The Clockhouse – Peckham Rye

Originally posted on Blue Tomato Reviews

I have to admit, when I found out that I was to review a pub in Peckham, I wasn’t overly excited.
Coming from South of the river myself, I vaguely knew the area but had only passed it on the train, never taking the time to explore and find the areas hidden gems. Somewhat ignorantly, visions of a pokey old man’s pub came to mind, with the likes of Del Boy and Rodney propping up the bar but (thankfully) to my surprise The Clock House was miles apart from the world of Only Fools and Horses.

An impressive building overlooking Peckham Rye common, The Clock House has a gorgeous front terrace, which is by far the pub’s best feature. The outdoor seating area is perfect for sunny days (look out for that big yellow thing in the sky…I know, I’ve almost forgotten what sunshine looks like too!) and those with a pet pooch will be more than welcome; this dog friendly pub even has a jar of dog biscuits at the bar!

Walking into the pub, my friend and I were struck by the various nooks and crannies to enjoy a pint or two in, and we particularly liked the raised level with quirky décor of different lampshades hung from the ceiling and several clocks hung lazily on the wall.

We headed straight through the bar and into the newly refurbished restaurant section of the pub. Light and airy with a stylish yet eclectic feel, the place has great character to it. Funky art pieces line the walls and the place is filled with mismatched tables and chairs as well as wooden booths and corner snug seats, giving it real warmth.

I was impressed with the vast gastro-pub style menu selection celebrating the best of British food. Small plates range from £3-£8 and the crispy pig’s cheeks with Bramley apple sauce (£6.50) are a definite must try; slow cooked for 6-8 hours they are incredibly tender. Truffle celeriac fries (£3.50) are also worth a nibble on; served with herby yoghurt the vegetable fries give off a gorgeous aroma and are extremely moreish! We also tried the steamed mussels (£6.50) which were unconventionally Thai flavoured with coconut, lemongrass and chilli. Our lovely waitress could see how much my friend and I were enjoying, or rather devouring them that she even brought over some bread for us to soak up the sauce!

Drinks include a selection of original ‘Clocktails’ served in jam jars, cask ales and a wide-ranging wine list from which we opted for the Terra Mater Vineyard Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (£20.50 per bottle) a gorgeous Chilean wine with a really clean finish and fruity aromas.

For mains, my friend ordered the pale ale battered haddock, triple cooked chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce (£11). For some reason, my dining companion dislikes mushy peas and requested ‘normal’ peas instead and to her delight they still came out minty. I opted for a Gressingham duck breast, heritage beetroot, sautéed potatoes in a red wine reduction (£18), which was presented beautifully and cooked to perfection.

Of course, by this time our bellies were rather full, but we had reserved a totally different stomach for dessert! Both of us eyed up the salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb brittle (£4.50) before we had even decided what we wanted for mains; and when it came down to it, we decided to share desserts and also get poached rhubarb, set custard, raspberry sorbet and ginger nut crumble (£5.50).

Engrossed in the flavour eruption that we had just encountered, we were oblivious to the hordes of other diners that had suddenly turned up. For a Tuesday evening, the restaurant was packed, and it was easy to see why. With both wonderful service and food, we were left blissfully happy, yet unable to move due to our food comas!

The Clock House pub has something for everyone; whether you fancy a beer in the bar, or a full on dining experience in the gorgeous new restaurant. Dog walkers can stop by the terrace after a long walk in the common, and you can even hire out The Blake Room on the first floor for private parties. With a friendly atmosphere, great service and a huge menu selection, what more could you ask for from your local pub? Oh and I’ve been told that they do a mean Sunday roast too!

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