Elm Park Tavern, SW2 2UB
- 76 Elm Park, SW2 2UB
- 4pm-11pm Mon-Thu; 4pm-midnight Fri-Sun
Located in the residential streets between Brixton Hill and Tulse Hill, this pub doesn't have an obvious presence but is worth seeking out.
Entry is into a reasonably-sized room with bare floorboards and walls painted in dark grey and dark blue. The pub sits on a corner, and has large windows looking out onto both streets of the frontage (with stained glass detailing above the door). Sofas and high-backed armchairs sit beneath these windows, and tall chairs line the bar. There are also a few normal chairs and tables; more of these in the back room (which has seating only, no bar service).
Books are stacked neatly along the front windowsill, available to take away on a "give a book, take a book" basis, and a row of compact "smokin' umbrellas" hangs against one wall for people to borrow if they need a cigarette break in bad weather.
There's usually a beer garden of some kind out the back, but on our September 2012 visit this was closed due to building work.
Kake and Mark visited on a Wednesday evening in September 2012. The four handpumps offered three real ales: Purity Pure UBU (£3.40/pint), Purity Mad Goose, and Sambrook's Wandle. They also have a font for Stiegl lager, which Mark tried and pronounced to be good.
There were about a dozen other customers in, most of them standing or sitting at the bar; the pub is of a size that makes this just the right number for a populated-but-not-crowded feel. The flatscreen in the front bar was switched on but the sound was off. Music was playing, a fairly eclectic mix ranging from All Saints to something PJ Harvey-ish, at a level appropriate for conversation. Service was friendly and helpful.
They don't do any food, but they're happy for you to order in a takeaway; takeaway menus are displayed in a box by the door along with a sign inviting you to ask at the bar for plates and cutlery.
Kake's verdict: I liked it here and would happily come back.
Accessibility: A step to get in, and another step to the back room (where the toilets are).