Entertainment

The Royal Standard a cosy pub with a local but welcoming atmosphere

BY BILL LACY

Fancy a drink under Croydon flyover? Me neither. But bear with me. There’s a place here that is just the kind of cosy local pub everyone wishes they had on their doorstep.

My companion, who had lived in Croydon for more than a decade, didn’t even know it was here.

As we walked towards the entrance of a giant concrete car park, we were worried we’d taken a wrong turn.

It is actually not out in the sticks and is only a couple of minutes away from the historic Surrey Street market and some of the better known pubs in town. But you would need to know it is here.

This is no grotty backstreet pub.

The Royal Standard is a Fuller’s pub that has appeared in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide, this is a small but perfectly formed retreat.

The beer garden is a unique place, opposite the pub and secluded beneath shrubbery, while cars and lorries whizz about above your head.

The juxtaposition was somehow appealing.

The Royal Standard – Bill Lacy

The garden was clearly a draw with what looked like an outside bar for use on busier days.

The pub itself has a local but welcoming atmosphere, with a cozy, intimate interior.

We sat round the back of the main bar in a lovely little nook. Some friends joined us with a couple of greyhounds, which somehow seemed fitting.

It felt like the kind of old house pub that is quickly disappearing from the country, swallowed up by greedy developers.

A part of the landscape that is mourned when it is lost, even by people who didn’t enjoy it at the time.

The usual Fuller’s range is here, excellently kept, and I was particularly pleased to see the lesser-spotted HSB on cask.

The menu is from Greedy Hare, which serves up hearty Italian meals such as parmigiana di melanzane (sliced ubergines in tomato sauce), slow-cooked roast porchetta with mash potato, and grilled spicy jalapeño baby chicken.

There is a quiz night on a Wednesday, and the prominence with which they advertise other weekly events such as cribbage was delightful and makes me yearn for a pint with my grandad.

I could not believe this was not more popular than it was. I’ve found my new local.

The Royal Standard, 1 Sheldon Street, Croydon CR0 1SS

Pictures: The Royal Standard -Bill Lacy

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