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The Ship, Mortlake
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01 Aug 2013
I've given this pub a mediocre rating because of its recent price increases. This was perhaps the last pub in this area, and not one of many, where you could enjoy a riverside setting without paying a fortune for the simple pleasure of a pint and maybe something un-exotic to eat. It was my favourite place to watch the Six Nations because of its friendly atmosphere and varied clientele. It used to feel like a pub from the old days. Not any more. I popped by recently, naively expecting a pint at a decent price, as usual. Not any more. Because of a 'refurbishment' which, I have to say, was barely noticeable, the owners have chosen to hike the prices. I don't mean a slight raise, I mean through-the-roof. I am a bitter-drinker by habit but it was a hot day and I ordered a pint of Peroni and a pint of cider for my friend. £9.80; yes,£9.80 for two pints. I was so dumbfounded it was left to the customer standing next to me to comment: 'that is the most expensive two pints I've ever heard of'. Now, I don't expect to drink for free. And I'm not one of those it-was-tuppence-ha'penny-in-my-day types that doesn't understand inflation, rising business costs and, unfortunately, the destructive impact of successive governments' pointless attacks on everyday working folk who enjoy a few points now and then. I understand all that. But this pub is nakedly fleecing its customers. It seems this goes for the entire area of Barnes/Mortlake. Last year I paid £4.15 for a pint of lager shandy at a pub just downstream of The Ship. When I questioned the price, I was told by the embryo barman: 'you're in Barnes now'. Yes, I know I'm in Barnes but why does that mean the prices can't be reasonable? I don't live anywhere near Barnes but there is an assumption that anyone even passing through the place must be rich, and can be tapped for silly beer prices. I'd like to think that The Ship will see sense when its regular customers desert the place. Perhaps they will - I certainly am - but I suspect it will not make any difference. Here we have, yet again, a 'pub' whose focus is now purely on the young, affluent, corporate types who can afford to live in the area. The rest of us can go hang, it seems. There seems to be a kind of financial 'clearance' occurring here that is effectively disbarring normal working people - not corporate lawyers, not financial advisers, not bankers or corporate accountants, just normal folk - from what used to be an affordable pleasures.
10 Thames Bank, Mortlake, London, SW14 7QR
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