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Review: The Perry Hill, Catford
In my humble, dog-obsessed opinion, nothing makes a pub more attractive than its very own resident pooch.
There have been far too many occasions in various boozers when I’ve ended up more than merry, lying with my head buried in a retriever.
So when I spotted little Pedro under a bench in The Perry Hill, I at least knew where I would be sitting.
The next decision proved a little trickier, or stickier, should I say.
Picking up the tacky Asian-themed menu from one of the tables, I speedily chose the Thai Chicken Salad (£5.50) so I could put the sticky pages down asap.
And the second I mentioned the word ‘food’ to the barmaid, she pressed a special button and – as if by magic – a friendly Thai lady appeared before me to take my order.
That part sorted, I ordered a Diet Coke and thanked the lord they’d run out when I realised it’s served out of the big plastic bottles rather than a can or pump.
Saved from potentially flat pop I went for an apple and raspberry J2O and was thrown back in time to my barmaid days when I was asked to step behind the pumps to enter my pin number.
There’s a very friendly atmosphere about this place, and somewhat of a homely feel thanks to the TV blaring out an old black and white movie.
I moved past the more buzzing front of the pub to the dining area to finally say hello to my new four-legged friend – what a sweetheart.
Imagine my devastation when my food arrived and sent him into such a frenzy his mum had to abandon the bar to take him away.
Feeling guiltier with every bite, I tried to ignore the barks and whimpers coming from across the room.
If he’s reading now, I’d like to assure him he didn’t miss out on much.
Expecting a fresh, healthy salad I was disappointed with the dry, greasy bits of chicken covered in lemon juice and chilli flakes.
Presented with a fork and a spoon to eat it with left me feeling somewhat confused.
And I got the feeling a couple of regulars are concerned with the quality of grub going out here too.
“How was the food, would you recommend it to your friends?” One Irishman asked.
I smiled politely and said: “It’s certainly got a kick to it.”
To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it to Pedro, let alone my friends.
It’s not really much of a surprise the food is poor though – no wonder every other punter in the place was sticking to Fosters.
Taking a second glance at the menu, there are about a million dishes on offer from Thai noodles, rice and meat dishes to traditional pub grub like burgers and chips.
With a list that long, it’s not feasible for anything to be fresh. Next to me, a sign said ‘Dream – follow your heart and your dreams will come true’.
I sincerely hope revamping this menu is a dream The Perry Hill has its heart set on.
Yes, the food is bad, and yes the soft drinks are served in the same way they are at a kid’s birthday party, but the pub’s saving grace is the people who run it.
Friendly, warm and down to earth, they ensure you have a lovely time regardless of anything else.
I’d recommend it for a swift pint, a friendly chat and some paw-fect cuddles.
Address: 78-80 Perry Hill, Catford, SE6 4EY
Decor: *** (old fashioned, slightly sticky but nice dining area)
Drink: **(not a vast choice of beers on pump, only one brand of wine to choose from)
Price: *** (overpriced food for the quality)
Atmosphere: *** (friendly, welcoming)
Staff: **** (very down to earth, lovely people)