Who'd have thought it: both Adrian and me set New Year's resolutions to use calendars more, so our first get together actually happened on the date we had planned – despite the tube trying hard to prevent it. Really it was a post-Christmas catchup, great to see him, but we ended up exploring quite a bit around where I work. We started in the Local Tavern, which is much more upmarket than the name or design implies (and, despite boasting of its beer selection, was a little disappointing on tap). It's also huge inside; a proper T.A.R.D.I.S pub!
From there we grabbed a completely excellent "dirty" burger from the Vinegar Yard food market near London Bridge station. I've wandered through the market a few times but this was a first actually sticking around. The local beer was alright (again, a complete lack of anything dark) and Adrian took a strong liking to Blue Moon, which made me chuckle. The burger, though, has left me craving a repeat visit. Adrian tried the vegan option and seemed to enjoy it, but the fully environmentally disastrous bacon cheeseburger (double patty as a minimum) with gherkin mayo was one of the best food van burgers I've had in ages. Meat was delicious, cheese was great, bun held up, sauce got top marks. Yeah, I'll probably be going back at some point. It's up there with Chosen Bun, but just a little dirtier in both setting and delivery, so it's perfect for an evening out.
We ended up getting chucked out of the Vinegar Yard at closing time but were still deep in conversation (we covered a lot - it was really great seeing him!) so wound up in the much more mainstream Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen. It was loud, plenty of people were having a great time, and they had Guinness. 5/10 but manageable to round out the night.