The Black Dog (ex-Lavender), Vauxhall
This little bit of Vauxhall appears to be undergoing a modicum of gentrification and, with a splash of paint and a bit of a re-fit, the old Lavender has become the Black Dog. Although it isn't strictly a new pub, there is a feeling of a fresh approach to things as a young and energetic team seem to be putting their all into this new venture. The impression we were left with, however, was of a pub that hadn't quite found its market or identity just yet. The 'Dog' seems to want to major on food, offering one of those imaginative menus, costed in pounds-only prices, but on the evening we went in, seemed to down-grade its eating customers in favour of a rush of bright young things taking part in their pub quiz. In the middle of all of this were a bunch of very obvious Special Branch heavies pushing back pints and succeeding in looking menacing (MI6 headquarters is just down the road at Vauxhall bridge). Personally, we think that pubs are at their best when they bring in a real social mix, but feel that the 'Dog' has to settle down a bit, yet. The pub is currently offering two or three real ales from a variety of brewers. The beers are served up in good condition and at proper temperatures, although at £3.40 a pint and upwards it's not going to make for a cheap evening's drinking. That said, the management and staff all seem to want to get it right for customers, whether it's just a drink that's wanted or a sit-down meal for a family. We'd certainly recommend it as worth a detour from a stroll along the Vauxhall embankment and we'll be popping in again.
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112 Vauxhall Walk, Vauxhall, London, SE11 5ER
020 7735 4440
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How to find the The Black Dog (ex-Lavender) pub
From Vauxhall tube, take the Albert Embankment exit, walk passed MI5 (the cream and green building) and you'll soon see Glasshouse Street on the right, at the end of which is The Lavender.