The New Cross House - sneak preview



The first of what may become a flurry of pre-opening functions took place last night at the revamped New Cross House, the pub formerly known as Goldmiths Tavern. A smattering of local and/or food and drink bloggers were invited along for a sneak preview (ahead of tonight's official launch party and first night proper on Monday) and Brockley Central bagged a couple of tickets.

Brockley Central was a not regular at the Tavern, to be honest: a few peeks through the grimy windows on the way to #Meateasy hardly counts (especially as by its second visit the pub was already closed). But by all accounts it was a bit of a dive.

Others, then, will be better placed to judge the true scale of of the transformation, but by any measure what the team from Capital Pubs has achieved is impressive. This is now a Big Pub. The picture above is taken from the front door and really only hints at its pleasant sprawl. To the left are more seats (and the few original tiles on which the clever custom-made wallpaper used elsewhere is based) and beyond the curtains is a further large seating area complete with more booths, an open(ish) kitchen, a pizza oven and some drop-down screens for major sports events (terrestrial only - this is not to be a sports pub). And as if that wasn't enough there's a gussied up outside area and the old shell of a barn out back has been transformed into what amounts to an entire extra pub, albeit one with open walls (the smokers are already sizing it up). It's impressive stuff. There's a few more pics here.

Hard to judge ambience on the strength of a preview night but the staff seem pleasant and enthusiastic. We spoke to the manager, who felt that the area was crying out for a good quality pub offering decent food and drink in a modern stylish environment. If he's right (and he did acknowledge that the Royal Albert was in a similar vein) then on the evidence of last night The New Cross House ticks all the right boxes.

There's a good range of interesting beers on tap (both keg and ale) including some from Meantime. Only house wine was on offer last night (from a pump but none the worse for that) but there seemed to be plenty of choice. And - a particular plus in my book - there were at least four different gins to choose from.

Food: we tried good pizzas, fried chicken (no bones!), homemade unleavened bread with a spicy dhal, deep-fried halloumi with a cauliflower dip, chilli nachos... All good. The rest of the menu is a melange of dishes that seem specifically designed to go with booze: hot dogs, burgers, pies and pizzas all feature heavily. And - perhaps in in a nod to the local student market - there's a veggie version for pretty much every item. So don't necessarily go for a three-course meal but do go out for a drink in confidence that you'll be able to have some good quality grub alongside.

On the earliest of first impressions, then, The New Cross House is a great new addition to the area and means Brockley Central will no longer be disappointed when the next ELL train terminates at New Cross or there's a 20-minute wait for a Brockley train at London Bridge.

74 comments:

drakefell debaser said...

It looks very nice, will it be open this weekend?

Brockley Ben said...

As far as I know Monday is the official opening first night. Will post again if I hear otherwise.

PubGoer said...

Looks pretty good,what are the prices like ?

Brockley Nick said...

If you haven't clicked on Ben's link to more photos, do. The garden in particular is very special. This is going to be an excellent pub - and it will need to be, given how big it is.

Brockley Ben said...

@PubGoer We were being treated last night but did get a look at the regular menu. Seems pretty reasonable. Can't remember much that was more than a tenner.

Bandit said...

Looks nice, but still preferred the Tavern of 10 years ago...

Brockley Nick said...

Impressively quick conclusion, given that it hasn't opened yet.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

"Garden" looks good for us smokers - almost as sheltered/enclosed as the Dog and Bell rear yard.

What are their plans for the first floor space vacated by Meat Easy?

pre-emptive strike said...

Yep, next we will get the 'but it doesn't represent the real side of New Cross' and 'if only it served good honest fare' etc and other such tripe from the mung-loving anonirati.

Brockley Nick said...

@TM - I don't think they've decided yet. Given the regular complaints on this site about dreadful parents and their awful children clogging up local venues with their desire to have a day out, I asked what their approach to families would be.

He said that he was relaxed about families, the pub was intended for everyone, so long as they were sensible and well-behaved. He did say if there were a lot of families using the place then maybe they could look at converting the upstairs room in to a family room.

I think they have a lot of space to fill already, so they're going to wait and see before opening the upstairs, which seems sensible.

biff bifferson said...

pubs should have a cage for kids so if people want to bring them its on the understanding that they will be put in this cage. there could be water and a telly in there but no fizzy pop.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, yes, please let's not turn another thread in to another debate about kids. The point was raised only in relation to the question about the upstairs room.

Any other questions?

Scene but not Herd said...

How about a cage like the one they used to have on Tiswas?

PubGoer said...

As i dont eat in pubs, it was the the price of the beers i was wondering about.

Funny how those colour schemes were once used to cover smoke stains.

Anonymous said...

wow! that looks lovely, well done pub people :) I'm actually excited!
I do agree with Bandit though, I would prefer the GMT of 10 yrs ago, but no pub will ever be as it was (also I'm 10 years older) so I don't think it's premptive to make the point - it def doesn't mean that I wont also like this pub, it will just be in a different way... like the different way you feel about the person you lost your virginity to in Fordham park compared to the nice new dr boyfriend who you met on my single friend.com...

Pete said...

Are there actually any decent pubs that do show sports round here? I quite like the odd bit of football and have even been known to watch boxing in the pub.

Brockley Ben said...

@Pete They've been known to show stuff upstairs at The Talbot - possibly only rugby, though.

Anonymous said...

The Rising Sun at the bottom of Lewisham Way is OK for sports, and even have 3D.

Anonymous said...

New Pub sounds great. I hope it is filled to the rafters with prams and well behaved kiddies!!! I find Brockley Central a very useful forum for local people to share information and benefit from a lot of the positive input and comment. The anti-family comments are however beginning to become a bit tiresome for the rest of us. Note to child-haters of Brockley - YOU WERE CHILDREN ONCE TOO so get over yourselves, kids exist.....yawn ......find something new to moan about....

TM again said...

The Talbot only has terrestrial TV (like the New Cross House) so its sport offer is limited to the Six Nations and very occasional European Football; if it is on ITV and someone requests it.

The Football World Cup was also shown and I think Tennis and Snooker have made intermittent appearnaces.

For Sky sports the main two choices are The Rising Sun as noted above and the Marquis Of Granby. I think the Walpole may also have Sky and there is sometimes Sky at the Wickham.

Not sure about further afield.

Anonymous said...

No you find something else to moan about!

drakefell debaser said...

The Flower of Kent also has Sky. At least it used to.

Anon, 12:12, seriously, how old are you?

Never wants to see another mushroom risotto again said...

Looks great, and yay to plenty of veg. options. We went to the Orchard last Sunday evening and left again as the one veggie main had an allergen in it - it wasn't prepared in house so they couldn't make it without. (Toad's Mouth came up trumps and was actually a much more attractive menu for the carnivore in the party too.)
It is so dull to only have one option.

Anonymous said...

Vegetarian options?

Do we have enough mung-bean eating pub-goers locally to sustain this?

Deptford dame said...

@pete the Royal Albert just along the road shows a lot of football, although it keeps the sound low.

Monkeyboy said...

Anon @12:36. the way it works is that the pub will lay on food, punters will either buy it or not. The dishes they by they will be given a designation, for example "popular". Those that do not sell well will be given an alternative label, for the sake of argument we'll call that "unpopular". The next bit is complex so pay attention. What the kitchen can then do is decide to sell offer fewer dishes that are similar to the "unpopular" dishes and more of the "popular" ones. Over a period of time the pub will be able to balance it's offering to appeal to as many people as possible thus making money, or "profit" as the experts call it.

My next lesson will be entitled "how to stand upright and the rudiments of language for evoloving primates"

Anonymous said...

So does this mean the meateasy is now closed?

paddyom said...

WOW looks class!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 13.38

YES

Anonymous said...

Looks nice, definite improvement on the GST which felt a bit like a youth club. Are they going to put on live music at all? Or have they got rid of the stage bit at the back?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, they were talking about live music being part of the plan.

mb said...

Look forward to trying it tonight at the launch party, I'm clearly a 'B' lister having not had an invite to the pre-preview.

You lot of course are simply "the public" so will have to wait until monday.

Wild Bill said...

RE: "YOU WERE CHILDREN ONCE TOO"

I was, but my mum took me to the park. Not to local pubs where adults were wanting a bit of peace and quiet.

Oli said...

Looks nice. A small part of me – nostalgic of the memories of life as a first year undergraduate – wishes it was still a real dive bar (not like its chavy recent incarantion for pre-Venue reveler fools) in which the entire pub was painted pitch black, it was divided into two bars which were linked only by a route through the woman's bogs. It had banging techno and only opened at 10pm, closing at 3am. The guy who played 'Mickey Pierce' in Only Fools and Horses are a regular; as was every 80s extacy and 60 heroin casualty in the local vicinity. V good fun. Probably bit old for that now sadly though.

biff bifferson said...

it looks like all the other pubs that get done up. not saying thats bad, but a fair no of recently tarted up pubs across london, and probably beyond, seem interchangable. like the rye in peckham, not sure what that used to be like but when i went in the other week it could have been anywhere, from the beer they sold to the clientele of simpering white 30-somethings

Ramble said...

Yianni and burgers are apparently at one of Capitals other new pubs!!

Brockley Ben said...

@Bill I think the Rye is also part of the Capital group so it may haveen done by the same designer. I know what you mean about saminess but this one does have some good character. The wallpaper designed to match the original tiling is a particularly nice touch, and the lighting is particularly good.

Also, I haven't seen many refurbs where they've seen fit to put a two-storey wendy-pub in the garden!

Anonymous said...

Wendy-pub! Love it!

biff bifferson said...

aye, the garden looks good. i used to go in there in its last guise occasionally, with that weird rubber lego floor in the back. they defo look to have improved the use of the back bit. still looks like it'll be the marquess for me though

Anonymous said...

Oli - I've seen Mickey Pierce in the British Oak in Blackheath before

Anonymous said...

The Blythe Hill Tavern in stanstead road has a lovely garden with a play area, Also The Wickham Arms has a garden with some play equipment.

Anonymous said...

The reason Mickey Pierce got about is because i think he was a cab driver.

Anonymous said...

PS He used to get in the Talbot too.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Uncle Albert buying a mung and bran muffin from Broca a couple of times

Matt-Z said...

Good luck to the new owners, looking forward to trying it out, it's been terrible for years, so the change is welcome.

The old GMT was the stuff of legend and it'll never better that, but something new and different is welcome. Pat (Mickey Pearce) drank in there as a regular, and before that in the Dewdrop, nothing to do with cab driving.

As an aside, quite disappointing to find the Orchard's veggie options aren't prepared on site, won't encourage me to eat there.

Anonymous said...

It's all a bit posh looking...not like the old legendary GMT...circa 2000 aaah those were the days

Anonymous said...

Matt-Z,He was a controller in a mini cab office in Catford

Monkeyboy said...

Just got back after a diversion via a sleazy burger 'n' chips.

There is nothing i dislike about the place. Is big, airy, great pizzas and love theoutdors bit. It's like some kind of barn with a wood burning stove so when punters in other pubs are moving in when autumn sets it this place will still be an option. Must have cost a packet to do up, hope it pays off.

PubGoer said...

Whats the prices on the beer MB ?

Mb said...

It was free! No idea what the prices will be, doubt they will be charging Wetherspoon prices.

Headhunter said...

Looks good! As for kids, yes we were all kids once but when I was a kid back in the 80s, we were never allowed in pubs. I remember on the rare occasions that we stopped off at pubs during walks or whatever, we were forced to stay in the garden whilst our parents nipped in to buy us a coke or lemonade. These days kids are all over pubs!

Still, better that pubs are kept open as "community spaces" and have customers (be they kids or not) rather than closing and being converted into flats. In any case I can't see this place becoming a mecca for yummy mummies and daddies with kids and Bugaboos like that pub in Dulwich Village for example (the Greyhound and something or other) which turns into a creche every weekend. New Cross just isn't that sort of area. I should think if anything it'll be colonised by drunks and students.... Looking forward to joining them sometime...

michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brockley Nick said...

Yes, yes, kids used to be unwelcome in pubs. Women used to be unwelcome in pubs too. You could smoke on the underground once too. No doubt some of you think both of these things were preferable too, but things change, for the better, so deal with it. There aren't many kids in Albertines or the White Hart, so feel free to go there if you prefer.

Now, back to this pub - anyone who went last night - what did you think?

Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time in pubs as a kid, as my dad was an alcoholic and Irish country pubs had a lax attitude at least in my part of the country. I have never experienced boredom like the boredom I experienced then. When I see kids in pubs now, I seldom see happy kids, but I see happy (selfish) adults. If you love the pub that much, don't have kids, simples.

Welcome to 2011 said...

Biggest load of balls I've read in a long time.

Just because your dad neglected you doesn't mean that other parents taking their kids out for some lunch are doing the same. Talk about projection!

Anonymous said...

A lot of kids you see in pubs these days are running about everywhere,but usually have to be out by 7 or 8,but i know some parent who would have them there till 11 if they could

Monkeyboy said...

Im sure chronic alcoholics do most of their drinking in private at home. Cheap supermarket booze while the kids watch Doctor Who.

Great pub, the pizzas were good (judging by the single slice I blagged) Will be even better when they get the hang of the oven and I think they will be doing take aways?

Anyone have a clue what they spent? They didnt scrimp on the refurb.

Anonymous said...

I see David Bruce of Firkin fame is Non-Executive Director of Capital Pubs.

THNick said...

@Bill a while back. Although the Rye is a capital pub, it has only been for a couple of weeks and they havent done it up yet. So if it feels the same, then that's just coincedence.

#meateasy heads - apparently yianni isnt cooking in a restaurant ever again (doing 400+ burgers a night killed him) but the aforementione Rye IS currently doing meateasy burgers, but a limited menu - they had cheese and bacon burgers on Saturday but no chicken or dead hippies. And no onion ring *sad face* On sunday they also had a "meat-off" with meateasy versus the dogfather hot dog guy from North Cross road. But I wasnt allowed to go *double sad face*

Timmy2wheels said...

Those looking for a 'proper' pub without pretensions showing sport should definitely check out the rising sun. Not the best ale pub but they always have very well kept London pride. They welcome everyone, even simpering white males like me. They put free food out on the bar every Sunday - a heartwarming touch even if you don't like jellied eels, cockles and mussels.

PubGoer said...

The Ale is a bit pricey at £3.40 a pint.

Brockley Nick said...

Fair enough, and I am not dismissing price as an issue, but I really think we need to cut pubs some slack on beer prices. Pubs are going to the wall. They are not making big margins on beer sales, so we need to be prepared to pay a little more for pubs that work hard to create a nice atmosphere and environment. We can always drink more slowly ;)

Monkeyboy said...

re: beer prices. I think pubs often often make more on food? So those who want a 'proper' pub with only crisps for sustinence will either need to pay more, drink in dives, accept pubs closing or accept that selling grub will enable more pubs to survive.

Now THen said...

Erm. Drink in dives....I think. BTW are those showing sports now sky dives. No reflection on The Rising Sun, now a good spot with excellent Guiness.

Anonymous said...

If there making much more on food why dont they put the price of beer down.I know pubs have to do food to survive,but do they have to do it to the extent were its more of a restaurant than a pub,or do they really want a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Just read a good Interview with the guy from Antic-Collective,they of Jam Circus,Royal Albert fame. They are going to open there own Micro-Brewery in Camberwell with an Ale that will cost £2.40 a pint.If you go to selcamra you can read the Interview there.

Anonymous said...

I can see it now. Brockley Organic Mung Mead

Anonymous said...

Why not bring the price of the beer down? 'cos they want to make money, just like you and me. There are no regulations about about the perfect pub, it's a radical thought but perhaps pubs addapt in line with it's customers demands?

Lots of people want to eat in pubs AND have a drink, some want the above AND watch footy AND/OR here live music. Some just want drink. Plenty of alternatives around.

Anonymous said...

I know pubs in Brockley that dont serve food, and are cheaper on there booze than those that do.

Mb said...

Well I guess people will go to the pub that they want..... It's kind of how it works.

Welcome to 2011 said...

Pubs that charge lower prices tend to be the ones that close down.

Anonymous said...

Tell that to wetherspoons,and most of the people in there are drinking,before somebody says they do food.

Anonymous said...

so there we are, a pub for everyone. Where is the problem? Personally I prefer a pub in The New Cross House mould.

Anonymous said...

As i said you can buy a 50L barrel of beer for £95 a Zero Degrees in Blackheath that works out about £1.10 a pint.so how much can pubs buy it for. If they are selling it for £3.40 seems a good profit margin to me.

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