London was positively Dickensian yesterday. The Beer Widow and I a couple of friends spent the afternoon in the Elk in the Woods, a Swedish restaurant in Camden Passage, Islington. We were sitting near the window by the Christmas tree watching the snow come down and it was just perfect.
Lunch itself was very fine. Just one problem though – the menu at Elk lists wines, cocktails, soft and hot drinks, but there’s no mention at all of beer. When you ask, they’ll admit to stocking Kronenbourg, a Swedish lager whose name I didn’t catch, and a perfectly serviceable keg Theakstons Old Peculier, plus a range of bottles that don’t exactly push the frontiers of beer appreciation but do create a more interesting range of drinks than you’d find in an average boozer.
It always irks me when cafes and bars don’t put beer on the menu – they’re saying it’s “just beer” – not even worth listing, less interesting than whether they stock Coke or Pepsi. Usually in places like this when you do ask you’re given a choice of Bud, Becks or Stella. But still, why? And why stock some more interesting beers and then not tell your customers about them?