When the weather outside is frying, the temptation to step into an oven-like pub is not overwhelming.
Doubly so when said pub is named The Charcoal Burner, but where else is a chap to get an ice cold drink on a sunny afternoon?
Fortunately, the place gets a decent draught with the doors open and there are spots to sit outside.
Shirtless lads, clearly taking the afternoon off work, sat convivially out the front while ladies chattered under large parasols out the back.
Inside, friendly guys – almost universally in shorts – watched The Open on the big screen. A bumper collection of statuettes with gold-effect golfers atop in the corner suggested that this particular pub may have more than a casual affinity to the sport.
The Charcoal Burner is not a looker; it is reminiscent of a shop from the outside.
Low ceilings, textured wallpaper and a small fireplace inside make it feel a little like a converted bungalow or a clubhouse.
Regardless of the architecture, The Charcoal Burner is nice.
While uninspiring, it is spotless and the signs which threaten to bar anyone who fails to adequately dispose of chewing gum properly are a testament to how much the management values its decor.
I did fear that the giant Take Courage sign outside was an important warning, but I needn’t have because the people were lovely, including the big prop forward behind the bar.
The choice of drinks was limited, with Doombar and Bombardier (£3.50) on tap, and I didn’t see much in the way of grub.
If you’re peckish though there is always the option of jellied eels from the van at the bottom of the car park.
The Charcoal Burner, Main Road, Sidcup
How it rated
Decor*** Tidy but plain
Atmosphere **** Friendly people
Drink *** Just about enough
Staff **** Friendly
Price *** Pretty reasonable