Park Fever, which gets its name from the now-defunct Hither Green Hospital (a casualty of the Blitz), is a neighbourhood beer and chocolate shop. Beer and chocolate, before you ask, is a winning match: before he set up here, owner Adrian had worked in both circles. So why waste the expertise?
To set things straight, this is more a bottle shop than a pub, though you do get the vibes of the latter on some evenings, with locals taking up what perch they can in this small space. There’s a respectable array of beers, from the usual London suspects (Beavertown, Five Points, Weird Beard, for example), to traditional Belgians (Orval, Delirium, Verhaeghe). And even some of the ultra-new stuff from breweries like Cloudwater – if you’re quick – and Magic Rock.
You didn’t hear this from me, but owner Adrian has a good relationship with a certain distributor in the West Country, meaning he often gets first dibs on the smashing beers coming out of the Cornish-based Verdant Brewing Co.
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning the chocolate, which, true enough, gets comparatively little attention. Tear into a bar of Duffy’s or Land, and you’ll probably never fall for a KitKat again.
By Hugh Thomas, regional editor