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If you're after somewhere which plays music through corner speakers, serves nothing but the usual UK lagers (Fosters, Stella, Carling), attracts the type of clientele where the women wear next to nothing and the men sculpt their hair into peaks and quiffs using as much wax as they can find, look elsewhere.
In Britain the phrase, 'old man's pub', is bandied around a lot in reference to an establishment which middle-age+ chaps frequent on their way home from work or on a Friday and Saturday night. The interiors generally consist of crooked flagstone floors, walls whose wallpaper is cigarette smoke stained and where, at one end, there is a real fireplace, with real coal, and real flames (rather than a running loop of a fire played on a display screen and the heating turned up). The Nightingale adheres to these expectations - there's no music, no telly, no 'youthful culture' that the surrounding Clapham gastro pubs attract.
Instead, what the Nightingale provides is friendly conversation in an environment where, if you're a local, you're bound to recognise someone and, if you're a non-regular, you'll be welcomed and treated graciously. There's a dartboard on the wall instead of glitzy, oddly-shaped mirrors with ornate picture frame surrounds, fruit machines and, behind the bar, a selection of proper beers and ales with plenty of taste and satisfaction behind them. There are baby-changing facilities, board games for when there's a lull in conversation, wireless internet (because they're not that old-fashioned), and they allow dogs.
Forget fancy cocktails, this place is a proper British pub which you need to check out if you want a taste of tradition.
Monday - Thursday: 18:00 - 22:30
Friday - Saturday: 12:00 - 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 - 22:00
97 Nightingale Lane, Clapham, SW12 8NXView Larger Map
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