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Review: Fox and Firkin, Lewisham
I’ve never taken acid or stuffed my face with hallucinogenic mushrooms – the idea of having weirder thoughts than I already do is frightening.
Bumping into talking animals and losing touch with reality has never been an experience I’ve longed for.
But finding myself hot, bothered and lost in Lewisham in the glaring sunshine and desperate to get off the swarming streets, an escape to a fantasy land where pigs dress like Lady Gaga was just what I needed.
No, I wasn’t on crack – I’d just stepped into the enchanting world of Fox and Firkin.
A pretty, petit girl in white tights and a pale pink dress walked in ahead of me and I thought maybe Alice had escaped from Wonderland and put her blue one in the wash.
Two silver surfers in flat-caps couldn’t contain their excitement when we ventured into their territory, and decided wolf whistling inside a pub was suddenly acceptable.
Dramatic black walls instantly cooled me down and, although I was slightly distracted by teapots hanging from the ceiling, I managed to choose a sparkling cranberry and lime Feel Good drink for £1.60.
I sat on what looked like an old church pew when I felt a pair of eyes watching me from above.
It was the eponymous fox himself, dressed in a brilliant red hunting jacket complete with top hat and cane and standing guard on top of the bar.
His friend, the little white pig, had chosen to wear a glittering red lightning bolt across his eye just like Gaga herself – the merry pair obviously has a great laugh in their boozy home.
Suddenly craving a bit of warmth again I wandered out into the beer garden and through a hallway full of curious photographs, which I noticed were on sale for around £25 each.
Past the beautiful Japanese parasols and guitar cases with flowers spilling out of them on the walls, I discovered the garden.
Glorious in the sunshine, it’s certainly one of the nicest pub gardens I’ve ever seen.
With purple walls, butterflies, tiki men and even a dragon waiting to swoop down on any naughty behaviour, there’s never a dull moment here even if you’re alone.
And if you are hoping to meet new friends, I get the feeling this bar will be a great place to start.
With a free cinema club on Sundays – which includes free popcorn – and a weekly knitting club, people of all tastes are invited to come and join in the fun.
Gorgeous illustrations advertise all the groups, offers and events all over the pub which add to its art gallery feel.
By night this must be the coolest live music venue in town and I vowed to come and check out a gig soon.
Red curtains, chandeliers covered in pearls and an empty stage create an incredibly theatrical atmosphere, and as I prepared myself to walk past the two wolf-whistlers again I couldn’t get the image of Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets out of my head.
They shyly said ‘hello’ when I flashed them a cheeky smile, and with that I was thrown back into the harsh reality of the sweaty, sobering street.
How Fox and Firkin rates:
DECOR: ***** (theatrical, magical and quirky in the extreme)
DRINK: **** (plenty of everything including Zubrowka, my favourite vodka)
PRICE: **** (good offers on spirits and beer)
ATMOSPHERE: **** (welcoming and intriguing)
STAFF: **** (very helpful and genuine)
Address: 316 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, SE13 6JZ