We finally made it to Stein’s, a beer garden which offers a slice of Bavaria in Richmond, in south west London.
There is good Klarheit with the unorthodox rules up on the shack, in the menu, and anywhere else there’s a flat surface to pin them. It’s still confusing for lots of punters, though: you can’t drink without eating, so you need to buy food, order the beer at one serving hatch, and then collect it at another. This is clearly a carefully calculated business model designed to deliver the atmosphere of a particular kind of beer garden in “binge Britain”. This is not a place you come to get very drunk. There are even signs asking you not to shout or sing.
The food is standard beer garden stuff, but pricey for what it is (cheap rubbery Bratwurst, mostly) but, really, you are paying for a fabulous view of the Thames and the authentic German atmosphere. The beer is probably the least convincing bit — Paulaner Helles, and not as fresh as it might be in the Englischer Garten at that.
You won’t come here if you’re a beer geek, but if you are a beer garden geek, it’s about as good as you’ll get in London.