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Review: Spanish Galleon Tavern, Greenwich
The intoxicating smell of fish and chips always whisks me back to my grandparents’ home in Dover.
Some of my most treasured childhood memories are of my magical grandad taking me out for a seaside treat all wrapped in newspapers just like it should be.
We’d hurry back inside out of the cold and he’d tell me the story of how he invented the board game Mouse Trap and sometimes he’d even draw my portrait.
So it was truly lovely to stumble across a piece of the Kentish shore right here in Greenwich.
The Spanish Galleon Tavern looks like a traditional pub from the outside but low and behold that beautiful aroma of vinegary cod and chips hit me like a kipper to the chops as we walked in.
With its ship’s helm full of wine bottles behind the bar, captain’s conservatory area and portraits of famous sea voyagers, the fish and chip shop portion of the bar fits in perfectly.
My friend, who coincidentally was born and bred in Dover, informed me the Galleon is a Shepherd Neame Master Brewers pub, which explains the quintessentially Kentish ales on offer including Spitfire and Bishop’s Finger (nicknamed Nun’s Delight apparently – filthy girl).
We were greeted by a charming, albeit slightly ditzy, barmaid from West Yorkshire who told us more than we needed to know about her drunken antics the night before.
She’d sprained her ankle after her six-inch heels got caught in a pothole and her intoxicated boyfriend hadn’t helped matters by dragging her along the floor.
With her entry stamp from the nightclub still intact on her wrist, the friendly young girl took £33.90 from me for two meals and a gorgeous bottle of merlot.
I’m not sure which one of us was further away with the fairies as I sat back down with my friend minus the wine our barmaid completely forgot to give me – I think we were both still picturing her crawling on the floor in London.
The pub’s Great British menu read like a good book and it was lovely to see such a strong celebration of all that is English.
I of course went for the fish and chips with mushy peas served on a wooden block and my friend tackled the glorious-looking cheese burger and fries.
Both meals were truly superior to most pub grub I’ve come across and we greedily polished off every last bite – something our skinny waitress couldn’t get her head around.
“They’re proper man burgers, I can’t even finish half.” She told my friend as she cleared our empty plates.
“So I’m a bloke then?” my mortified companion asked me.
To which I nodded “apparently so.”
As the night went on the pub started filling up and a group of lads had used the bar as a starting point for their pub crawl.
With so many different beers to choose from I can see why.
Forgetting the fact my lovely, girly mate was labelled a man, our evening journey to this seaside tavern was thoroughly enjoyable.
I left vowing to visit my wonderful grandparents as soon as possible.
How Spanish Galleon rates:
DECOR: *** (nautically themed and charming)
DRINK: **** (plenty of Kentish ales on tap)
PRICE: *** (Not too bad)
ATMOSPHERE: **** (friendly and buzzing)
STAFF: *** (slightly ditzy but very warm-hearted)
Address: Spanish Galleon Tavern, 48 Greenwich Church St London, Greater London SE10 9BL