A local pub with great food is a treasure not to be taken for granted

We used to have a ‘local‘ which we loved, and spent pretty much every sunday lunch at for a number of years. We celebrated birthdays and took friends and family; a place we felt at home. For a number of reasons which are possibly silly and sort of personal, I decided I no longer wanted to visit such establishment. With that, we no longer enjoy the comfort and conviviality of a local.

Why am I giving you this long preamble? Just because, when we walked into the Talbot in Brockley, the feel of ‘welcome back’ that I had so missed was back.

Welcome to the Talbot

The Talbot has been a local neighbourhood pub in SE4 for a while, but was recently renovated by new owners and Sabrina Gidda is the chef who’s behind its fantastic menu, which showcases Sabrina’s Punjabi heritage, her extensive experience with Italian regional cuisine and of course, British classics.

I couldn’t wait to visit, so we made our way for a late lunch / early dinner on the Jubilee Bank Holidays (the roads were so quiet!). The pub is family and dog friendly; they have a children’s menu with plenty of choice and a massive bowl of dog treats too.

The venue

Outside, there’s a huge beer garden at the very front, with plenty of tables, trees and shrubs as well as a barbeque station; inside, the rooms are bright and beautifully decorated. Many of the fittings have been made bespoke (look at some of those wooden tables!) and I loved the antique fixtures on the walls and dotted around the place.

The details are gorgeous everywhere, including in the private dining room on the first floor. You can tell how much work and love has gone into making the Talbot such a beautiful place.

We sat in the extension, at the back – under a massive skylight which floods the room with natural light.

The menus

Our server was very friendly and we got our drinks quickly; plenty of choice of wines, bubbles and soft drinks.

The menu offers a large choice of snacks (from olives to bread and dukkah butter), main dishes, sides and desserts as well as specials. I opted for the BBQ Jerk Chicken which was the night’s special from guest chef Gaile from GDub’s Jerk N’ Ting (who’s doing a residency over June weekends), and I loved it. The jerk marinade was delicious, hot but totally bearable and spicy, peppery and moist; the potato salad with spring onions and the pickled red cabbage were spot on and we also had plaintain chips.

The husband went classic with a juicy Aged Chuck Burger & chips with smokey mayo while the little person had a substantial portion of Little Fish & Chips.

I couldn’t resist a Panzanella from the snack menu, summery and refreshing after the spicy jerk dish.

Room for dessert was left, and we shared a mooreish Chocolate chip skillet cookie and ice cream for the little person who polished his bowl off very quickly.

Overall, I coulnd’t recommend the Talbot more: for its sustainably and locally sourced food, excellent cuisine, friendly atmosphere and elegant setting.

The only problem with the Talbot? That it’s not that local to us, otherwise we’d be coming back for our roasts like good old times in our ‘hood.

Exterior of the Talbot pub

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