Zeitgeist At The Jolly Gardeners, SE11 6AB
Zeitgeist was a German pub in Lambeth, housed in a building that was previously the Jolly Gardeners pub. In April 2021 the owner announced on Twitter that Zeitgeist would not be reopening at that location, and that new owners would be taking over the pub building to run it under the old name of the Jolly Gardeners.
The information below is retained for historical purposes.
The owners have taken what was a Victorian pub trading under the name The Jolly Gardeners, and gutted the inside, leaving the bar in the middle, and installing banquettes around the edge of the space on one side of the bar, and long tables on the other side. It's an open, airy space with a predominantly black decor, punctuated by subdued signs of its Germanic themes.
Where the German influence becomes clearest is in the beer list. As of October 2008, the website lists the following on draught: Bitburger, DAB, Flensburger 4, Gaffel Koelsch, Koenig Pilsener, Koestritzer, Krombacher, Paulaner Weizen, Paulaner Lager, Veltins, Warsteiner, Weihenstephan Dunkel and Weihenstephan Hell. They also have a large selection of bottled beers, and over a weekend in October 2008 hosted an Oktoberfest with an additional 25-30 (unfiltered) draught beers available at £3.70 for a half-litre.
Food is served noon-10pm Monday to Saturday, and 10:30am-9pm Sunday, and is of course heavily Teutonic, though there are still a number of vegetarian options. In October 2008, Ewan's Bavarian soft cheese with bread (£3.50) came quickly and was very tasty. On another visit in November 2009, Ewan shared a plate of mixed sausages with a friend (£9 each for a minimum of two), which came with a good selection of very tasty sausages indeed (bratwurst, nürnberger and bockwurst), as well as plenty of mash, a bowl of sauerkraut, and a selection of dips.
Sport is also a large part of this pub's existence, and football matches (including German games) are shown prominently on a large screen. On our Saturday afternoon/evening visit in October 2008, the pub got significantly more busy and noisy during the evening, as people came to watch sport. On a Friday evening in November 2009, one side of the pub (with a screen showing football) was completely packed, while the other, largely-seating side, was a little quieter (and had cricket on the TV screen). However, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it remains a pleasant place to try some interesting beers.
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