Sunday, November 20, 2005
There is quite an invasion of Belgian beer on the London bar and restaurant scene. Not only are there Bierodromes in both N1, WC2 and SW4. The Beer Circus has already been mentioned, a name that would have been more appropriate for The Lowlander Grand Café, situated in the heart of London's theatre district, at 36, Drury Lane.
Lowland establishment it may be, but this is still London. My 't IJ Bockbier was served by the pint- a dangerous mix of lowland alcoholic strength and the generous British measures (though, to be honest, I could have asked for a more Continental-style half-pint).
The waiters are polite and professional. Here it is the guests that are playing primadonnas, for instance the young City professional showing off his knowledge to less informed colleagues.
Arriving in the busy hours after work, the place was packed with no seats available. The noise level was high, the Londoners are a loud-speaking lot.
After crossing the Channel this and other Lowland establishments seem to apply a bit more style than their counterparts "back home". The beer list may have few surprises, but holds a decent standard with some 60 different beers on offer.
Another reason for not feeling low in London..