The Lion & Unicorn
Instead of shlepping to the West End to see a show, how good would it be to just see one down your local? The Lion & Unicorn combines theatre and boozing in one tidy package that won't leave you broke and cursing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Downstairs it's a comfy gastropub with all the usual good grub and daily specials, and upstairs it's a small theatre run by the Giant Olive Theatre company. Culture and Carlsberg rolled into one.
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Draft House, Imperial Warf
This Battersea boozer boasts beer a plenty. And not just your typical, unimaginative lagers mind - an ever-changing selection of guest ales designed to keep all you beer-centrics on your toes. The staff properly know their stuff too, so if you fancy a venture into unknown territory be sure to have a word - 1/3 and 2/3 pints are available if you don't want to jump in at the deep end. Good food, an understated decor and a relaxing vibe make this a great spot to catch the rugby on telly over a beer. There's classic pub grub on offer too with the likes of burgers and fish & chips knocking about.
The Lord Tredegar
There's something about a coal fire in a pub, isn't there? Even better if there are two. Even better still if there are reclaimed church pews and lush red leather chairs to kick back in beside the fire while downing ale from the Dragonfly Brewery. And is that an old CD jukebox on the wall? £1 for 3 plays? Ok, this place is officially ticking all our boxes. In the back is an open kitchen dining area where they whip up much slicker grub than normal pub standard - we had a brilliant cod loin when we were there, and saffron and butternut squash risotto. The mixture of old and new in here is nigh on perfect, and we love it.
A prominent, red-bricked gastropub well worth coming to Tooting Bec for. Decked out with a chilled bar area, a "secret" garden and a dogs-are-welcome policy, there's nothing not to love here. You'll find the bar upfront serving up some quality lagers and ales with the restaurant area behind. It's spacious, has grand Victorian windows plus an open kitchen that sets the scene. A nice mix of classic pub grub with fine dining, their menu is well crafted and does not disappoint. Menu highlights include their prawns in chilli garlic, a classic Sunday roast and, if you must indulge, try out their warm chocolate Brownie for size.
When you find a good gastropub that does it all, and does it all well, you want to hold on to that badboy. The Abbeville is a sweet spot - plenty of comfy seating inside, an actual open fire for toasting the old buns, some potent cocktails...it's all good. We were pleasantly surprised by the menu too - it was a slicker than a lot of other gastropubs we've been in. The sautéed forest mushrooms on toast with crispy egg and garlic sauce was lush, and they do a good range of pudding wines to polish things off. It's kid-friendly here too.