The Honor Oak: A little bit of Chistmas lovin'

We fancied a bit of pre-Christmas cheer on Sunday, so headed down to The Honor Oak for some festive grub. This, shamefully, was our first visit to the pub, and the place has a really nice feel. It's airy and light, with towering ceilings, and the decor is cool and inventive. Modern chandeliers mix with mock-flock and a graffiti wall at the back. That all might sound a bit poncey to some of you, but it strikes a balance with the trad pub architecture, and overall there's a relaxed, welcoming vibe, with the punters far more concerned with socialising than posing.

We were greeted as soon as we walked in, and took a table in the corner, perfect for people watching. What struck Brockley Central most was the amount of new parents and their little ones. There must be something in the water down in Forest Hill, as the young folk certainly have been busy, and we had stumbled across a yummy mummy hangout. One by one as the new families arrived it became a show of virility and push chair manoeuvrability. The strangest thing of all, the kids didn't cry or even make a sound. They were all highly trained, either looking cute and fashionable draped over mum's shoulder, or innocently playing, in the way that kids should.

The food? Top notch nosh, and a bargain at three courses for £18. The lamb shank was perfectly done, and given a winter touch cooked with root veg in ale. The homemade cheese cake was creamy and delicious.

On our way out we stopped off at the Xmas mini-market out the front, which included a massive array of cheeses all sold by a charismatic cockney. We stocked up for later, and then took a long stroll back to work off the lunch, exploring some of the back streets of Honor Oak, and stopping off at Jumping Bean on the high street for some Christmas bits and bobs.

We'll be back to The Honor Oak for sure, and wish we could drag the place a bit closer to Brockley. Of course, at some point the conservation area will get its own version in the form of the Talbot, economy permitting, but our advice is not to wait until that happens - get down to the Honor Oak to put you in the festive mood.


Headhunter said...

It always looks quite welcoming when I cycle past, but it's a fair way away so not somewhere I would ever consider just strolling down to for a drink. I should make the effort to pay a visit sometime though

drakefell debaser said...

Likewise, it's a bit of a trek and I have never been but I suppose, energy levels permitting, you could walk to the Horniman Museum and grap a thirst quencher on the way back.

anyone ever done a pub crawl around Brockley?

Headhunter said...

No but perhaps that's an idea for the next BC drinks - an all dayer, starting Sat morning and continuing through ending up at the Venue for some cheesy music dance fest, or perhaps something a little more enlightened like a live band at the Amersham Arms... Anyone?

drakefell debaser said...

Count me in.

It's been years since I pub crawled. The last place was Greenwich due to the short hops between pubs - and the abundance of them. We finished up in Bar Inc knocking back shots of Knob Creek and wondering why the portrait in the back room looked very familiar to the chap that apparently did the decor - Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Headhunter said...

Yeah and with the enormous distances between pubs in Brockley/Crofton Park/Honor Oak/New Cross etc, we wouldn't get too fall over drunk as we'd walk off the drink between pubs. Perfect!

Hugh said...

Did any fitettes show up at BC drinks the other night, or was it all We Ming For Chinese Dynasties?

Brockley Jon said...

Hugh, it's almost like you're auditioning for the part of BC's most detested - and you're dangerously close to moderation!

jpm said...

The Honor Oak is great for Sunday lunch. I've done all the pub crawls. I would head from the Honor Oak to Jam Circus, Moonbow Jakes.
In Deptford there is just the Royal Albert.
The Greenwich crawl offers more, but watch that walk home late at night.
I also strongly recommend the newly changed Aquarium (from Ecozium)in Harefield road - excellent food and ambience. A huge change from what it was. (Needs a bit more on the wine list though.)

drakefell debaser said...

The Honour Oak makes sense as a starting point as you can take a sneaky bus ride to the starting line rather than walking the distance twice. Purely on efficiency grounds of course.

You could be the pace setter JPM, interested?

The Cat Man said...

I wish we had a decent boozer on the darkside :0( if I take friends out I normally end up in the wickham arms.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Cat man in the Wickham! - shock horror.
Say hello next time I'm in most nights since the Talbot's demise.

What is the Waverley Arms like?

Anyway Pub crawl route without the need for a bus-ride:
1. Honor Oak
2. General Napier
3. Chandos
4. Brockley Jack
5. Ladywell Tavern
6. Jam Circus
7. Brockley Barge
8. Wickham Arms

Max 10-15 minute walk between each and nice round gallon of ale....

Or four pints if you're a wimp.

drakefell debaser said...

Is that a gallon per pub or an acceptable bench mark for the day?

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Depends on the time-frame I would say. Although I suspect 64 pints is bordering on Alcoholic poisoning levels.

The real hard core could continue for a two gallon crawl as follows:

9. Royal George
10. Royal Albert
11. Amersham Arms.
12. Walpole
14. Marquis of Granby
15. Goldsmith's Tavern
16. New Cross Inn
17. Hob Goblin

or you could do it over a weekend with Sunday Lunch thrown in.

As an alternative you could of course turn right at the Royal Albert and continue down Deptford High Street and end up at CAMRA'S favourite South London London Pub the Dog and Bell.

None of this would suit Hugh of course as he only drinks "locally" in Greenwich.

Monkeyboy said...

I've attempted the Monopoly Pub Crawl 3 times. 1st time we failed to do the last pub in Mayfair, big bouncers seemed to think we were drunk?

2nd time we seemed to lose half our party along the way.

3rd time - success! Don't try and do a pint in each location, unless you want to end up hospital.

Best done in your twenties really.

drakefell debaser said...

It’s a good list but it would have to be done over 2 days.

The first 2 pints on the Sunday will be the hardest and it’s probably not advisable to drive or operate machinery until the Wednesday.

jpm said...

@drakefell debaser. I'd actually be quite good as a pacesetter, as you are all probably so much younger and my big drinking days have faded. Certainly you would be way in front! (Unless it was a wine crawl that is.)
I wouldn't advise going in the Brockley Barge near the end of a crawl though.
Anyway, surely pub crawls are for the summer?

Pete said...

I think you should switch the order of Jam Circus and the Ladywell Tavern around i.e. Jam Circus first Ladywell Tavern second as it makes more sense on that route.

Transpontine said...

I like the Honor Oak - scene of two Lewisham bloggers drinks (or rather two nights, there were a lot more than two drink consumed IIRC). Nice food and decor, but still recognisably a pub.

Went there over the summer too, garden was packed - too many smokers though, they've ruined the outside areas of pubs!

Richard said...

So I can expect the tail-end of a Brockley pub crawl in 2009 - jugs of water & pints of beer at the ready!

It'll be great when The Talbot happens - easy stroll for a pint & dinner after an afternoon on Hillyfields.

I remember as a kid going past THO's previous incarnation, St Germain's on a regular basis and naively wondering just why a pub would need metal covering its windows. Seems a world away now.

troll said...

Thanks - that is really useful, as am collating list of yummy mummy places to avoid.

The worst yummy mummy place in south east london, by the way, is La Bruschetta in Crystal Palace - in Westow St.
(Shame, as a great cafe, but quite quite impossible.)

Any other nomiations / warnings most welcome.

troll said...

gnomeiations, that is

patrick1971 said...

What's the Chandos like? I've never been in and it rarely gets a mention on here. It's got a great corner location.

oryx said...

Chandos is a down-to-earth pub - nothing spesh but OK.

IIRC it has some interesting old photos of the area on the walls.

The General Napier (Bovill Road, Honor Oak) is a lovely, cosy, old-fashioned little pub.

Chris said...

You have forgot to add Mr Lawrences on your pub crawl list.

lb said...

I really hope the Talbot reopens, but I'm starting to have my doubts.

patrick1971 said...

Dined at the Honor Oak last night and wondered why I hadn't been before. This is a great place. Good food, great staff, nice environment; all good.

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