7 Nightingale Ln, Clapham South, London SW12 8NX
Price: £20 per person
It happened to be a stressful working day for both of us, so my partner and I decided that we didn’t want to finish the day in front of the TV but rather go out for a meal. Being close to Christmas, finding a table for fine dining, even on week days, resulted in a struggle. For this reason we ended up choosing a pub down the road which we had never given a try.
What can I say, pub food is pub food. Unless you chose a now-very-much-fashionable “gastropub”. (I wonder if anybody ever thinks about the fact that “gastropub” literally means stomach-public house, from the greek “gastro = stomach”. Hence not a realistic association to fine dining, right? but never mind…).
I guess what I enjoyed about the place was the journey back in time. As soon as we entered, we managed to shun a happy, elderly gentleman who was experiencing the effects of his probable seventh drink. Suddenly though, the noises and lights of the city left the place to a cosy, warm charcoal fire and an overwhelmingly-distinguishable smell of English pub. Suddenly, our neighbouring Londoners were slowing down, adjusting to the after-work pace.
As starters we had a pretty average chicken liver pate’ with apple chutney and a really non-deserving fried squid which was well over-fried and oil-dripping. It got a bit better with the mains: a fair Butternut squash, goat’s cheese & spinach Wellington which provided a bit of relief after the heaviness of the squid; and a good, honest lamb burger.