Thursday 10 January 2013

The Grand Union, Camberwell Grove, south London

A big branch of the small Grand Union chain, this pub is popular with staff and students from the nearby King's College teaching hospital.  Inside, the mock-period decor has run wild with flowery wallpaper, fussy chandeliers, decorated paper fans, naff paintings and ornate picture-frames and mirrors. Bizarrely, the staff all wear checked, lumberjack-style shirts. A weird mishmash, the overall effect can be overpowering and won't be to everyone's taste. Moreover, the free WiFi is flaky and the selection of beers unimaginative. Still, there are plenty of cocktails on offer and the leather sofas are comfortable. And, in the summer, the Grand Union's benches in the lane running between the handsome Georgian houses on Camberwell Grove and Grove Lane can make a fine sun trap. 6/10