The Old Nun's Head becomes Brockley's Rive Gauche

Photo: Pubology

It's a pre-Hallowe'en miracle! A local restaurant is going from strength-to-strength. The Old Nun's Head have hired the former head chef of The French House in Soho, a place we've never eaten in, but which is one of our favourite drinking haunts.

The owners say:
The Old Nun’s Head on Nunhead Green today announces that Roger Clarke, formerly of The French House in Soho, is now this local pub’s Head Chef. The pub’s Landlords, Daniel Rowntree and Louise Lawler have brought Clarke on board to breathe new life into the menu and to help make the Old Nun’s Head the pub for quality, seasonal food in South East London.

During his 20 years as a chef, Clarke has worked in the kitchens of some of London’s best-loved restaurants, including the Ivy and Simpsons on the Strand. But his real passion is for the great British pub and he joins now following five years as Head Chef at The French House in Soho – widely regarded as one of Soho’s most iconic pubs.

Clarke has already devised a brand new lunch and dinner menu for the Nunhead local, featuring amongst others pub classics such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and of course the Sunday roasts.

“We are seriously excited about Roger joining us. We want The Old Nun’s Head to be somewhere people in the local area see as theirs to hang out in, enjoy a drink in and now eat great food in. Having tried everything on Roger’s new menu, we know he’s the right person to help us do just that,” says Daniel Rowntree, Landlord of The Old Nun’s Head.

“The Old Nun’s Head is a cracking pub and I am very happy to be part of the team here. My aim is to create exciting but unpretentious plates of food using only the best seasonal produce, whether it is for a great pub classic or something a little different. I really hope people will come down, give the new menu a go and want to keep coming back,” says Roger Clarke, the new Head Chef at The Old Nun’s Head.

The menu will be updated regularly, with the focus always being on quality produce, cooked to Clarke’s exacting standards at a price that is right for a neighbourhood pub restaurant. What’s more, fish is supplied by the popular local Nunhead fish mongers FC Soper or ‘Sopers’ as it’s more affectionately known, as well as seasonal produce from Rowntree’s family small holding in Lincolnshire.

The pub’s team has also been working hard to make sure that the local ale drinkers are well catered for, as in September this year the pub was awarded a Cask Marque. The Cask Marque is a sign of quality from the independent body, the Cask Marque Trust, and is only awarded to those pubs where all their cask ales have reached the high standards required by the Trust.

As well as improving the quality of the drinks and food on offer, Daniel and Louise have given the pub’s decor a complete overhaul. The interiors now have a cozy, eclectic country lodge feel with worn retro leather sofas, comfy armchairs, booths and more original oak paneling than you can shake stick at. The courtyard garden is perfect summers hang out and now, as the nights draw in, the two huge log fires will be lit to give a truly welcoming and homely feel.


Anonymous said...

Good pub this. Nunhead in general has got quite a lot going for it.

Anonymous said...

Looks great, we could do with a pub like that in Brockley.

local eater said...

I had roast at the Royal Albert on Sunday, pretty decent, though not as good as my mum's as only 2 roast potatoes. Their ice-cream (the one I had with the apple crumble) is good quality too. 15.00plus non alcoholic drink comfy surroundings and chilled clientele.

The London Particular was shut!

Matt-Z said...

£15 for a sunday roast in New Cross? Good grief.

Ewan said...

Being a resident of Nunhead, I've visited a few times over the years, and the meal I had about a month ago was definitely the best I've had there in quite a while, so I'm glad to see they're going in a positive direction.

(PS I don't mind you using my photo in the slightest, but the very minimal requirement of the licence is to at least give credit.)

Brockley Nick said...

Ewan, re: the photo - I was sent it by the owners of the pub, I had no idea it was your photo.

Brockley Newbie said...

Brilliant news, though shame we don't have a pub like this in actual Brockley! I've eaten in the French House before and the food was top notch, steak as good as Gaucho!

Headhunter said...

The Amersham Arms used to do Sunday Roast for a fiver (I think you had to arrive before 1pm though or it was more, perhaps 7.50-10). They served you the roast meat of your choice - they usually had 2 and a veggie option and then you helped yourself to veg and roasties etc. It was brill value. Not sure if they still do it though.

Unknown said...

We are also taking bookings for Christmas Dinner, Ewan I took this photo from Flickr had no idea I could not use it!

You can still register for a free drink at

Unknown said...

Also our Sunday lunchs FYI are £10.95 we have beef, lamb, chicken, pork and nut roast.

The creamiest swede mash, crispy parsnips, real yorkies, guaranteed crackling, then Brownie, Crumble or Orange Brulee for afters.

I used to have offices on Brockley Road and know the walk is a mere 15mins, perfect after a Sunday dinner. We are judging a halloween pumpkin carving comp this Sunday, with plenty of pumpkins you can get hold of for free!

Anonymous said...

Pls make sure you have plenty of vegetarian selections.

Last time the veggie menu was a bit disappointing.

Veggies are people too.

Sort of.

Anonymous said...

The Nun's Head did a great BLT before - I hope it's still on the menu!

The Royal Albert said...

Sorry, really don't mean to jump the Old Nun Head's thread - this seems great news for Nunhead and I'm pleased to see FC Soper get a mention, amazing fish!

But - @Matt-Z, local eater would have meant £15 for roast and dessert, just to clarify.

@local eater - glad you liked the roast, but mum's is always best, there's no competition. I'd appreciate any other thoughts on the food, etc.

@Old Nun's Head - I need to get down there some point, it's been on my to-do list for yonks (I tried a couple of years ago, but just missed food service), but you know how it is getting out of your own pub to try others!

Anonymous said...

You should stagger upstairs at the French House and eat - lovely room, great atmosphere and the food is very good for the price. The only downside is that the men's is down in the basement down the staircase that gets wobblier as your evening progresses.

Phil A. said...

I visited this pub recently for the first time with a friend who lives nearby. It was a miserably cold afternoon and we just needed a cosy corner for a chat over a coffee - and an accompanying brandy to keep out the cold, in my case. We spotted an intriguing sign, which ran thus:
" What if the Hokey Cokey really IS "what it's all about" ? ". Clearly, someone has wit to spare ....

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