The Tudor Barn, Eltham

Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham lies off a busy road behind a shaded set of railings that gives little away about the beautiful garden that lies behind. Restored in 2002, the Pleasaunce dates back to the 13th century and is home to a walled garden, a rockery, a stream and the Tudor Barn.

The Barn used to house a pretty scary pub but has now been converted in to a gallery that hosts weddings, parties and a range of other events. On the ground floor, the ‘1568’ Bar & Brasserie opened this month and, since our friend recently started working there, we tried it out on Friday.

The restaurant respects its Tudor origins with stripped-down white walls and exposed wooden beams, but its more recent incarnation as a pub is also evident, with a large bar welcoming you at the entrance.

The menu consists of pretty traditional pub fare - fish and chips, burgers and so on - all nicely made, with a few neat touches, like locally-made chutneys and apple juices sourced from the Kent farm that our friend camps on. During the day, The Tudor Barn operates as a cafe and at weekends it serves a brunch menu and a Sunday roast.

The Barn also doubles as a music venue and has pulled off an early coup by hosting a performance by acoustic musician Don Mescall on October 30th, ahead of his Irish tour (tickets £15).


Tamsin said...

We re-visted Well Hall Gardens only a fortnight ago - but, golly, hasn't it been wrecked by the Rochester Way relief road. (Used to live in Eltham but moved away before the road was built.)

Still lovely gardens, and you wouldn't get the traffic noice inside the tudor barn.

Brockley Nick said...

Blimey tamsin, that's going back a way - I've never known eltham any different.

Anonymous said...

An unusually far-flung review for Brockley Central's usual remit (which refers to walking to places like Ladywell "a trek") - much appreciated.

Tamsin said...

Lived there in the early 80s and commuted in and out of Eltham Park station before it merged with Eltham Well Hall and when the station staff (Stan) wore the uniform shirt of black with thin red stripes and sold us Edmondson tickets (all subtly different)or green cardboard weeklies overprinted with the random distinguishing number (although for some reason it was never double digets - 22, 33 etc.). Ah, the memories! And there was a lido in the neighbouring recretation ground.

graeme said...

Grew up around, and went to school in Eltham, and as a nipper used to get dragged around painting exhibitions at the Tudor Barn. The pleasaunce is a wonderful little gem in what to me is an increasingly rough part of SE London (Stephen Lawrence stabbed just down the road), but Nick's article prompted me to take a nostalgic trip around the old manor yesterday afternoon. Ah! I remember, as an early teen, a Saturday morning wouldn't be complete without a trip to Eltham Models at the top of Well Hall Road. It's all coming back!

graeme said...

Oh God yes! The lido in Eltham Park.

I'll stop now before total derailage occurs.

Brockley Jon said...

Ahem, anon, I don't think you'd find any of the BC regular contributors referring to Ladywell as a trek!

patrick1971 said...

Why is Eltham so rough? The area around the palace is very nice, with obviously expensive, well-kept houses, and the High Street seemed quite normal when I was there.

graeme said...

@Patrick. Many of the quality businesses/shops/department stores I knew as a youngster have closed down or have been replaced by bargain type shops. The quality cafes I remember are now burger 'n' chips Jenny's type franchises. Admittedly you could use this observation with many shopping areas e.g., Bromley and probably about any area which you're familiar with or where you grew up. The welcoming pubs I remember just look scary now, and I was pretty much a regular drinker in the Greyhound (opposite McDonalds) in the mid/late-eighties. Every one my friends and family from the area who have left feel that they've managed to escape and pretty much say the same. Thirty plus years ago it was a reasonably pleasant and almost aspirational suburb but to my eyes it's been in terminal decline since. There's a grey, soulless 'ghost-town' vibe to the place whenever I have to pass through. There are fairly salubrious looking pockets (Court Road and North Park in particular near the Palace, West Park* near the College, and Glenesk Road opposite the Park), but I'd feel pretty wary walking alone - even in daylight - through places like Middle Park* (where Boy George grew up and went to school) these days through fear of being mugged.

I think there's possibly a case of familiarity breeding contempt here mind!

*Not every location in Eltham is some sort of Park btw.

Brockley Central Label Cloud