It was a rainy, wet Friday, the last Friday in April. After an aborted attempt to search for a French wine bar somewhere on Dean Street, and noting the crowds in the pubs and bars already swelling to uncomfortable proportions, it became clear that in order for my friend Cian and I to have a comfortable drink, we had to get the hell out of central London.
The daylight had already given way to the darkness as we rode one bus and then another to get to St Johns Wood, and we walked down Ordnance Hill past the military barracks to The Ordnance, a Sam Smith’s pub that, although was lively enough for a Friday, still had a nice spot to sit and drink underneath branches daubed with lights at the twig-tips.
The crowd at The Ordnance was generally fairly young, consisting of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings who eschewed the city centre and instead stuck around their neighbourhood, or perhaps maybe just a neighbourhood they like being around. Although it wasn’t super crowded, it was busy enough to have to weave past groups of people who were standing and chatting with each other. Navigating past people can be dangerous, especially people with alcohol. At The Ordnance, this danger was mostly confined to spilling one’s drink onto oneself (good thing cider doesn’t really stain) and being accidentally smacked by a young man who was gesticulating while conversing with his friends.
He said sorry.
I took care of the first round, buying a glass of the house red for the gentleman and a pint of the cider on tap for myself, which came to £8.62. If the prices at The Ordnance are the same as the Sam Smith’s pub The Angel, my cider was £3.02, and the wine was £5.60, although the prices could be different. I’ve included a photo I took of my drink, which was rather belated, as you can see from the amount of cider left in the glass. As ciders go, the cider that’s on tap at a Sam Smith’s pub is pretty standard and tasty–not too sweet nor too dry for my tastes. The second round consisted of the same drinks for the both of us.
All in all, The Ordnance was a nice pub to go to to get away from the megacrowds on a Friday night. They do serve food, unlike other Sam Smith’s pubs I’ve seen so far, but it was on a limited basis–from what I could recall it was either only for lunch or just on the weekends or something. I did quite like the decor–especially the branches–and it was a good pub experience.
One I’m not likely to experience again any time soon because it’s impossible to get from one part of North London to the other with the damn Overground down.