A hidden gem in The Builder’s Arms, Croydon

BY BILL LACY

I didn’t expect to find this. On a recommendation I set out to find The Cricketers, only discover that there is not one but three pubs of that name nearby.

Not wanting to risk the wrong pub I settled for The Builder’s Arms, an unexpected find of a Fuller’s pub in the back streets of Croydon.

It is a cosy place with a traditional, local’s feel.

As I sat down I immediately had that feeling that I may be sitting in someone’s seat as it was a prime spot – right in front of the TV.

Thankfully I had picked a witching hour when nothing good was on, so there was no interest in the on-screen babble but on good conversation instead.

A man opposite me was taking about “pitching tatas”, which I initially thought was some form of gardening but is actually an age-old method of preparing potatoes.

The service had a friendly and welcoming vibe. It was a shame I couldn’t sit at the traditional bar, but at least orders were taken in person at the tables.

As we approach what finally looks like “Freedom Day”, I do hope we can swirl around the bar again.

I have a feeling that some pubs will resist some old behaviour, although the local will come back strong.

Dave can have his seat at the bar back.

There is another part of the pub that looks more like a restaurant area, and a decent garden at the back.

The atmosphere of the local repays further visits, even where the beer offering is average. But that is not the case here of course with a range of Fuller’s beers available on draught or bottle, with a guest beer or two as well.

A great pub in which to settle down with a couple of Fuller’s ESB, perhaps followed by the cognac of beers, Golden Pride, to round off the night.

While I’m looking forward to the return of “normality”, there is something optimal about pubs that don’t get too busy.

So I’ve started to bypass the city centre “vertical drinking establishment” to seek out the backwater pub.

It’s worth it: while you may come across a den of iniquity, you could also walk into The Builder’s Arms.

The Builder’s Arms 65 Leslie Park Road Croydon CR0 6TP

 


 

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