Bars and pubs South Bank
Critics' choice
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(9 user reviews)
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© Oliver Knight

This ever popular Borough Market pub is probably the smallest in London, with walls covered in the kind of scribblings you'd find in a toilet cubicle. Except the messages here aren't crude descriptions of congress – they're tributes from brewers who've found a place as passionate about beer as they are.

Seven kegs and three casks, along with two fridges containing a dizzying number of bottles, pump out a constantly changing variety of brews, with many ultra-rare ones to nerd out over (the Rake is owned by a beer importer). Among them you're likely to find plenty of stuff you've never come across before, and you can bet it'll all be good – the mantra here, outlined by a bright yellow sticker above the bar, is 'No crap on tap’. What it lacks in space, The Rake makes up for in spirit.

Venue name: Rake
Address: 14 Winchester Walk
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Thur; 11am-11pm Fri; 10am-11pm Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Transport: London Bridge tube/rail
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Sarah (kukkiiandkoppee)

A fantastic range of beer albeit in the smallest space. Some pints are quite pricey and the bartenders will warn you if that's the case when you order. You're like to get elbowed by the crowd if you stand near the bar. On a summer's night, it'll be best to hang around in the beer garden. It tends to be busy in the early evening but eventually the crowd does die down - so do persevere! 

Raymond M

Since finding it a couple of months ago, I am finding myself drawn back to the pub again, and again. Not the biggest, but the place has a very good beer garden and inside decor is quite entertaining. 

The craft beers on offer are excellent and will cover the broadest range of palette. They do serve win and spirits as well. Staff are very friendly and it is good value for money.


This place. Amazing. Touted as one of the smallest pubs in London, the Rake is nestled on the corner lot of of Borough Market. The beer selection is amazing. The staff is super friendly and but don't worry they tell you how much a pint costs before they pour :) Amazing rotation of beer with quite a few pub takeovers throughout the year. 

Sit or stand on the patio with the jumbrella, just keep in mind that when its up-- no smoking! 

Highly recommend this place if you are in the area and need some liquid refreshment-- swear the queues for the bar are not as long as Monmouth!

Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

Their beer selection is probably London's finest, but I'm afraid I didn't find The Rake a very comfortable place to drink in. It's so tiny that there are hardly any seats (understandable, but I'm not great at multitasking so standing and drinking is hard). The staff are really knowledgeable but that usually ends in being tempted into a delicious brew that costs £8 a pint. Which means when you inevitably spill a bit due to the crowds you're losing around £1 a slosh. Still though, great beer.

Rich Stacey


Not the easiest to find but a gem for those looking to broaden their beer horizons. Great selection on tap and in fridges and a great little sun trap of a terrace which is far quieter than it's location would suggest. Go, try as much as you can and come back several times to try the beers that have replaced your previous favourites.

Semper Fido

While I'm happy to adapt to local ways when abroad, there are some American things I'd rather not give up. To see that you carry my Anchor Steam on tap means you'll be my first early morning stop next time I visit London.


Lovely beer, but they refuse to serve people if they are too loud. So whisper your conversations after 2 beers, because the staff here are definitely precious.

Billy Stone

13/07/12 Absolutely blinding pub. The bar is the size of a domestic lounge (with pumps) but getting served reasonably quickly is no problem. People tend to queue in lines of 4 or 5 so you are served in an orderly fashion. If its too busy in the bar area (often the case on a Fri) you can migrate to the covered decking area where there are plenty of seats. It reminds me of being at a wedding reception where after getting your drink you move to a nice relaxing area. In fact its like a marquee! I would imagine it must be terrific when the sun shines (if we ever get to that point). Only lager and bitter sold but top notch quality. The pub is run by the UTO brewery and beers can be subject to change each day. Tried the Brooklyns lager (£4.10 p per half, ABV 5.5) which was really nice, slightly fizzy and had me quivering all over with pleasure. One of the beers was green! Actually looked good but maybe another time. Cask Ale £3.60 a pt, Pilsner £4.10 a pt. Some of the beers are high ABV and are matched by higher prices. However its probably worth paying more for beers that should be relished, absorbed and treated with respect. If you fall over later that may add to the enjoyment of the evening but then again maybe not. I was recently sick with fatigue and a rasping cough but going to the Rake was the first positive step in my recovery. Would I go there again? I just did last Fri (20/07/12).

Chris new

Just the most amazing andsurprising place around. Weird pub, weird beers, weird customers. Totally excellent. I really like the bar staff - they manage hotel-style service and knowledge of what they're selling and do an early 90s proper pub friendly service. If you want 5 star London trendy fashion - go elsewhere. If you want 5 star beer go to The Rake