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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Queens Head BR6

The Queens Head, Downe BR6 (London)

The Queens Head, ()

London’s Best Beer, and Bars updates
Southeast London: Other locations – Downe

25 High Street, Downe BR6 7US
T 01689 852145 w
Open 1200-2300 (2330 Fri-Sat, 2230 Sun). Children welcome until early evening.
Cask beer 4 (Adnams, Harveys, Sharp’s, Westerham), Also Malts and specialist spirits.
Food Upmarket pub grub, Outdoor Small front terrace, beer garden, Wifi. No disabled toilet but largely flat access.
Occasional quiz and karaoke, seasonal events, functions, darts.

Red buses, albeit on an irregular timetable, stop in the centre of Downe, but though it’s only minutes from Orpington, it feels a world away. One of the prettiest, and arguably the most historically interesting, of Bromley’s scattered villages, it is justly celebrated as the home of Charles Darwin, who lived and worked at the old manor, Down House – the principle reason why the area is now on the list of candidates for World Heritage Site status. The great scientist is commemorated by a plaque on the corner of the pretty part-12th century village church overlooking the village square, though you can only speculate what the vicar of the day might have made of his theories of the origin of species.

Darwin would almost certainly have popped in to the Queens Head next door to the church, where now he’s commemorated in the Darwin bar. The pub’s history goes back to 1565, the year Queen Elizabeth paid a visit, and although it’s been worked on extensively since, most recently with the additional of sofas and armchairs, it retains a rustic feel, not to mention customers in green wellies trailing Labradors behind them.

Under new ownership since 2011, it always stocks a local cask guest, usually from Westerham, alongside the well kept likes of Doom Bar, Sussex Best and various Adnams beers. The latter’s distilled spirits are also on sale. Understandably food (sausage and mash, haddock fish cakes, 1970s favourite prawn cocktail) is a big deal but drinkers, and walkers, are welcome.

Pub trivia. The attached Suhaili restaurant commemorates a lesser known local hero, Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to circumnavigate the Earth non-stop and single handed, a feat he accomplished in a ketch of that name in 1968-69.

National Rail Bromley South, Orpington (then bus) Bus Downe Church (146 Bromley South, R8 Orpington) Walking Cudham and Leaves Green Circular Walks, link to London Loop

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