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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Draft House, Clapham Junction

At new Battersea venture, The Draft House, the clue is in the name. Shiny spuming spouts dispense seventeen - count ‘em! - tap beers, yours to sample in third-of-a-pint measures before committing. For around half the price of a Coke, investigate two from Sambrook’s, a Wandsworth micro-brewery whose owner, an ex-City suit, took a winning punt on copper, the hue of hip, hoppy stars Wandle and Junction. Other standouts include smart Austrian strudel, Schremser Bio Roggenbier and couthy Scots, Deuchars and Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted. Top marks too for a catholic army that press gangs into service bottled belters such as pride of Erin, O’Hara’s Red, Tasmanian devil, James Boag’s, and tasty Manx cat, Dr. Okells IPA. Part European cafe, part canteen with open galley kitchen, the casual decor mixes pared back and functional (shame about the lurid Dipsy green chairs) with Woodstock-era poster art. Reasonably-priced comfort food is a match for the beers; an all-day menu pimps posh country house-party hangover cure, kedgeree, as well as bavette and addictive hand-cut chips, potted meats, croques and creamy cheeses. Factor in good claret, decent Scotch and staff that actually give a damn and Northcote Road’s smug Cath Kidston classes finally have a bar worth crowing about.

The Draft House, 94 Northcote Rd SW11 7924 1814