April 2012 – Royal Standard, Blackheath
Featured Pub of the Month for April 2012 – Written and selected by Adam Ainsworth
Blackheath is split into two parts. Blackheath Village is built around the railway station on the south side of the Heath. Across the Heath, on the north eastern tip, is the area known as Blackheath, Royal Standard.
Dominating the green that is colloquially named after it (which is officially named Bartley Park), the Standard has stood here over 150 years. The pub is owned and operated by Orchid Pubs, a national chain of nearly 300 pubs that has been trading since 2006.
Inside, there is a homely feel – plenty of moody lighting and distinguished-looking ornaments. At one end there is a mini lounge, complete with a breathtaking table, made from a cross-section from a large tree, surrounded by leather sofas.
The bar holds five hand pumps – London Pride is always on, along with two national guest ales and two local guests. Food is currently served until 10pm; the menu is fairly standard, with all the grub you would normally expect, and there is also a kids menu. Sundays see the traditional roast and a recent addition to the calendar is Curry Night on Wednesdays.
Other weekly events include poker night on Mondays and a quiz on Sunday evenings. The pub is well equipped with large screen televisions and endeavours to show most major sporting events. There is also talk of possible live entertainment in future. Another bonus (particularly for me!) is the free wifi, meaning it’s the perfect place to work from home!
For the smokers, or those that enjoy drinking with the sun on their back (and who doesn’t?) there is a small patio out the front, and a secluded ‘secret garden’ out back.
Meet the Manager – Bruce Wright
Where were you born?
Romford (for my sins!)
What was your first job?
As a glass collector at Romford Social club – I’ve been in the business my whole professional life!
What are your hobbies?
What do you like to watch on TV?
When I find time, I like Fringe, Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men (although it has gone off the boil since Charlie ‘died’)
What is your favourite sport?
Football to watch, basketball to play
What is your favourite ale?
Changes monthly! At the moment into dark malty ales – London Fields’ Love Not War, Dorking’s Red India and By The Horns from Diamond Geezer.
If you weren’t a pub manager, what would you like to be?
I can’t imagine doing something else. In a pipe dream, I’d have liked to score a winning goal for West Ham.
What sort of music do you like?
Bit of all sorts. Soul, funk, vintage British Rock n Roll, mainly.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
New York. Next time I go, I’m planning to visit the Brooklyn Brewery, as I missed out last time.
What is your favourite food?
British comfort food – pie and mash and good sausages