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Catford Bridge Tavern SE6 – new in 2017

It’s pleasing to see the redeveloped CBT doing well again under new ownership, since re-opening Easter 2017 with a new roof terrace, refurbed dining room and a good range of drinks from craft beers to “gincident” gins

The former Catford Bridge Tavern run by Antic, closed back in November 2013 (Tesco bought the lease, then sold it to Solitaire after community campaigns to save the pub), it then caught fire and stood empty for about two years (see re-construction time-lapse). A disappointing saga.

With a happy ending?

Let’s take a look. Starting with skin-on chips that take some beating:

Beer battered haddock + skin-on salted chips with tartar sauce

Beer battered haddock: nice white ‘meaty’ fish

Food promos run on weekday evenings:

Burger MondaysBurger + skin-on chips and a pint for £10.00 (the offer’s since changed to buy a burger, get a second for £1)

They’re good burgers. Every day of the week.

The menu changes fairly regularly, here’s a sample from April 2017:

Sample menu 

Sea bream @ £11.00

Pano – cross-section restaurant and bar-side

Fancy a bar snack?

Cumberland sausage rolls with mushroom ketchup – bar snack @ £4.00

Craft beers

Saving the best ’til last, it’s got to be Sunday roasts:

Sunday roast: pork belly + crackling @ £14.00

20170903_CBT Sunday roasts
Sunday roasts: pork belly with crackling (top @ £14) and topside of beef (bottom @ £14.75) with roast spuds and proper Yorkshire puddings

Eton mess @ £4.00

Watch out for quirky events and themes, from music by a Granny DJ to “Gincidents” and dog shows.

The verdict: Catford has a great traditional-style pub again – good food, drinks, and service (bar and waiting staff are usually chatty and helpful) in a comfy, clean space that’s enjoyable to relax in.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pub, British
– Address: Station Approach, Catford, London
– Postcode: SE6 4RE
– Nearest station: Catford Bridge, Catford
– Website + menus: Catford Bridge Tavern website
– Photos on flickr: images of Catford Bridge Tavern food
– Location: Catford Bridge Tavern map


Princess Victoria – Shepherd’s Bush W12

Posh nosh Sunday roasts in West London

To celebrate L’s birthday, we went to one of her local pubs in West London for dinner last Sunday – the Princess Victoria. It was easy to see why it’s one of her favourites: bar staff were friendly and welcoming as we arrived even though it was busy, there’s a good range of craft beers and wines, and prosecco by the glass, as well as an appealing arrangement of whiskies and gins.


Princess Victoria pub on Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush


Bar: real ales on draft, fine selection of whiskies and gins

The child-friendly dining room was heaving with families and toddlers (with many kids entertaining themselves, on devices) perhaps a bit more of a ‘playground’ than I might have liked (hint: if you don’t normally choose to go to the kindergarten to eat your sandwich on a lunchtime, skip this place for a Sunday roast).

IMG_4193_Sunday lunch menu at Princess Victoria
Sample menu: Sunday lunch menu on 15 Nov 2015

We were a party of ten and most of us homed in on the Sunday roast dinners (generous portions and very good!):

IMG_4194_Sunday roast beef
Rib of Cumbrian roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish – with roast potatoes + mixed vegetables @ £17.50

IMG_4197_Sunday roast belly pork
Dingley Dell roast belly pork with crackling and apple sauce – served with roast potatoes + mixed veg @ £15.50

IMG_4198_Sunday roast poussin
Roast poussin, Yorkshire pudding and bread sauce – with roast potatoes + mixed veg @ £14.50

IMG_4195_fish and chips
Beer battered fish + chips with peas and tartare sauce @ £12.50


My roasted poussin was just gorgeous. The only disappointment being that the Scotch egg starter I ordered didn’t arrive (“amazing Scotch eggs” with runny yolks as recommended by L). Still, it seems like a good excuse to go back and try again…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: gastropub
~ Address: 217 Uxbridge Road, London
~ Postcode: W12 9DH
~ Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush Market, East Acton, Shepherd’s Bush
~ Website + menus: Princess Victoria website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Princess Victoria food
~ Location: Princess Victoria map


Princess Victoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Mistley Thorn Essex – best Sunday roasts

Having spent a relaxing weekend away in Suffolk, we decided to stop off somewhere for a leisurely Sunday dinner, and break up our drive back to London.

A quick google and The Guardian’s 2013 Best Sunday Lunches lists four pubs/restaurants for East England, one being The Crown & Castle in Orford, Suffolk, where we happened to go on Saturday night (it was excellent – hopefully a good indication that the others would be of a similarly high standard).

The Mistley Thorn near Manningtree in Essex is one of the listings: their “seafood specials at this old coaching house include the North Sea’s finest scallops, squid and local beer-battered haddock with chips”.

Decision made. We were going to Mistley, a small village on the coast (by the River Stour ajoining the North Sea) with much history (a Roman road to Colchester, C.17th witchfinders, a Cold War control room that became a museum before finally closing in 2002, etc).

Inside The Mistley Thorn – bar area

It was mid-afternoon, we hadn’t booked. And this place was full – an indication of its popularity. A table for two was made available and we were told there’d be a short wait (by the accommodating, friendly staff) before they could take our order.

And so we enjoyed a leisurely beer (a bottled Goose Island IPA for me, and half an Adnams Spindrift on tap for K) while admiring the simple wood panelled decor that gives the restaurant the feel of a converted seaside hut.

We homed in on the set menu – two courses for £15.95. And both started with the chef’s soup of the day (leek and potato) with croutons (packed with flavours and helped warm us up on this cold wintry day).

Leek + potato soup – soup of the day with croutons

For the main course Sunday roast, we both had roast Suffolk red poll rump of beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast rosemary potatoes and seasonal vegetables, with a red wine gravy and fresh creamed horseradish.

Red Poll cattle are native to East Anglia (a cross between Norfolk Red beef cattle and Suffolk Dun dairy cattle, developed in the 19th century) and are naturally polled (without horns).

This red poll beef was really special – a great cut of lean beef, cooked perfectly (medium), pink in the middle and moist (no chewiness or gristle). Undoubtedly the best roast beef I’ve had in a Sunday roast dinner. The Yorkshire puddings were just right too – crisp on the outside, and soft in the middle.

Roast beef + Yorkshire pudding

Specials menu – sample menu from Sunday 29 March 2015


The Mistley Thorn Rooms + Restaurant – Mistley, Essex


The verdict: Excellent food and great service in homely, comfy surroundings. Well worth a visit, even if it’s out of your way.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: British, Sunday roasts
~ Address: High St, Mistley, near Manningtree, Essex
~ Postcode: CO11 1HE
~ Tel: 01206 392821
~ Nearest station: Mistley
~ Website + menus: The Mistley Thorn website
~ Photos on flickr: images of The Mistley Thorn
~ Location: The Mistley Thorn map

Mistley Thorn on Urbanspoon

Guy Fawkes Arms – Scotton, Knaresborough

Last Saturday was a gorgeously sunny and mild day in Scotton, a small village just two miles from Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. A fine day to be celebrating my parents’ golden wedding anniversary at a country pub.

The Guy Fawkes Arms is under new management, and mum and dad had already done a recce (thanks for passing on the research skills, pops) and decided this was where they wanted to celebrate their fifty years of marital bliss.

Staff were welcoming, friendly and really helpful from the word go, and there was a good selection of real ales on tap from around the region (including Leeds Pale from The Leeds Brewery) and a good choice of wines too (we had a Viognier – dry white – with our fish courses, reasonably priced at around £25.00 a bottle).

IMG_1544_Guy Fawkes lunch menu
Sample lunch menu – click to enlarge

Our table for eighteen was in a separate room from the main bar area, just off the kitchen.

For starters I had seabass fillet with Thai vegetables – just gorgeous, with palate-cleansing ginger flavours and a generously sized fillet (more like a main course dish so quite filling).

Seabass fillet with Thai vegetables – starter

Feta, sundried tomato + olive salad with balsamic drizzle – starter

IMG_4147b_Belly pork_blackpudding_Guy Fawkes Arms_Scotton
Belly pork, black pudding, sweet chilli salad – starter

For main course, I had battered haddock with chips and mushy peas. The haddock was *huge* with the lightest batter I’ve ever had – it literally shattered when I put my cutlery in it. So good. The chunky fried chips were perfect too (soft in the middle, crispy on the outside) as were the minty mushy peas.

Haddock, chips and mushy peas – huge main course portion

IMG_1561_steak and ale pie
Steak + Black Sheep ale pie

IMG_1559_seafood linguine
Seafood linguine – with some mashed potato and mixed veg too

IMG_1560_trio of game breasts
Game breasts – pheasant, pigeon, partridge

Dauphinoise potatoes

IMG_4152_lamb_Guy Fawkes Arms_Scotton
Sunday roast lamb with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes + mixed veg

Others had steak and Black Sheep ale pie in short crust pastry, seafood linguine with white sauce and parmesan (containing large pieces of filleted salmon and white fish), and a trio of game breasts + dauphinoise potatoes – pheasant, pigeon and partridge with a redcurrant glaze, for their main courses. No-one was disappointed.

This is seriously good gastropub food.

Sticky toffee pudding

For pudding, K had sticky toffee pudding *and* a cheeseboard of Wensleydale, goats cheese, Yorkshire blue and Cornish yarg (most of which ended up being taken home, unsurprisingly).

Cheeseboard – Wensleydale, Goats cheese and Yorkshire Blue, Cornish Yarg

The verdict: Quaint old country pub in a lovely location, excellent staff and service. With Martin Peachey as head chef (formerly at
Becket’s, top Knaresborough restaurant) the food is excellent – in a league of its own.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4.5 / 5
~ Type: Pub, gastro-pub food
~ Address: Main Street, Scotton, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
~ Postcode: HG5 9HU
~ Tel: 01423 868400
~ Website + menus: Guy Fawkes Arms website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Guy Fawkes Arms
~ facebook page: Guy Fawkes Arms on fb
~ Location: Guy Fawkes Arms map

Nearby dining + drinking:
~ Black Sheep Brewery – tours + visitor centre, Masham
~ Carriages – Knaresborough
~ Drum + Monkey – seafood in Harrogate
~ Major Tom’s – craft beer + stonebaked pizzas, Harrogate
~ Storm at The Dower House – Knaresborough
~ Sukhothai – Harrogate, top Thai in Yorkshire
~ The Tannin Level – Harrogate

Guy Fawkes Arms on Urbanspoon