Sometimes I miss the country and feel like I want to escape the hustle and bustle of London life. I have a secret hide-away where I go when I want to get this peaceful country feeling without actually leaving London. Last week I discovered the Abbeville Pub which also has a great country feel and therefore has been added to this little list of mine. The Abbeville is a short 5 minute walk away from Clapham Common, situated on the quiet Abbeville Road which seems like a small village high street with various coffee shops and restaurants.
My friend and I rocked up on a Thursday night and were greeted with wood lit fires and a buzzy atmosphere. You enter through the bar which is pretty small and was full of people. The bar staff were really friendly and I quickly went to through to the restaurant to see whether we might be able to grab a table. The restaurant is divided into three parts which gives it a really cosy feel. There are open fires, old artwork and wooden furniture giving it that traditional country feel. Luckily we managed to get the only free table in the restaurant so we quickly sat down to see what was on offer.
The menu was typically English and was accompanied by a handwritten ‘specials’ blackboard. We decided to skip on starters but tried their homemade focaccia and olives instead. The focaccia was lovely and fresh with a nice selection of small olives to pick over.
I chose the roasted cod fillet, garden peas, chorizo, wilted baby gem & orange beurre blanc for £13.50. My friend went for the slow roast lamb saddle, barley risotto, Jerusalem artichoke puree, butternut squash and madeira sauce for £14.50. We didn’t have to wait long for the food and both came nicely presented.
My friends lamb was lovely and pink and he was really complimentary of it. My cod was nicely cooked and wasn’t too rubbery, the chorizo was a nice accompaniment but I felt that the wilted baby gem were slightly too bitter and didn’t work well with the other flavours on the plate.
We both had a little room for dessert and they had both of my favourites on the menu, sticky toffee pudding and banoffee pie….I really need to start branching out! We ordered both so that we could share, yes I may have had to do a bit of arm twisting to get both but I don’t think there were any regrets on either of our parts. The banoffee pie had a good biscuit base that hadn’t gone soggy and had a great crunch, there was just the right of caramel so it wasn’t too sickly sweet, though it could have been a little better set. Good chunks of banana and amazingly thick cream on top with a nice dusting of cocoa to bring all the flavours together.
The sticky toffee I asked for it to come with extra sauce so they sent it floating! I wasn’t complaining. We asked for pistachio icecream instead of vanilla however we both felt this was a little disappointing in texture and flavour, it was not one of the best we’ve ever had. The sponge was lovely though as was the sauce if maybe a touch too sweet. My other guilty pleasure is dessert wine which they offered for £8 with a dessert. Obviously I wasn’t going to say no. Pure indulgence. It was deliciously sweet as promised.
Overall, we both had a great evening with attentive happy staff and the ‘resident’ dog…one of their regulars we were told. The bill came to approximately £90. They hadn’t put the dessert deal on the bill but charged us separately. I kept quiet on this occasion as we had had such an enjoyable evening.
We then headed to Be At One which is a cocktail bar by Clapham Common and had 241 cocktails….hmmmm, everything got a little hazy after that!