Rave against riots

This Saturday, the Ravensbourne Arms will host a post-riot celebration of the community, with a BBQ, carnival games and table tennis.

Owners Antic (also behind the excellent Jam Circus and Royal Albert, among many others) have arguably taken on their biggest challenge yet with the Ravensbourne Arms, a big pub on Lewisham High Street. The pub opened in May and has had good reviews but BCers report it's rarely close to full, with word of mouth taking time to spread. Alexandra, who sent us the story, says:

I was really impressed with how much care and love the owners have put into every aspect of the Ravensbourne Arms. The staff were lovely and although I love the Ladywell Tavern, I'm really pleased to have another option in the neighbourhood.

66 comments:

Wild at Heart said...

It looks lovely, however every time I drive past I notice how empty it is. I hope its not struggling. Unfortunately its the wrong way for me for a quick pint on the way home from Ladywell.

darryl said...

Aw, that's nice. Is that during the day or in the evening?

They've done a good job there, but it looks like a slow burner. Lots of competition in that immediate area for distinctive, decent pubs too.

They also do Meantime lager, which gets the thumbs-up from me...

Rachel said...

The staff have said they hope it'll get busier once the kitchen's sorted out and it probably will - it's the kind of place (solid tables, plenty of space) that will make it perfect for Sunday lunch.

Brockley cross guy said...

Didn't realise it has changed hands. I'm still looking for musac free pubs other than the Brockley Barge. Does it have a bit where you can't hear any piped gunk? And better, still does it have a bit where you can't see or hear a wretched television? If so, I'd visit when they've sorted out the kitchen. Won't be a local though - too far to walk.

Matt-Z said...

Is the kitchen still not open?
I've been once and enjoyed it but waiting for food to appear before returning.

crass said...

6 people died, 200 homeless, arson, countless terrified out of their wits, numerous people jailed, 4 years imprisonment for creating a facebook group, yeah lets have 'a rave'

Brockley Nick said...

They're not actually having 'a rave'. I just chose the headline because, you know, because they're called the Ravensbourne Arms.

mb said...

Crass, yeah. Lets have a flash mob of shouty, wailing despair. Just what we need to show there is another side to Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

I passed by there today, and noticed they dont open till 4pm weekdays.

Anonymous said...

Nick does not need an echo Monkeyboy.

mb said...

You always have to have the last word don't you?

max said...

I almost stopped for the bbq lunch on my way back from the pool on Saturday. It'll be for this Saturday.

Phil said...

Rave Against Riots - how opportunistic.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting on the phone to the council!This is an outrage! Raves, whatever next1

TM said...

Brockley Central #? drinks (on tour in Ladywell) anyone?

SarahG said...

BC Drinks @ the Ravensbourne - here here! :0)

Anonymous said...

They need to sort the kitchen out. I know many who have been once but being told that there is no food "yet" doesnt solicit a return trip till then

NAT said...

Is it not a pub?

oryx said...

I like The Ravensbourne.

It's low lit, with dark wood and candles. The music is what I'd describe as mid-nineties/noughties indie (a curious mix of The White Stripes/Bloc Party/Stone Roses/Arctic Monkeys/PJ Harvey etc.). The prices are reasonable, the bogs are clean, the bar staff on the two times I've been there are helpful and personable.

The place has a low-lit, laid back vibe and has very obviously been furnished from house clearance, but in a good way. If you're getting on a bit, like me, it will remind you of your grandparents' house, with the standard lamps and (consciously retro) flock wallpaper, only with sauvignon and Belgian beer and the Stone Roses instead of dry sherry and the Light Programme. But in a good way.

There is a good mix of people and a good smoker-friendly beer garden. It's on main bus routes and easy to park opposite.

It's just become my favourite 'local' after the Brockley Jack.

Anonymous said...

"The music is what I'd describe as mid-nineties/noughties indie (a curious mix of The White Stripes/Bloc Party/Stone Roses/Arctic Monkeys/PJ Harvey etc.). "

OK. Thanks. That rules it out for me. I'll have to stick with Weatherspoons. :-(

RosieH said...

It's more like The Royal Albert than Jam Circus in its feel and has a good range of beers, good value wine and decent but not intrusive music. Friendly bar staff too.

Best pub in the Ladywell area. Hope this weekend's event goes well - it deserves to succeed

spincat said...

Can I just have an off-topic rage for a moment?

Why is it so hard to find places .. any places...
places to drink, places to eat... places to shop... places for coffee
that don't have background music.

There is an age factor - I think younger people are better at tuning it out. Having said that, I know very few people who like it - or who like it being imposed everywhere ... whatever age they are.

Anonymous said...

Honest fare selling places don't have music.

max said...

Spincat, you're right, in some places people can hear you only if you shout, and in these places often you can barely move because of the zimmerframes;)

Brockley Cross Man said...

Spincat - I couldn't agree more. I hardly ever eat or take a casual drink in a pub and the musac is almost always the reason. The number of otherwise friendly looking pubs and restuarants I have walked out of as soon as I entered because of the musac is beyond count. Hence my drinking at Weatherspoons. It isn't the nicest of pubs by a long way, but it is the only one I have found in Brockley, New Cross or Lewisham that doesn't have constant annoying music.

I can only think it is done to keep the staff happy - it certainly isn't for (potential) customers like me.

Pubs used to have separate rooms before they stripped them all out. Why can't they go back to having two rooms - a noisy one for those who want a television and a juke box blaring out and a quiet one for those who want to talk or read over their pints/meals?

F said...

Well the music in the Ravensbourne wasn't particularly offensive when I went on a week night recently. It's not loud.
According to the staff the kitchen should be ready in 2-3 weeks which means I'll be revisiting

Tamsin said...

The trouble is that music can be livable with when you go into a pub - and place your order. Then the tape changes and you're stuck.

But totally agree. Even if there are not separate rooms, you don't need to have speakers set up all around the premises.

max said...

I bet that there normally is, but it's that table that's already taken!

Anyway I imagine that the selection goes with the clientele they want to attract, so anything that was a hit 5 to 15 years ago to attract the late 20s/early 30s. Disposable income but not yet at home with the kids.

Anonymous said...

Blimey if its not moaning about the food/drink its now about the music.As you dont go there very often i dont think your opinion counts.

Tamsin said...

No, our opinion does count - and we should be listened because a significant tranche of people are being excluded from such venues - ending up with the choice of Wetherspoons or Wetherspooons. Where there is space it is surely in the interests of the owners/managers to cater for both those who want music and those who are actively put off by it.

Anonymous said...

Wetherspoons is great for a decent pint and an honest meal. Mung bean eating green party voters need not apply.

Brockley Cross Man said...

Anon 12:36
So only the opinions that count those of potential customers who already like what is on offer and no changes shall be made to attract those who do not like it.

"Take it or leave it" - not sure that that is the attitude that a successful (non-monopoly) business should adopt.

M said...

But I like music in a pub, as long as it's more background than foreground (unless it's live, obviously).
A good jukebox or a landlord with good taste helps make a good pub.
So if you don't like it vote with your... er, ears.
Wetherspoons is music (and, in my opinion, atmosphere) free and they are one of the largest chains in the country so you can hardly claim you aren't being catered for.

Anonymous said...

There would probably be less people going in if there was no music.

Tamsin said...

But where there is a pub big enough to have speakers in one half and the music only trickling through to the other half, can't they do that? Then they get my custom as well as yours.

Agree that Wetherspoons is a useful and predictable stand-by but they are not everywhere (memories of trailing around Greenwich looking for somewhere to eat and ending up in the Orchard) and it would be nice to support local enterprise.

Brockley Cross Man said...

"A good jukebox or a landlord with good taste helps make a good pub."

Mutually exclusive categories. The only good jukebox is one that is broken.

Why should one person with a bit of money to shove in a machine be able to inflict music on all others in hearing range?

OTOH, if there was juke box where you could pay for a "no music" track, I'd be there feeding it money all evening!

Anonymous said...

You sound fun!

Brockley Nick said...

Actually that would be a pretty good PR stunt for a local pub. Put 4'33" (a classical piece composed of nothing but silence) on the jukebox and then say you're letting your customers decide your policy of music v no music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

M said...

Good idea, Nick. Are you in PR by any chance?
Or go down the Silent Disco route - that would cut out conversation too, perfect for Brockly Cross Man to sit in silence with a pint.

Anonymous said...

Then even the deaf people could dance.

Ravensbourne Arms said...

Hi guys,

I'm the manager of The Ravensbourne Arms and thought I'd clear a few things up for you.

Firstly, this Saturday isn't a "rave" at all. I can see that the title was a play on our name here and nothing more.

This Saturday we will be having a barbecue in the back garden from 2pm - 8pm. There will be a few child friendly carnival games and our table tennis table outside too. Nothing too fancy, just a bit of fun for everyone!

From 6pm we have a lovely guy named Will strolling around with a guitar singing some acoustic folk. He won't have a mic and it won't be too loud! He's just there to add a little atmosphere and won't be offended if someone tells him to go and play to someone else. Once he's finished, at 8.30pm, we have the local Jonathan Glew playing through the evening. He will have a mic and a small PA which is set up in one half of the pub. If you choose to sit in the other half his music really won't challenge any conversation you're having at your table.

So, that's Saturday. No loud DJs. No full bands with drums hurting your ears. Just some nice acoustic soloists playing some tunes :)

Our kitchen has been annoying for everyone. Fortunately, I can tell you that actual work started on the kitchen yesterday morning and I have been told it will take 3 weeks. I have also been told I will have a definite date by Monday so watch this space!

If any of you would like to pop in for a beer but are worried about our background music please let me know. There is a raised area to the side of the pub with comfy sofas that is free to reserve. I can easily turn off the speakers in that area so you can be blissfully music-free.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. You can email me at ravensbourne@antic-ltd.com or call me directly on 02088137070.

I look forward to meeting you all :)

Ali @ The Ravensbourne Arms.

Ravensbourne Arms said...

Correction...

Our phone number is 0208 613 7070. Apologies.

Ali @ The Ravensbourne.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the non-music people,they probably would complain about hymn singing in churches.

Brockley Cross Man said...

Anon said: "You sound fun!"

Well, it depends on your definition of fun. If you definition of fun is being distracted by or having to shout over musac, then, no I'm not.

If your definition of fun is having an entertaining chat over a pint of beer with your friends without shouting yourself silly then I guess I could be.

air guitar said...

Those that are anti music should join a silent protest movement.

Brockley Cross Man said...

Another anon said: "Don't worry about the non-music people,they probably would complain about hymn singing in churches."

I'm not aware that people go to church to have talk with their friends and have a quiet pint of beer or two.

Music is fine in churches or concert halls. It is totally unnecessary in a pub or, come to that, a shop.

I appreciate some people like it. I am not seeking to get it banned from all pubs, just to have more choices of places I can go where I can have a drink and a chat. There is nothing wrong with choice is there?

Tamsin said...

Thank you, Ali, for the extra info. And for the ressurances that you cater for all types.

I work down the road just south of the Hospital and have been watching your progress from the outside with interest.

Brockley Cross Man said...

Thanks Ravensborne-manager. That really doesn't sound too bad. And its great to know that there is a manager who would turn the speakers off in part of a pub if asked - you can't imagine the rude comments I have had from some publicans when I have asked for this!

I was rather put off by the comment about "White Stripes/Bloc Party/Stone Roses/Arctic Monkeys/PJ Harvey etc" - some of those I've never heard of and the rest I can't stand. You've convinced me otherwise.

I'll come in the next time I'm up your end of Lewisham and report back to the music-free contingent (there are obviously a few here).

Anonymous said...

Each to there own BCM,I dont like drinking where the person next to you is eating,but those pubs are few and far between.

Anonymous said...

PS.I will probably drink in the Ravensbourne until the kitchen opens.

Anonymous said...

Am I imagining things or have pubs served food and had music for generations?

Sorrell said...

Really nice of Ali to come on here and post a reply. I went in there the other week for the first time and would definitely return whether the kitchen was open or not. I really liked the music that was playing and it was the perfect balance of adding atmosphere whilst still allowing you to easily hold a conversation.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of a Johanna and an old fashioned knees up?

Anonymous said...

A former landlord of the Ravensbourne nee Coach & Horses died, whilst listening loudly to his favourite rock band, something like Deep Purple or Black Sabbath.

Let that be a warning to you kids.

Anonymous said...

With modern technology wouldn't streaming and wifi headphones be a solution to the music thing?

spincat said...

It has got nothing to do with not liking music; who doesn't like music?

I even seek out places with good jukeboxes but like not having music on sometimes - it has a certain rarity value.

It is the reflex action of putting loud music because... because - why? We can see from this thread that thee are plenty of people who feel like me.

I will definitely go to Ravensbourne Arms though - good luck with it.

MalB said...

Anon says: "Am I imagining things or have pubs served food and had music for generations?"

Not for that many. Pubs weren't allowed to serve food until after World War I. You might be confusing them with inns or taverns which, of course, have served food for centuries - but this was invariably in separate dining rooms not in the public bar or tap room. Serving food in the main room is barely 50 years (2 generations old) and, as an element of most pubs only really dates from the 1970s.

As for music, that was generally only a piano (i.e. live unamplified music, non-constant) until the invention of the juke box and they only became a popular pub installation during the 1960s

In any event, until the 1970s (at least) most pubs had separate lounge bars where there would rarely be food or music - so you could get away from both.

Of the three pubs in the village where I was brought up in the late 1960s/early 1970s, none had piped music and only one served any food at all other than standard bar snacks such as crisps. By the time was at University, in larger city, in the 1970s I see to recall most, but not all pubs serving food, but very few (certainly of those that I frequented) with anything other than live music at night.

oryx said...

I am the first person to launch into a rabid rant about too loud music in pubs drowning out conversation - but find the level in the Ravensbourne just fine.

I liked the music as well. Especially when I realised we were discussing the riots to the tune of REM's 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It'.

MalB said...

It is not merely the volume as far as I am concerned but the level of bass particularly where there is an emphasis on the beat. I am not sure what it is about my hearing, but bass really gets to me with headaches. So something like light classic music or unamplified folk music, the harp or a string quartet (preferably without a double bass) is fine. Anything level and I tend to walk out and find another pub or restuarant (and in some towns this has meant we've taken so long to try and find a suitable watering-hole that we've gone without). After all, there is no point going to somewhere where you simply can't enjoy yourself.

So I'm with SpnCat, Brockley Cross Man, a couple of Anons and, of course, Tamsin here. Let's have some quieter places along with the noisy ones for those who can stand/like it.

MalB said...

See above: for "classic" read "classical" and for "level" read "above that level".

Still trying to get the hang of this!.

Lemmy said...

"....So something like light classic music or unamplified folk music, the harp or a string quartet (preferably without a double bass) is fine...."

No that is NOT fine.

mungal tap said...

On a scale of 1 to 10 on the silly scale, the suggestion to have classical music in a pub is at number 11.

patrick1971 said...

The thing with the kitchen opening later must be Antic's modus operandi; the Royal Albert's kitchen didn't open until months after the rest of the pub.

MalB said...

Mungal tap - if you read what I said you will see that I didn't actual proposal classical music for a pub, I simply said as regards to what type of music I can stand, classical is fine. You will note that later in the post I referred to "pub or restaurant".

I would rather there were more pubs without any musac at all, as I thought I had made clear from my reference to agreeing with others.

oryx said...

I hope people don't read this thread and thing The Ravensbourne is noisy - it's not! I wouldn't go there if it was!

It's a lovely pub and great addition to the area. I'm looking forward to trying the food, and perhaps the table tennis in the garden if I can persuade my other half.

Anonymous said...

More riot fun
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027972/The-loot-alikes-dead-ringers-famous-actors-pop-stars-politicians.html

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