My visit to pub #32 was a quick one. I had a half hour to wander around Southwark near Union Street on a Saturday, and I was actually looking for a restaurant I had been to once. I didn’t find the restaurant, but I did find a pub: The Gladstone Arms.
I wandered in and was greeted immediately by the bar that was directly to the left of the entrance. I asked for a half of Tribute (£1.65), since I knew I had to get back to the Union Street Urban Orchard for a talk on beekeeping later. I received my half from the friendly barman, and sat at a little table with a crochet doily, much like the ones my mother makes.
The ambiance of The Gladstone (Arms) on a Saturday afternoon was quite nice. An amazing array of old blues music was playing on the sound system, a few men were chatting with the barman, a family with two young boys were seated not too far from me. The interior was small, but very cosy. I was getting quite comfortable, and wondering if I could possible get a pie as well, since I hadn’t eaten yet that day. The Heidi pie, with goat cheese, looked especially appetising.
As I was halfway through my pint, wondering if I should extend my stay and pass on the beekeeping talk in favour of the Heidi pie, a wedding party descended upon the pub. The empty champagne glasses, which were on a table nearby, were hurriedly taken to the bar, and members of the wedding party with prams/baby carriages began to try and navigate the tiny space inside The Gladstone Arms. The family that had been at the pub looked like part of the wedding party as well, leaving me, the odd regular customer, trying to gulp down the rest of my drink so I could get out of the way and head back to the Urban Orchard. On my way out I nearly stepped on the bride’s dress, and had to squeeze past the crowd of people at the door.
I can see why they chose the pub, though, because it definitely seemed like a great pub to go to. It was very homey, situated near many residences in Southwark, quite close to Borough station. Someday I’ll be back, hopefully when there isn’t some post-wedding festivities going on, and I’m keen on trying that Heidi pie. In the meantime, I’m quite glad I wasn’t able to find the restaurant I was looking for, as now I have another pub that’s south of the river to add to the only other one I’ve been to for the project, The White Hart over by Waterloo.
The development of my London pub psychogeography continues!