Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners near Vauxhall in South London is the first German gastro pub in the city. Here one can enjoy traditional and hearty German fare (schnitzel, sausages, sauerkraut) while sipping on a delicate German wine or glugging a generous German beer.
The pub has maintained its rather British character, the decor is a mixture of black and dark red, giving the ambience a particularly gothic feel. However, the pub also boasts a small, intimate patio area (not particularly chic but definitely an added bonus for spring and summer days).
As expected football is a big deal here and this is the destination for local Germans to congregate to watch the Bundesliga, as well as the imminent World Cup matches.
The staff are particularly good natured, friendly and incredibly laid-back, which can prove a tad irritating at times! Nevertheless, what the pub lacks in speed is by far made up with the food and drinks on offer. There are no less than nine types of schnitzel on the menu (this is at first perhaps a little misleading as the majority are a basic schnitzel simply with a different sauce). The pieces may not be particularly large but the meat is tender, tasty and the mushroom sauce is not to be missed! As anticipated sausages are also a big feature on the menu with an incredible 8 different sausage dishes on offer. In addition, there are several other German classics such as meatloaf, roast pork, käsespätzle (German noodles with cheese and onions), a variety of soups and salads, burgers and sandwiches.
Although bottled beers are available, the draught options are the best with the menu boasting: Rothaus Tannenzapfle, Veltins, Bitburger, Krombacher Pils, Warsteiner, Flensburger Lager, Gaffel Kölsch, DAB, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Das Schwarze, Meister Pils, Sanwald Weizen, Paulaner Lager, Paulaner Hefe, Weihenstephan Hell and Weihenstephan Dunkel. (Price for a pint £3.95.) I was also impressed to find the bar offers not only one or two German wines but in fact excludes wine from any other nation, most unusual even in traditional German establishments.
It’s offers ahoy at Zeitgeist at the moment with deals for lunch, happy hours and World Cup lunch specials so check out the website for any upcoming events and plan a trip to this charming gastropub now!
Zeitgeist at the Jolly Gardeners, 49-51 Black Prince Road, London SE11 6AB