Food and Football at London Bridge.
A new sports pub and kitchen offering fans the chance to watch live football and other sports on big screens has opened its doors at London Bridge.
Many commuters will be aware of the transformation of London Bridge station and the area immediately surrounding it over the last few years. Those of us who lived through the relative torture of the station upgrade are now seeing the benefits. Among the new offerings is Redwood situated on the upper concourse where the ramshackle prefabricated ticket office used to be and opposite the Shard that now towers over London.
The decor at Redwood mixes the traditional and the modern in this brand-new building constructed in a style that ties in with the Shard and station. While the industrial exposed ceiling is a nod to the new, the walls are covered in a collection of sporting memorabilia from the past – old wooden tennis and cricket kit, for example – as well as game trophies. Downstairs, for instance, a stuffed zebra’s head presides over the bar. Plus, of course, there are big screens positioned on every wall.
On arrival we received a warm welcome and service continued to be friendly and attentive throughout. We had booked in to coincide with a Spurs-Liverpool match and the pub was already filled with enthusiastic fans. For me, football is a sport that is much more enjoyable when watched with a crowd than in your own living room. And with tickets for most top-flight matches now out of reach to the casual fan from a price point of view or are simply sold out, a pub like this provides a good alternative.
Drinks can be ordered at the bar and there is efficient table service too. I’d recommend the Picpoul for a smooth, easy-drinking wine, served perfectly chilled. My companion was pleased to spot Amstel on tap as she likes a clean tasting, lowish alcohol lager. Redwood also has an extensive list of cocktails and spirits as well as other beers and ciders.
The short straightforward menu provides few surprises and is aimed firmly at the pub’s target market. We shared the nachos to start, which were good and came with a generous helping of chilli slices, so not for the faint-hearted. My friend, who fancies herself a Tex-Mex expert, thought there should have been a bit more melted cheese but was otherwise complimentary.
We both ordered burgers for our main course. My companion declared her cheeseburger juicy – high praise. It came with a good mix of caramelised onions and burger sauce. I opted for the chicken burger. The meat was succulent inside a delicious crunchy coating and was accompanied by a generous amount of lettuce and a chunky slice of beef tomato. The sriracha mayo was a delicious addition. Both burgers came with proper thin French fries, no unwieldy triple-cooked chips here. We also enjoyed the green salad, which came with a surprisingly fresh-tasting mint and basil dressing.
For dessert, we went with the waitress’s recommendation of the sticky toffee pudding. She assured us it was light and she was right. We both tucked in to the generous helping of this British classic served with vanilla ice cream.
For groups and extremely hungry pairs, there are also several sharing platters available and there are plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians.
The crowd for our match was lively but didn’t seem particularly partisan. Some were intent on watching the match while others were chatting away. At half time, the TV commentary was turned off and the music fired up. The playlist late afternoon was upbeat and definitely not aimed at those in the first flush of youth, ranging from Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love to Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Murder on the Dance Floor. This is definitely not the place to go if you want to have a deep and meaningful conversation. Instead, it’s just the right sort of place to watch a match with friends over a drink or a meal.
Beyond football, live sports on offer here include rugby, NFL, tennis, basketball, golf, boxing and F1. You can check out the useful calendar of live events and book a table on the pub’s website. Redwood serves breakfast too so you needn’t go hungry watching early fixtures being beamed in from other time zones.
London Bridge Station
020 3740 4885
We are big fans of the owners of Redwood, ETM group. Whether you are looking for a sports bar like Redwood, a Traditional English pub and chophouse like the White Swan in Fetter Lane or a swanky city bar like Aviary, you will find the ETM offering is excellent.