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


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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

Mains: Sausage and mash @ £7.00

Mains: Pork belly @ £12

Dessert: Elderflower jelly + ice-cream @ £4.60

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

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

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

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

Click to add a blog post for Catford Constitutional Club on Zomato

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