272 New Cross Road, New Cross, London SE14 6AA
The Hobgoblin is just kind of there. It’s not great, but you end up going there a lot. Inside, it’s like the hull of a miserable ship; one that smells of stale beer, and has sofas, and really uncomfortable wooden church pews instead of hammocks. There’s a lot of wood panelling, and with the bright lights the whole place is bathed in an oppressive amber hue.
Aside from the decor, my main problem with The Hobgoblin is that the staff tend to be quite rude. All the time. They must be indoctrinated in it by the main men: three rugger buggers who appear to run the place. I don’t know if they’re related, but they all look vaguely similar; they’re like cauliflowered trolls, with beer bellies flopping out of British Lions rugby jerseys. Their heads are distended and warped into the shapes of various root vegetables, and they all have a rather blunt and passive-aggressive demeanour. And they love rugby, which is enough to turn you off anyone.
Though eggchasing is the primary pastime (they really love it, far too much), the place is pretty good for watching football. You usually get a decent-sized crowd watching games and there is a big screen in the conservatory.
The place gets extremely busy on Wednesday nights during term time, for Ladies Night, when said gender is entitled to various drink offers. There are lots of cheap spirits flung back, as the place acts as departure lounge for the Flight into Hell that is Club Sandwich at Goldsmiths Student Union. If you do plan on going Sandwich, it’s definitely worth flinging as many down your neck as you can, and if you’re not, well, the pub is nice and lively until closing every Wednesday anyway. So enjoy.
There’s a middling selection of draught beers, the usual lagers plus Heineken; and Doom Bar, London Pride, and, um, Hobgoblin. A pint of Guinness is £3.70 and normally pretty good. And they often have bottles of Green Goblin cider, which is fucking great. The Thai food is also excellent and reasonably priced.
To be honest, if you’re from somewhere horrible like Stoke or Hull, you’ll probably love this place. If not, well, it’s kinda just OK. It’s convenient; and a good atmosphere can build when it gets busy, particularly the beer garden in the summer, or on a Wednesday night. When it is packed out, you can ignore the rude staff and shit interior, but otherwise they bring it down if you’re just after a quiet pint.