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The Derby – Oval’s one-stop pint shop

The Derby – Oval’s one-stop pint shop

Sometimes pubs and bars don’t need to be the biggest or the best, the most stylish or the place to be seen. Sometimes they just need to not be wrong, to simply provide a neighbourhood with exactly what it needs — and that’s what The Derby does. 

On the face of it, there’s nothing remarkable about this independent corner pub, even more so because its predecessor, the Brown Derby, was an idiosyncratic vibe hall with crazy fans and wild bric-a-brac everywhere. Today’s The Derby (without the Brown) is a relatively safe alternative, opting instead for a simple Irish bar approach. 

Rustic Irish memorabilia provides modest decoration, but looking the best or being the trendiest was never the mission statement for The Derby. This is a corner pub that works. Live music breaks up sports coverage on big HD screens visible from every table. The bar is well stocked, and while another ale option would be nice your best bet here is a very reasonably-priced Guinness for £5.50. 

The seats are comfortable, the lighting dark and despite its clear disinterest in hyper-trendiness, after dark The Derby manifests a brilliant neighbourhood dive bar vibe. Modest seating outside means — in a true homage to London — busy times are defined by people pouring out onto the pavements around the boozer, pints in hand. 

With a new BBQ-focused kitchen and a licence that allows it to stay open later than the other pubs around, the Derby really is just what Oval needed. 

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