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I changed job earlier this year, but still miss my old colleagues, so when the opportunity to review the Honor Oak came up, I was delighted to accept as one colleague lives in the road opposite and we could have a good catch-up on the news and gossip!
Opening a pub seems to be a very risky business these days. I believe that pubs in England have been closing at a phenonemal rate in recent years, and so to make this thrive as a business you have to do more than ever has been done before. My friend told me that she’d been to the pub under its previous ownership, and that it could be a bit of a hit and miss experience. So we were both interested to see what the new owners had done.
The outside of the front of the pub is a smoking space, but we were both (as asthmatic non smokers) delighted to see that the rear garden space was completely non-smoking. Even if outdoors, I don’t like having smoke come my way. The rear garden also contained an enclosed playground suitable for the under 5s.
We were shown around some upstairs rooms available for private hire; but also the space where a monthly whisky tasting is held in the Whisky Room (where else!), where yoga classes are planned, and mother and baby groups. This seemed to me to be a great way to put a pub back into the heart of the community. Make it somewhere for social activities that people can come to regardless of the venue being a pub.
Whilst we ate in the restaurant, we were shown the morning menu including a fabulous brunch, and the bar menu. The pub welcomes families, and certainly appeals to young mothers wanting to meet their friends in a relaxed environment. Children are welcome until early evening.
The menu consists of 7 choices of starter and main, plus a selection of steaks. The menu is seasonal, so will change. We started with Cornish Crab cake for me, and Chilli and Garlic Tiger prawns for my colleague. Both were perfectly cooked and prettily presented.
I then had butter roasted monkfish, scallop and sundried tomato mousse, parma ham, olive potato with sauteed spinach. It was a very substantial plate of food, and I have to admit being defeated by the quantity of potato! The spinach was cooked to perfection, a far cry from the overcooked stuff of my youth.
The next time that I meet up with my ex-colleague, we are going here again for sure. The food was lovely, the staff really friendly and helpful, and team players (the young waitress tripped on a step and dropped a plate of food. I heard her apologise to the the chef as it was part of a large order, and he said, “There’s nothing to apologise for, are you ok?”.).
I really hope that this pub will be successful, it certainly deserves to be.
The Honor Oak
1 Saint German’s Road, London SE23 1RH
020 8690 9222
We ate here at the invitation of the pub. All views and content belong to London Unattached.