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.