Shepherd Neame’s quaint Cask & Glass sits incongruously behind a new office development that now dominates Victoria Street. Outside, overflowing hanging baskets decorate a cottage-like exterior embellished with any number of best-bar award plaques; inside, a sign promises ‘Pale & Stock Ales Guaranteed Malt and Hops Only’.
Sure enough, pumps of Spitfire, Kent’s Best and Master Brew line the little bar, in which there’s just enough room for a counter, half-a-dozen tables, a wall of framed caricatures and loyal, chatty regulars who choose to come after work even though it’ll be standing room only. The reason? Probably not the wines (from £3.30 a glass) or the snacks and sandwiches. It’s the warm feel of a no-faff, no-fruit-machine pub in an area where all outside is gleaming commerce and the fevered rush to and through the station.