Pubspy: The Paxton Arms, Crystal Palace
Pubspy has obviously been enjoying the (somewhat) improved weather lately – and the outdoor drinking that entails – a little too much.
This fact was confirmed during an attempt to climb the imposing summit of Anerley Hill, in Crystal Palace. Huffing and puffing my way up this steep road, the nearest pub became a far more enticing prospect and I caved in, and entered the Paxton Arms Hotel, conveniently located near Crystal Palace station.
There were a few hardy souls in there who obviously had the same idea as me – and do so day after day. Because The Paxton Arms Hotel is a true local’s pub. Not in the Slaughtered Lamb, music-stopping sense – it’s a bit friendlier than that – but everyone who comes here seems to know each other.
There’s a crowd of builders, painters and bus drivers acting as a forcefield round the bar, getting a hard day’s grind out of their system with a few pints, giving each other a cheery send-off as they head for home.
If you're seeking a solace away from some of the more gentrified pubs up the hill, then the Paxton Arms Hotel could be for you. It’s an unreconstructed place – cosy with a fireplace but shabby furniture and fittings.
It’s great for sports fans with four plasma screens (an England Test match was on the screen when I came in) and a pool table. And the beer is ridiculously cheap from Monday to Thursday – Carlsberg is £2.35, and my pint of Stella was only £2.55. Great prices, but the selection wasn’t great – a pretty standard selection of lager, with just one ale, Bombardier, on the pumps – and the booze was on the bitter end of the taste spectrum.
The pub was well-staffed so, even with the locals surrounding the bar, the service was quick.
As well as the regulars, there were a few other stragglers, like Pubspy, on their own and getting about their own business.
Fans of the nearby Westow House and White Hart would probably hate this place – but at least you could make a quick getaway toward the station. But if you want a quick cheap pint, or find a place where the match is on the TV, then you could do worse then the Paxton Arms Hotel.
Paxton Arms Hotel, 52 Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 2AE
Decor: XX Could do with a lick of paint – but it’s unreconstructed look presumably pulls a few punters in.
Drink: XX Not the best tasting pint of Stella I’ve ever had. The selection is standard.
Price: XXXX Excellent – Among the best prices I’ve come across in a while. Would have been five stars if the beer tasted better.
Atmosphere: XXX It depends on what you look for in a pub, but great for regulars.
Service: XXXX Quick and the bar was well-staffed.