Antic’s Catford Bridge Tavern (Closed Nov 2013)

Antic’s Catford pub moved in 2013 from the CBT to the Catford Constitutional Club (CCC)


The Last Supper – a tribute to CBT kitchen crew Final post: 13 Oct 2013

It’s Sunday. The day of rest. What better way to relax than to while away a few hours at the homely Antic Catford pub, the Catford Bridge Tavern (CBT), with a few beers and a Sunday roast?

It’s old news that this CAMRA award-winning pub is outstanding, with really friendly, helpful bar staff serving a wide range of real ales and really special pub grub created by Chef Eddie and his kitchen crew. I’ve eaten at other Antic pubs and they’re all pretty good but put simply – CBT food is a world apart and ranks top.

But I’ve already reviewed this pub (scroll down to main blog post of 9 June 2013). This is a last update to pay tribute to the kitchen crew really, as we were fortunate enough to turn up spontaneously this afternoon to find it was the Chef’s last day.

The good news is:
Punters of another Antic pub, The Sun of Camberwell, get to experience his fab food for the next few weeks.

The even better news is:
He’s returning to Antic Catford in its new home, Catford Constitutional Club (CCC) late 2013. Yay.

And the remaining kitchen crew are keeping the CBT kitchen running until this pub closes and they move to CCC. Double yay.

There was quite a large party in (of about 20) and the restaurant was full besides, this afternoon. Imagine our anxiety… might the Sunday roasts be running out? Fortunately not. Phew. Back to relaxing. As ever, the fab bar and restaurant team had things under control.

K had roast sirloin beef, I had roast black-faced lamb, both served with a Yorkshire pudding + gravy, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, cauliflower cheese, mixed kale/cabbage, etc with horseradish cream and fresh mint sauces (the usual high standard we’ve come to know and love).

20131013_CBT_SundayRoast Sunday roast at Catford Bridge Tavern: roast black-faced lamb, roast sirloin beef, walnut + whiskey tart with stem ginger ice-cream

We shared dessert – a walnut and whiskey tart with stem ginger ice-cream (the last portion, lucky us) which was just divine. A really moist and crumbly tart, which – along with the spicy stem ginger ice-cream – made us think of the tastes of Christmas. Please let this be on the menu at the CCC. Please

It may not be surprising that the Catford Bridge Tavern (the Antic Catford pub 2011-2013, soon to R.I.P. at these premises) is currently ranked #61 of 12,500+ restaurants in London on TripAdvisor.

May that success and popularity continue, when the team moves from the CBT to ‘new’ pub premises nearby, Catford Constitutional Club (CCC) soon.


Catford Bridge Tavern – CAMRA South East London Pub 2013
Original post: 9 June 2013
CAMRA’s South East London pub 2013 and one of the UK’s Top 150 Local Real Ale Pubs, the Catford Bridge Tavern looks – on the outside – like a Tudor-style country mansion that might be better placed by some rural village green, with the sound of cricket balls clacking on wood and birds tweeting…

Fortunately for Catfordians it’s slap bang next to Catford’s two train stations, and has put Catford in the borough of Lewisham (not one of London’s most prosperous areas by any means) firmly on the map.

Catford Bridge Tavern, an Antic pub

On the inside, the CBT has all the hallmarks of being an Antic pub (known for their eclectic, anything-goes, jumble-sale style furniture and decor) and an impressive range of real ales and ciders spanning the long bar. There’s also a good wine list that I enjoy dipping into on those rare occasions when I can resist a draught (Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, and Austrian Gruner Veltliner – a particular favourite, feature among the whites).

Resist the enticing smell of warm, chunky sausage (and black pudding) rolls encased in flakey pastry – strategically placed at the bar – if you can, and head into the rear dining room.

Camera Roll-535
Cornish mackerel with roasted fennel and Jersey royals @ £10.50

Last weekend we dined in for Sunday dinner. I had mackerel and K had roast beef; both were so, so good I’m not sure these photos do them justice. You can see some thought’s gone into the presentation though, and that reflects the thoughtfulness of everything about this pub.

I’m not a fan of smoked mackerel as it can be too oily but this was neither. It was so crisp and delicious there’s no way I could have left the skin (ok, my moan about fish skin on Saturday was only about battered, fish-and-chip-shop fish) and the blend of flavours of roasted fennel (aniseedy) and Jersey royals along with the beetroot, tomato and horseradish salsa worked perfectly.

Sunday roast – Sirloin of Scottish beef @ £12.00

Generously sliced, the Sirloin beef was nicely pink and tender, with a crispy, well risen Yorkshire pud, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, cauliflower cheese and cabbage, in a thick, meaty gravy.

The menu changes all the time but you can see Sunday’s, as a sample, here and an older sample menu here.

Camera Roll-526
Dining room – mismatched chairs, lampshades and bunting which somehow works

Quirky interior with a homely feel

We (particularly K) have spent too many evenings to count in this homely pub, where service is consistently friendly, and food – along with the choice of draughts – consistently delights.

It should be noted too, that only a couple of years ago this pub was the to-be-avoided Copperfield (well, unless you specifically *wanted* to immerse yourself in a fight or some dodgy drug deal…) when Catford didn’t have much to offer in the way of good restaurants and pubs to go to. Since then, CBT staff have turned the pub around and it’s usually busy with locals and visitors alike – even City workers heading out for after-work drinks visiting Catford for the first time (it’s 20 minutes by train from London Bridge).

With the wider community’s support, the CBT fought off closure and conversion of the premises into a supermarket last year – but that’s another story – which tells just how important this establishment is in the Catford community, and how much it’s changed.

Keep an eye on the CBT website for details of what’s on (beer festivals, quizzes, comedy, etc) or listen to those tweeting country birds @catfordtavern or the kitchy cats @CBTkitchen.

Then pass me a stout / IPA / cloudy cider (I don’t mind which) and pull up a rickety chair.

Pub + dining room info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: British, gastro pub food, real ales + ciders
~ Address: Station Approach, Catford
~ Postcode: SE6 4RE
~ Tel: 020 3066 2060
~ e:
~ Twitter: @catfordtavern
~ Nearest train station: Catford Bridge or Catford
~ Menus: CBT menus
~ Catford Constitutional Club (CCC) website *new*: Catford Constitutional Club website
~ CBT Website: Catford Bridge Tavern website
~ Antic website: Antic pubs list – including CBT
~ Location: Catford Bridge Tavern map

~ Photos on flickr: pics of CBT food

More CBT food photos:

Sharing platter starter

Rib-eye steak with grilled mushroom

Beef and ale pie

Catford. Not forgetting the cat

Nearby dining:
~Catford Chippy
~El Poco Mexico

Catford Bridge Tavern on Urbanspoon


14 Responses

  1. […] LINKS Nearby dining: ~Catford Bridge Tavern ~El Poco Mexico […]

  2. Best pub and staff in London. Not just saying that cos I live 8 1/2 minutes away (on the way there that is).

    • *snigger* – lucky you Spud. Though I can imagine it being hard to walk straight past on those rare occasions you really ought to…

  3. […] Poco Mexico has been open for a couple of years now, and – along with the Catford Bridge Tavern, Sapporo Ichiban and Mekan – is putting Catford firmly on the map as an area to go to for […]

  4. […] LINKS Nearby dining – Catford SE area: ~Catford Bridge Tavern ~Catford Chippy ~El Poco Mexico ~Mekan ~ Sapporo […]

  5. […] LINKS Nearby dining – Catford SE area: ~ Catford Bridge Tavern ~ Catford Chippy ~ El Poco Mexico ~ Mekan ~ Sapporo […]

  6. It’s 11 mins from London Bridge, or 16 on the slower train. Otherwise a very true review. Almost as soon as it became recognised, the pub was bought by Camden Bars which saddens us Catfordians as we like to keep successes within the community (there are a few hidden foodie gems here). Hopefully they will keep it strong. They have a lot of locals to win over.

    • Thanks for the info Caroline.
      Fingers crossed this will be Camden Bars’ *first* great pub!
      There’s a bit of info about the CBT’s landlord selling the pub to Camden Bars here on Brockley Central blog and here on News Shopper

      • By the way, unrelated but have you tried La Pizzeria Italiana in Catford? Great non-pretentious pizza with the dough spun around and the pizzas cooked in front of you. Terrible location (completely hidden) but endearing for that reason. And always busy.

    • thanks for your recommendation about La Pizzeria Italiana. You’re right, it’s fab! It *only* took me nearly a year to go try it out – still, I went twice in my first week so you can tell I was impressed :O) more at:

  7. not yet but La Pizzeria Italiana is on my ‘to try’ list, it looks good. Great to hear a recommendation for it. I’ll endeavour to go (and review) soon. Watch this space… :O)

  8. […] LINKS Nearby dining – Catford SE area: ~ Catford Bridge Tavern ~ Catford Chippy ~ El Poco Mexico ~ FS2 – Turkish food ~ Mekan – Turkish food ~ Sapporo […]

  9. […] Pizzeria Italiana was first recommended to me in August 2013 by CaT here on LardButty, and I’m seriously gutted that it took me nearly a year to visit. Still, […]

  10. […] already 18 months since Antic London’s pub presence in Catford moved out of the Catford Bridge Tavern and into the derelict premises of the former Catford Conservative […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: