Christmas is Bedlam at The Tankard

13 Nov 2017,

The revival of The Tankard on Kennington Road has been one of the proudest moments in my time at The Draft House. Here we took a tired disco-pub and reacquainted the place with its rich London history.

The Tankard stands on at the corner of Kennington Road on the edge of The Imperial War Museum park.

It’s a spectacular spot, but one which hides a darkish secret. The Imperial War Museum building was originally the Bethlehem Hospital – a name which was pronounced by Cockneys as ‘Bedlam’. The asylum – and its nickname – became so iconic that even now Bedlam is a general English term for disorder or craziness.

Now in those days Bedlam was surrounded by a high wall. And The Tankard was purpose-built with a roof terrace to afford drinkers a peep over that wall.

So the inmates were the entertainment. A truly Dickensian concept and one which seems almost inconceivable today.
Incidentally, the indoor-outdoor Terrace Bar – complete with heaters is an awesome place to host a party at Christmas or any other time.

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