The Rake, London Bridge
The Rake, I imagine, gets a bit chilly in the winter, being primarily an outdoor bar, but was wonderful for this time of year. They have an AMAZING selection of ales, including, quite right, some American beer! The taste of home was a welcome break from the overwhelming variety of other drinks and foods I had thusfar partaken of, and while the price was a bit higher than usual, that was worth it for knowing I could get beer bottled not far from where I live.
All in all, I'd gladly visit The Rake again, I'd bring friends there, I'd write on the walls, I'd try the local and the imports... I'd just do it all over and over. Brilliant.
If you can even force your way past the suits blocking the bar to a position where you might get served, the bar staff will likely be more interested in chatting amongst themselves than bother to serve you.
This might have have been a pleasant place to drink once, and I really wanted my first visit to be a good one, but the Rake is now so popular it's best avoided.
On a slightly personal note, I honestly don't mind the CAMRA crowd. If you're distracted or find yourself distressed in their precense then you may need to seek professional help as it is rude to stare and may well indicate some deep seated psychological condition/snobbishness.
Staff are ace, a nice mix of lads n lass's all with a beer knowledge that impresses. My friends and i were impressed by the no smoking policy in the garden (if the umbrella is up) which we think more pubs should consider. We even tried their basic range of foods, all sandwiches and all rather bloomin' gorgoreous, accompanied by interesting condiments, pickles and greenery.
I have put this boozer on the advisory list, i.e. a place i send visitors to london to for an interesting expereience.
14 Winchester Walk, Borough, London, SE1 9AG
The pub is on the north side of the market. From either station, head for Borough Market (it will be signposted) and, once there, head towards the river. Before you reach it, you'll come across Winchester Walk not far from the cathedral - a short walk along it will bring you to the pub.