve been to The Draft House Battersea quite a lot lately, sometimes for food, sometimes just for a drink.
As it’s now reached *favoured pub* status, this Draft House branch warrants its own listing (you can read about The Draft House Tower Bridge, here).
To help you decide for yourself if it’s worth a visit (don’t just take my word for it) here are a few recent Westbridge culinary treats, so grab a beer and scroll on…
Sunday dinner one fine summer’s day
After kayaking, capsizing + swallowing a mouthful of the Thames, August 2011 – desperately in need of a better taste:
Sunday dinner in autumn
BK in town – he deserved another intro to the Draft House. Well, he’s getting old. He forgets…
You’ll be hard-pushed to find a finer burger than the hamburger specials at the Draft House. Everything about this place has ‘thoughtful’ and ‘care’ stamped on it. Even the bar staff are passionate and knowledgeable about the range of drinks they sell.
And if you don’t like gastro food or any of the vast selection of beers, you can’t possibly dislike the wallpaper:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5 (2012); 2.5 / 5 (2013)
~ Type: British
~ Address: 74-76 Battersea Bridge Road, London
~ Postcode: SW11 3AG
~ Tel: 020 7228 6482
~ Nearest station: Battersea Park, Clapham Junction
~ Website: Draft House Westbridge – Battersea website
~ Location: Draft House Battersea map
Filed under: British, Pub Tagged: | 2.5 / 5, 2.5/5, 4 / 5, 4/5, Battersea, Battersea Bridge Road, Battersea Park, cask ale, Draft House, gastropub, Lardbutty restaurant index, London, London Bridge, no crap on tap, pub, Rake pub, real ale, SW11, SW11 3AG, The Draft House, The Draft House Westbridge, The Rake, The Rake pub, Winchester Street