The Rake near Borough Market was so busy last time we went on a Friday that it took almost 10 minutes to get a drink and we had to drink it crushed into a corner by a stack of handbags.
We happened to be in the area last night and thought it was worth a look, as we were craving something strong and weird. We weren’t hopeful of being able to get through the door, but didn’t have any trouble at all. It was still doing good business, but not crammed.
The afterglow of that Time Out review has evidently passed and the fickle drinkers of London have moved on, it seems, perhaps influenced by various people on the internet describing it as expensive, crowded and grumpy.
We’ve never found it grumpy. It is still expensive, though — especially anything Belgian, German or American. But British cask ales (Harviestoun Behind Bars, for example, which Ally didn’t like, but we thought was OK) are only about £2.70 a pint, so not that bad. They usually have some strange foreign brews on tap that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else in the UK — Boak had some 8.5% Oesterstout from the Scheldebrouwerij in the Netherlands, which sorted the strong and weird craving quite neatly.
The crew of the Great British Beer Festival international beer bar turned up near the end and had a very cheerful, animated conversation with the barman. You’d have thought they might be taking it easy before the big match, really…