I. LOVE. THIS. PUB. I have to admit that this admiration stems, ever so slightly, from a football connection. But, nonetheless, The Lamb is a wonderful pub. I was introduced to the joys of The Lamb through some footy mates, the types that enjoy decent beer and seemed to know every Youngs pub in London. They had been using The Lamb for years as a staging post en route to Highbury (or should that be, pedants of the world, the Arsenal Stadium??), anyway, I was a convert after my first visit. At this time (late 90’s early 00’s) Chelsea’s record against Arsenal was, shall we say, shockingly bad. But my visits to The Lamb seemed to coincide with a change in fortune and it was the pre match venue when we beat them 5-1 in the League Cup and, more importantly, when Wayne Bridge scored THAT goal to knock The Arse out of the Champions League. If my man in Leicester is reading this, I am glossing over that cup game when the bloke next to us slept through 90% of the match. So The Lamb became associated with better times going north of the river and has remained close to my heart ever since.
But let’s move away from footy talk and try to get to the heart of what makes The Lamb quite so brilliant. Well there are the obvious things like the windows on the bar (actually called snob screens) that you peer through to order your beer & the fact that it has been around since the early 18th century. It also happens to be in one of my favorite London Streets, Lambs Conduit St, which in turn is in a great part of London. Then there is the beer itself. I’m no sandal wearing, beard worrying CAMRA member, but I love Youngs beer. Something to do with my genes I think. It’s a real shame that Youngs have moved out of London and that their brewery in Wandsworth is likely to be turned into another faceless development of flats. Expect a tag line of “the art of modern living – in the heart of Wandsworth” to appear around that site soon.
Food wasn’t a strong suit of The Lamb in my early visits, pretty basic pie & mash with the mash served in scoops like you used to get at school. But it was pretty cheap and had a certain charm of its own. These days the menu is a bit more up market and corporate but hopefully not a sign that The Lamb is showing any signs of moving into the 20th century, let alone the 21st. No jukebox, no music just a place to have a drink and talk rubbish. A bit like the afternoon I spent with Big Sis & her bezzie mate Jacquie on her flying visit for my 40th birthday. The perfect pub visit in fact, unplanned, fuzzy around the edges and giving you a nice warm feeling inside. It’s the sort of place that on a cold winters day you could spend all day putting the world to rights. Given the day off, a few quid in my pocket and no worries about the consequences, that’s what I would do. If it can resist the modern world for another 20 years or so, it will get the chance to celebrate 300 years in existence. I just hope that we are both around to raise a ram & special to that anniversary.
If you want to sample the delights of The Lamb, you can find it at 94 Lambs Conduit St, London WC1N 3LZ – nearest tube Russell Square. Website link is The Lamb.