One of my pet peeves about Clapham and Brixton is that there is a real dearth of really good pubs. Not so North London with amazing gastropubs like The Albion, Draper’s Arms, The Scolt Head and the Bull & Last. West London’s also pretty good with the Prince of Wales in Putney, the Dove in Hammersmith, and all those lovely little pubs along the Thames. Brixton has some good places (particularly The Prince Regent and the Florence but these are more towards Herne Hill) but Clapham lags behind. Sure you can squeeze yourself into The Sun or The Falcon – and that was much fun in my 20s – but now I’m getting on a bit, I need a seat, and, y’know, for it to be quiet enough to talk and stuff. I’d also like some decent food and good wine, not served in pint glasses at £5 a pop. I’d also like everyone I know to move to Brixton and the moon on a stick, just so we’re clear.
And so for me, Clapham finds a winner in The Landor. It has a pool table for lazy Sunday afternoons. It has been done up and looks right nice. It has lovely new management who come out when you’re having a fag to suggest you might want to try the garden later on. It has a brilliant singer on Friday nights with a lovely voice. They’ve done up the beer garden out the back with a lovely covered walkway and trees with lights in them. You can always get a table. But the atmosphere’s still good.
Truth is, The Landor is an integral part of my London story. Lady B and I lived practically opposite for a couple of years in our 20s and were there all the time, often the morning after the night before pretty much in pajamas and with whoever had ended up crashing on the sofa in tow, often playing pool, eating Sunday roasts, drinking pints of beer and bottles of rose in the summer. Lady B once laid down full length on the pool table. She also once spilled a full glass of red wine on her white jeans and stuck her leg up on the bar in order to “salt” herself to get rid of the stain. We had birthdays there. We often invited half the pub back for after-beers. Lady B has settled down somewhat since then but going back there still makes me laugh at the fun times we had.
There’s even a theatre there seating 60 people – I bumped into the theatre director last Friday night in the garden and he is quite a character. I’ve not been yet but its on my list.
So there you have it – an ode to arguably my favourite pub in London, to fun times, and what I love about living here – a good old fashioned pub, with regulars at the bar, good music, Sunday roasts, a game of pool and a pint. Now just to tempt Lady B back to London so we can hang out there together again…