A Ceilidh pub in the heart of Brixton may seem like the oddest idea since garlic-flavoured ice cream but - hold on to your sporrans - it's actually rather good. The main bar (now renamed the Sports Bar and boasting a massive projector screen) hasn't changed much since it was the Hobgoblin but the live music room is an entirely different kettle of haggis. You'll be pleased to know that they haven't gone overboard on the Scottishness; it would be all too easy to succumb to tartan overload, but the back room boasts surprisingly little in the way of twee Scots decoration - some Scottish newspapers used as wallpaper and the odd be-kilted barman are about as far as it goes. But this is coupled with a pleasingly dingy, candlelit atmosphere that, perhaps surprisingly, feels authentically Scottish. And it terms of beer it has, perhaps fittingly, Caledonian Brewery's Deuchar's IPA alongside Bombardier. It has what some have called the best beer garden in London - it certainly is large - and popular with the friendly locals (and their kids) on a sunny afternoon. Advertising live music every night "from Ska to candlelit Celtic folk", you can get just about anything you fancy, assuming you get there on the right night - and any place that Chas and Dave play gets a recommendation in our book. With its extended opening hours, and this is always going to be a popular one past chucking-out time. Let's hope it catches on - I'm off to practice my eightsome reels...
95 Effra Road, Brixton, London, SW2 1DF
020 7737 7273
How to get there
Door-to-door journey planner
How to find the Hootananny pub
Leave Brixton Tube, turn left. Keep going past St. Matthew's Church (a.k.a. the Mass club). Keep on the same side of the road going up Effra Road until you find the pub on the junction with Brixton Water Lane.