Feb 15 16

The Dog House, Kennington Road, SE11

Jack Cutforth

Visited on 27 January by GM


It’s difficult to pigeon hole The Dog House. From the outside, it’s got the look of a Parisian cafe with old books lined up along the windows. Inside, its one third Yorkshire tap room, one third living room, and one third bar restaurant. It’s also one third restaurant, but don’t worry because not very much about this quirky place adds up.

For a start, despite being called The Dog House, it has a pub cat called August, who is completely adorable and had Boozehound cooing like a 40-year-old spinster. Its also got some cool decor, namely birdcages hanging from the ceiling, a flight of ceramic Guinness toucans on the wall and – we hope not ironically – VHS video tapes of ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ and ‘Dr No’.

Then there’s the ghost. Or at least I thought it was a ghost when, sitting in the pub completely alone, a sparkly tinkling noise began to get louder and louder before an alluring female voice said: ‘Play me…’. Black eye: it was a retro pinball machine called ‘The Machine: Bride of Pin-bot’, not the barmaid. Feather in its cap: I’ve not got early onset Alzheimer’s.

It got stranger, too. It kept blinking out creepy LED messages at me across the room. ‘Say no to drugs’. Ok. ‘Make me feel like a woman’. Slightly too weird. On the plus side, the high score of more than five billion points is a good indication the place has regulars, as well as transient Boozehounds sheltering from the rain, and Kennington generally.

We managed to drag ourselves away long enough to try the beer though, which was superb. We opted for Brew Dog’s Dead Pony Club, but there was also a comprehensive that included The London Beer Factory’s Chelsea Blonde and London Session, both of which we’ll be trying next time, and the usual selection of Heineken, 1664 etc.

Beer: 4
Price: 3
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 3

Do they do food? Yes, but we haven’t tried it. Menu was varied and reasonably priced.
Is it in the 21st century? Contactless payments accepted, but there’s a 50p charge for less than a tenner. We paid it because we’re used to drinking alone, but you could always get cash from the Tesco over the road.
Are there dogs? There’s a gorgeous six-month-old pub cat called August, so best to check with the staff before bringing in your pooch.
I want to smoke: Lots of tables just outside, which are probably quite nice in the summer.