The Elephant and Castle is a pub in South East London’s – you guessed it – Elephant and Castle, and it’s actually the pub that gave a name for the entire area (where the pub got its name, I don’t know…). It’s been recently renovated and is now owned by Antic London, a brewery that has many other lovely pubs too, such as Tooting’s Graveney and Meadow and Streatham’s Pratts & Payne. As a chain it’s known for its quirky decor and mismatched vintage furniture, and the Elephant and Castle pub is no exception.
I’ve been wanting to visit the pub since its reincarnation, and last Sunday me and Jim finally headed there for lunch. We were very eager and arrived to the pub just after midday and, of course, were the first ones there. I felt slightly too eager for having booked a table at that time, but better safe than sorry, right? I seem to have lunch a bit earlier than the average person as around 12:30-1pm a lot of others started to arrive, so at least we weren’t dining in complete solitude! I was happy to have the place just to myself for a while though – it made taking photos a lot less awkward…
For food both me and Jim went on the comfort food route – I ordered a mac and cheese and Jim a veggie burger. The pub divides their menu into small plates, big plates and sides – I really wanted to order a little collection of the small plates, but as I get full really, really easily, I just opted for the small portion of the mac and cheese instead. Sure enough it completely filled me up (I did steal a few of Jim’s chips, too, in the interest of complete transparency..!), but I would recommend two small plates or one of the bigger portions if you normally don’t get full ridiculously quickly like I do.
I really enjoyed my mac and cheese – it was made out of three different cheeses, which made it super flavourful, and the bread crumbs on top gave the dish a lovely crunchiness. The only thing I was left missing was a crispy cheese top, but, to be fair, the breadcrumbs almost made up for that!
Jim’s veggie burger consisted of roasted vegetables, portobello mushroom and a coriander pesto drizzle. For £1 extra you could add halloumi, too, which we (of course) did, which made the burger even tastier. According to Jim, the halloumi and the pesto sauce were the stars of the show, and the chips the burger was served with were amazing, too. I can definitely attest to the chips being great – they were lovely and crispy on the outside, but super fluffy on the inside. The perfect kind, basically!
We didn’t try much of their drink selection (it was only 12 o’clock…) but my red wine and Jim’s beer (ale?) were perfectly lovely. I’d love to go here during an evening one time – they have a massive wine list which I would happily explore…
If you live in south London, or are near the south bank and want to escape the crowds, I would highly recommend the Elephant and Castle pub for lovely food, pretty decor and a great atmosphere (we loved the acoustic playlist they had on when we visited!). The pub hosts a variety of events, too, such as pub quizzes on Wednesdays and Sunday jazz sessions – I’d especially love to attend the latter at some point!
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