The Honor Oak, 1 St German's Road

The first law of Greater Brockley is that any good new place that opens in the area will instantly fill up. So the fact we've struggled to book a table here for a long time is testament both to BC's slackness and its quality. However, we got in on a Sunday lunchtime and can now report back.

The Honor Oak reopened this summer after an ambitious refurbishment, which rescued this grand old pub first from incompetence, then neglect and finally squatters.

In terms of the space and the atmosphere, the money has been well-spent. They seem to have preserved all its best features and modernised the aspects that needed refreshing. The space is cosy without being too crowded and it all works - whether you want to prop up the bar, lounge around with the papers or have lunch with friends, there are no dead zones. The front garden's effectively sheltered from the busy road too.

Booze-wise, readers who give a toss about ales and wine lists are better qualified than we are to comment, but there seemed to be plenty of choice. The food too was generally good, though not quite as flavoursome as The Talbot or The Royal Albert. Our roast pork was let down by the apple sauce, which was gloopy and insipid, like the filling of an exceedingly bland Mr Kipling apple pie.

The service was also a little slack during our visit. Having served us lunch, the waiter never returned to ask us about desert, so we got bored and asked for the bill. But at this early stage and during a very busy Sunday, a few teething problems are to be expected.

The Honor Oak represents the sort of place this area remains short of - a large traditional pub, operating to a high standard, attracting a cross-section of the local community, with the space and flexibility to fulfil a range of different roles.

13 comments:

martha said...

We liked the selection of ales and bar area...agree nicely done refurb and qelcome addotion to local area. However...food menu is just a bit too pricey for what was provided.quality of food was decent enough but small portions with heavy price tag. Separate payment for sides. Staff seemed uncomfortable with level of formality being imposed in restaurant area of the pub...really need to get this balance of atmosphere and pricing right. Hope itcan settle well!

wish... said...

Wish it would actually open in the morning for coffee as advertised... After a couple of wasted journeys, have given up...

Chavez Ravine said...

Agree about the heavy price tag. Went for Saturday lunchtime and we were presented with 3 menu's, Brunch, Lunch & Bar. Service was slow, and then wrong meal delivered after waiting 45 minutes for food to arrive. As we were sitting in the 'restaurant' area and paying restaurant prices I was expecting more. Better service in the Barge...

bobblekin said...

I think I would rather have this pub with its service problems than no pub at all. We had Sunday lunch there and if I was looking for problems there were plenty to find. But despite all of that we enjoyed the place. It really is trying to do everything - drinking, eating, kids, footy on tele, indoor and outdoor. You have to accept it for that to some exent. Its a pleasant place especially the actual pub part at the front. I think if the food was very poor and the attitude of the staff was bad then I wouldn't go again but for now I certainly would go again.

terrencetrentderby said...

Who goes to the pub for morning coffee??

max doom! said...

scumbags. that's who

terrencetrentderby said...

I'd get over it and go to a cafe or put the kettle on like a normal person.

max doom! said...

i stand by every word

mussolinen said...

you're right, sounds like we need anther lynching party, i'll bring the rope - and a nice flask of coffee

Martin said...

I went there a few weeks ago for a late drink on Saturday and I liked it. The decor for me is amazing, the staff were ok the crowd ok as well.

Tressilly said...

Been a couple of times and think it's pretty good. The staff very helpful and friendly which, for me, goes a long way. One visit we'd booked a table for about 10 people. They didn't want to rush the slowies that were still hogging the table so they offered us the upstairs. So we got the big 'whisky room' for free and with waiters running up and down with our food and drink. Can't be moaning at that.

trinket said...

they probably spotted the 'satchel' and decided to upgrade you . . .

Duncan Palmer said...

It's OK and looks nice, but not a pub that I would ever go back to on a regular basis. Just didn't get that "local" feel that they are very very keen to mention in any social media updates.


The vinegar jugs annoyed me, the portions of chips are tiny and the beer prices were hiked pretty soon after it re-opened.

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