As you exit Tulse Hill train station, you may think that the Railway Tavern, positioned directly in front of you, is a fairly unassuming sort of place. You could be excused for thinking this. Its exterior appears barely any different from any other pub, 'The Railway Tavern' is hardly a a little-used name and it doesn't even look like a particularly spacious establishment. Somewhere for a quick one before home, you might think.
To be honest you couldn't be more wrong. If you explore a little you will find a pub kitted out for live performances (of which there are many), with an impressive range of drinks that caters for its diverse clientele (you can buy a pint of Pimms for less than a fiver).
Strolling out of the pub's backdoors you'll find one of the most remarkable out door spaces of any pub in London. The Railway's garden measures several times the size of its interior and comes with its own cocktail bar, a pool table, a fozzball table, a BBQ and a range of covered and uncovered seating. At times during the summer the garden is home to live performances that act as an appetizer before the main event in doors.
Beyond its brilliant outdoor space, the Railway sets itself apart from other parts by its undeniable knack for throwing a party. Throughout the year the pub organises a steady stream of knees-ups (following various themes - tropical island, casino, Halloween etc).
If it's something really special you might find yourself paying fiver to get in, but that will include a free meal more often than not. More commonly these events are completely free, and you can saunter in as you would with any other pub.
These nights are punctuated with an extremely high calibre of live acts. These range from Grammy-award winning legends to up-and-coming talent from the local area and across London, and never fail to disappoint. The only real issue with the Railway is that it sometimes proves too popular, and the space inside the bar and out in the garden, the space that seemed so ample, fills up quickly.
On average you'll pay about £3.70 for a pint of lager in the Railway, and about the same for a spirit and mixer. The food might seem slightly pricey when you look at the menu, but when your meal arrives it;'s clear you've done very well in terms of value for money. The burgers are huge, and you're not likely to be left hungry.
The Railway Tavern literally couldn't be closer to a train station if it tried, with Tulse Hill train station about 10m from the pub's front door. Tulse Hill provides links to London Bridge or Victoria if you're heading towards central London, or Beckenham or Wimbledon if you going the other way. There is a whole host of buses available from the high street, about 50m from the pub, which will get you to places like Brixton or Crystal Palace.
Find the venue on Facebook and they will keep you posted with what they have up their sleeves. You are guaranteed a lively night out with the Railway Tavern.