Top 10: March 2009

Our March 2009 selection
The Apple, Bristol
Apples are great - you can put them in pies, they make great computers, they keep the doctor away and, crucially, you can make them into refreshing brews. And here at the Apple it's that last point that's celebrated - and celebrate it they do. There's an awe-inspiring and challenging range of...
Compton Arms, London
For a long time, we've had the impression that the Compton Arms likes to think is somewhere out in the wilds of Surrey or Sussex and come to that, the locals seem to, too. But that's OK with us. The Compton certainly does look after its beer really well, with an extensive and ever-changing range...
Lamb, London
The Lamb is a genial old boozer with lots of Victorian charm - and that's just the locals. The beer's good (Young's, plus guests), the food's pretty basic, it's got some quaint Victorian fixtures and fittings, without it being too olde worlde - it gets the balance just right. The clientele are...
Jerusalem Tavern, London
Fears about polycarbonate pints replacing glass ones are unfounded. The Jerusalem Tavern is, as it has been for many (award-winning) years, a haven for lovers of the excellent St Peter's beer. True, owing to its particularly cosy interior, it can get extremely busy and as such is not recommended...
King Charles I, London
A compact, one-roomed affair, this pub even manages to shoehorn in a bar billiards table into the clutter of nicknacks on display. This does provide a pleasing independent air to proceedings, with a decent range of beers on offer - a selection from the tiny Sweet William Brewery in Leyton are...
Sekforde Arms, London
Sekforde Arms is a very pleasant Young's pub in an old residential area just off Clerkenwell Road. Of course, it's all residential round here nowadays, with all the warehouse conversions and new apartment blocks going up, but the Sekforde Arms is no mere arriviste - we'd hazard a guess that it's...
The Hope, London
An old, early-opening pub in the heart of Smithfield meat market, The Hope has serviced the traders here for many a year. Still retaining a few of its original features, the well-kept beer and genial bar staff make this a good place to meet and have a couple of drinks. It also has a critically...
Victoria, London
For a few years now The Victoria has been a good solid pub which has successfully straddled the line between being a traditional pub and a gastro-orientated place. Sadly a recent refurb has left us cold. The rich, dark interior, has been painted in an insipid pastel and the cost mix of armchairs...
Red Lion, London
The Red Lion is a fine old oak panelled pub hidden behind Carnaby Street. Despite a small frontage, it's deceptively large with three bars in total, including one upstairs. Our personal preference is for the tiny front bar which sports a real open fire - handy during colder days. It attracts a...
King's Head, Bristol
We'd not been to Bristol city centre for a decade or so and, on visiting it recently, were alarmed to find it to be a vast building site - millions of square feet of office space and hundreds of urban apartments being constructed in the hope (we guess) that the economy will soon rebound and...