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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


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

The Plough – East Dulwich

Head past the yummy mummy stretch of Lordship Lane (passed Dulwich’s independent shops, delis, cheese shops and brasseries) in the direction of Forest Hill, and you’ll come to The Plough, a large, comfortably scruffy, Mitchells & Butlers pub with over 20 real ales and ciders on draft, that does a *dead good* Sunday roast.

We whiled away a few hours here on Sunday afternoon, trying a few weiss beers and pale ales and were impressed not only with the drinks selection (included a good range of wines and hot mulled wine or cider) but with the superb Sunday roasts.

Salt + pepper squid with lime mayo

We shared a portion of salt and pepper squid with lime mayo @ £5.75 for starters, then K had 21 day aged West Country beef with homemade Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables (root veg, cabbage, etc) and red wine gravy @ £13.50.

I had a half roast Shropshire chicken (also with homemade Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal veg and red wine gravy) @ £12.00, and we shared a side of cauliflower cheese (crunchy and cheesy – just right) @ £3.50.

21 day aged West Country Beef

Half roast Shropshire chicken

Cauliflower cheese side

We usually skip dessert in favour of a savoury starter course. But here we were drawn to The Plough’s dessert sharing platter @ £8.50 (why aren’t dessert sharing platters more common? Starter sharing platters are commonplace, so why not desserts?…) comprising:
~ lemon + lime crumble tart
~ chocolate brownie + double cream
~ salted caramel + chocolate tart
~ ice-cream
~ sorbet

Dessert sharing platter – good call!

Bar area – spoilt for choice for cask ales

All in all we were really impressed. This looks like a nice enough pub from outside, and it went way beyond our expectations.

More of the menu:

IMG_0355b_pork and crackling at The Plough
Sunday roast – Norfolk pork with crackling @ £12.00

Hand pressed burger with pulled pork @ £12.50

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: British, pub, Sunday roasts
~ Address: 381 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London
~ Postcode: SE22 8JJ
~ Tel: 020 8693 4236
~ Nearest stations: East Dulwich, North Dulwich, Forest Hill
~ Website + menus: The Plough website
~ Photos on flickr: images of The Plough food
~ facebook page: The Plough facebook page
~ Location: The Plough map

The Plough on Urbanspoon