Historical version 27 of Cask, SW1V 2EE
- 07883 605 796 (mobile phone)
- 6 Charlwood Street, SW1V 2EE
- 4pm-11pm Mon; noon-11pm Tue-Sat; 12:30pm-10:30pm Sun
A pub in Pimlico, situated between Victoria and Pimlico stations, offering an abundance of cask ales and exotic bottled beers. Its success has led the same people to open a new pub, Craft Beer Co. in Clerkenwell, as of June 2011.
Where this was once a poky estate pub called the Pimlico Tram, it reopened around July 2009 under new management, having been renovated with plentiful mirrors, large maps and a new focus on ales and food, with walls painted a light shade of green. In the intervening years, the walls have since become a rather more subdued grey (and the maps moved elsewhere), while the banquettes now boast the green of Cask's branding. Inside, the space is broken up by support pillars, with one half of the pub getting plentiful natural light from ceiling height windows, though a large table near the door gets almost no light by contrast. However, the tables are a comfortable size, and the banquettes for seating around the wall have plenty of cushions. There are also a few seats outside.
The bar has ten handpulls for ale, with an ever-changing selection of well-chosen guests, though there's a regular presence for Dark Star and Thornbridge breweries, but there are huge numbers of ales passing through so summing them up would be difficult. In May 2010, they had a mini-festival of six Brew Dog cask ales, while on other occasions they've had guest brewers in from around the world (several from Denmark in particular, as well as the USA) showcasing their products. On Ewan's most recent visit, about five of the handpulls were given over to Hardknott ales. All those Ewan has tried have been in excellent condition (our group settled in to drinking the Everard's Tiger for most of the evening on the August 2009 visit). There are also plenty of draught taps for European keg beers, with Moravka, Rothaus Pils and Weisse, Mort Subite Kriek, Brugse Zot Blonde and Bruin, as well as several guests, and Aspall's cider, though again these change regularly, with plenty of guests from Europe and the USA (mostly at around £3.95/half, as these are specially imported just for Cask). However, behind and beside the bar is a huge collection of German and Belgian beers, generally priced around £4-£5, as well as a good number from other countries (including the United States) and odd ones like the more alcoholic end of the Brew Dog range. A bottle of Kopparberg pear cider was £4.
The food menu is served lunchtimes and evenings (except Mondays, when no food is served, and Sundays, when it's Sunday roasts only). It focuses on modern European choices, leaning towards a French influence (pâté en croûte features in the starters, though with a good range of mains, including a vegetarian choice) photo of menu in Aug 2009. Ewan's vegetarian lasagne (£8) photo was presented simply but was perfectly good, made from butternut squash and spinach and topped with parmesan, and served with a small side salad. A vegetarian sharing platter on a later visit was a little disappointing (£11) photo, as it was mainly just flatbreads with a variety of dips, and some olives and artichokes.
On the first Friday evening we visited, the place remained largely empty with only a few small groups of drinkers (aside from our group of 10), ceding later in the evening to some older local residents, though the publican insisted this was the first time they'd not been busy since opening. Music was playing, soft jazz and other bland choices, but the atmosphere was pleasant enough. Another Friday in September 2009 was a little busier, but securing a large table wasn't a problem over the course of the evening, and it remains a good bet for an evening drink.
bob visited on a Thursday evening in July 2010. While it was empty at 5pm it was very busy by 7pm — there was obviously at least one very large office party in. By 9pm things had got quieter, but there were still only a few spare tables. The beers I tried were all very well kept. BrewDog Hardcore IPA was £4. I had the yellowfin tuna with chilli-lemon potato salad and mango salsa (£16) photo to eat. The tuna was not overcooked but could have been rarer. The salsa was pretty good. The potato salad needed more chilli.
Ewan's verdict: A great range of well-kept beer and a location not too far from transport links make this a good choice for drinks. The expansion to ten ale handpulls makes this very much a destination pub for ale drinkers.
Accessibility: No step to get in. Ladies' toilets on the same level as the bar and seating, but the gents' toilets are down a very narrow staircase.