The Albert’s décor is pub-chain lite, with it’s woody interior and dodgy framed posters. Pub-chain with the chains off might be fairer thanks to the relaxed vibe, shabby carpets, and definitely minus a ‘no music’ policy. Smoking areas at the front and back are welcome, and roomier than some other local examples.
True to Brixton form, it’s a good mix of stalwart locals, students, music fans, and pre clubbers, of a weekend. Gigs and entertainment tend to see the place rammo; on quieter evenings, small friendly multi-national groups who all seem to know the pleasant bar-staff. You can come on your own and not feel weird (you might even learn a bit of Spanish).
Pretty standard range of it; your beers, wines, and spirits are all here, though there aren’t any local offerings. There seemed to be more gin than anything else, and enough beers to rival the promoted Greene King I.P.A. Thankfully the gimmicky shot menu seems to have vanished. Good riddance.
Not as dear as a pop-up, whilst not being the cheapest. The cheapest wine on offer was £2.75 per glass, and £8.45 the bottle. You’ll be able to afford an extra round thanks to the club nights having a resolute free entry policy. There’s no pool table to sink your quids in.
There are two pages of the ubiquitous range of pub eats, including: generous sharing plates, pasta, fish and chips, and a longer section dedicated to burgers. There’s a salmon one, but you’ll have to review that yourself. Dishes aren’t more than £6.50 and look to be fairly good value.
An interesting fact
John Major lived on the same road as the pub as a child. (According to John’s sister, their family home really was a hovel, and little John didn’t like it at all.) Of course, the Majors have since all gone the way of the shot menu and are no longer residents of Coldharbour Lane.
Probably the friendliness of staff and drinkers, and total absence of lost pop-up punters – hipsters might feel as though they’ve strayed from the metropolis. The garden’s sort of pretty, too.
What’s a bit rubbish
It’s short on character, but that suits the entertainment side of things well. Gain a Chesterfield, lose a bunch of cool gigs maybe.
What else they got in the bag?
Loads of regular nights put on by successful locals the Offline Club. The USP of these tends to be the variety of acts, including dj mash-ups and the Mrs Mills Experience. Mrs Mills tickles the ivories and invites audience participation (you have been warned).
To sum it up
With a vibe somewhere between your back room and a very nice youth hostel, the Prince Albert is upholding classic pub values by doing really very little. Good on ’em.
Address: 418 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF
Visit the pub’s Facebook Page here
Brixton Pub Review – The Prince Albert by Sophie Bush. Photography by Rubina Pabani.