Oh - it's not that bad. We went out last week, had a few nice drinks in the Garrison on a Friday night - it's a really nice atmosphere, everyone standing outside watching the world go by. We then went for dinner down at Village East, which is full of beautiful young things. I didn't find it too pretentious - we had a lovely meal and the service was spot on.
I also like the open beer garden at the back of the Woolpack, which again has a nice friendly crowd.
It's worth a try - you also have the lovely Hide bar for a nice cocktail if you fancy?
Bermondsey St is very different from Notting Hill Gate! More like the quieter bits of Islington (Canonbury end of Upper Street, maybe). I can't really imagine why anyone would trek there for a night out unless either (a) a local, and therefore not exactly trekking, or (b) intent on eating at The Garrison or Village East. It's hardly wild and crazy.
There are some nice pubs and restaurants but am not sure its a destination type of place - depends how far you're planning to travel I guess. Then again, if you want to support our local economy, please do.
If you turn up at the Garrison for a meal without a booking at any kind of social time, be prepared for smirking and incredulous staff (as far as I'm concerned it is a gastropub as it is suitably scruffy, and not a restaurant). Delfina Studios was a fantastic restaurant, unfortunately is no longer open.
A much better bet is Village East any time of the evening. The Britannia pub a few streets to the west is also a gem as a "local".
If you are looking for a 'booze up' destination area, with a variety of drinking places within staggering distance of each other then try the environs of Borough Market, which is encircled by the Southwark Tavern, Wheatsheaf, Market Porter, Brew Wharf, The Rake and The Globe - a variety of settings and a comprehensive, ever changing range of beers between them.