Catford Constitutional Club – craft beers + gastropub food

It’s already 18 months since Antic London’s pub presence in Catford moved from the Catford Bridge Tavern and into the derelict premises of the former Catford Conservative Club.

Catford Conservative Club - derelict in 2013
Catford Conservative Club – re-opened as a pub in 2013 having been vacant for 20 years

That was then…
While the Antic team continued to serve a good range of craft beers and excellent gastropub food at the Catford Constitutional Club (CCC) from the start, the space was – despite their best cleaning efforts – run-down and grubby to say the least (unsurprisingly, having been empty for 20 years). And still with pictures of Conservative ministers and snooker champions on the walls, just as it was when it was left vacant by the old conservative club.

All masked in a mouldy, mildewy smell that had built up over a long time and doesn’t just disappear overnight (off-putting when dining despite the excellent gastropub food).

IMG_9270b_Small bar at CCC_May2014
From the restaurant side of the room – small bar hatch to the left; old Conservative pictures on rear wall; nice bunting hides some of the grubbiness, May 2014

CCC_cosy at Christmas_Dec2014
Cosy at Christmas – the restaurant one year on, Dec 2014

But this is now…
Eighteen months on, the CCC feels a bit more lived in. And the large beer garden with its pot plants and paintings is a punter-pleaser for the warm, summer days.

On our most recent visit to the CCC (both the bar and restaurant) we were unable to stray from our old favourites: a charcuterie sharing platter for starters, a burger for K and fish for me.

Here’s letting the pictures do the talking:
IMG_2398b_scotch egg CCC
Scotch egg @ £3.00 – you can’t eat at the CCC without having a Scotch egg. You just can’t. And they’re big enough to share.

IMG_2400b_Meat platter_CCC
Starter: Charcuterie board @ £8.00 – air dried pork collar, smoked beef brisket, fennel salami, tomato chutney, bread + butter

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Starter: Roast pumpkin + chilli soup @ £4.75 – a winter warmer

IMG_3065_whole box baked camembert
Starter: Whole box baked camembert with confit of garlic, thyme, apple + tomato chutney and bread @ £10.50

IMG_2406b_Sea Trout
Mains: Sea Trout @ £11.95 – with baby gem + samphire salad, Jersey royals, warm radishes, dill creme fraiche

IMG_1169b_hake
Mains: Hake @ £11.95 – with pink fir apple potatoes, kale, brown shrimp + caper butter

IMG_1945
Mains: Sea trout @ £11.95 – served with stem broccoli + lentils

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Sunday roast – lamb, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, mint sauce @ £12.75

IMG_2403b_Burger and truffle fries_CCC
Mains: Beef burger + posh chips @ £10.75 – burger with smoked bacon, smoked cheddar + relish in a brioche bun with ‘posh chips’ (fries with parmesan, smoked salt + truffle oil)

IMG_1163b_beef_burger
Mains: Beef burger + posh chips – so good K’s eaten this [more than] twice

IMG_3115b_beef burger and skinny chips_CCC
Beef burger, regular skinny fries goat’s cheese instead of cheddar @ £10.50

IMG_1168_brisket
Mains: Slow-roast brisket @ £12.75 – with smoked bacon, baby onions, Brussel sprouts + creamed celeriac

IMG_3067_Courgette beetroot ricotta salad
Mains: Courgette beetroot + ricotta salad @ £9.00

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Mains: Sausage and mash @ £7.00

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Mains: Pork belly @ £12

IMG_9282_elderflower_jelly
Dessert: Elderflower jelly + ice-cream @ £4.60

IMG_1173b_stickytoffeepudding
Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding @ £4.75 – with toffee sauce + clotted cream

IMG_1175_XmasPudding_PeanutButter_SaltedCaramel
Dessert: ice-cream union @ £4.00 – Christmas pudding, peanut butter and salted caramel

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Sample menu – as of 19 June 2015

The verdict: Good food and good range of craft beers + ciders that changes often. The team’s done a decent enough job of cleaning up an old vacant building and getting rid of the surface mould and grime. Unlike Antic at the old CBT, this is never going to be ‘shabby chic’ but remains just shabby. Unfortunately the ‘dirty student halls’ feel to the restaurant negates the good quality food to some extent, making it seem over-priced. This is Lewisham Borough not central London after all.

We stopped eating here after too many visits where service was slow and staff weren’t very switched on. That said, they do sometimes host interesting events (local musicians, crafts, etc).

Catford. Let’s not forget the cat
200711b_CatfordCat
Mieeww…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: British, gastropub food, real ales + ciders
~ Address: Catford Broadway, Catford, London
~ Postcode: SE6 4SP
~ Tel: 020 8613 7188
~ Nearest rail stations: Catford Bridge, Catford
~ Website + menus: Catford Constitutional Club website + Antic London website
~ Photos on flickr: My Catford Constitutional Club photos
~ Location: Catford Constitutional Club map

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