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Review: Barrel and Horn, Bromley
When you’re 9p over your overdraft limit, it’s tough being the Pub Spy.
How am I supposed to review wonderful wines, beers and ciders when I’m so heavily in debt?
And the sympathetic bank, realising I’m in my darkest financial hour of the month again, think it’s an appropriate time to charge me a further £20 fine for taking the Mickey to the tune of nine pence.
Fine, screw you blood suckers.
Luckily, I have good friends willing to buy me a drink now and again so off to the pub we went, giving the Vs up as we passed my bank.
Stepping into the Barrel and Horn, all my worries melted away.
There’s a wonderful, warm and comforting glow about the place which wraps its arms around you for a welcoming cuddle on arrival.
With softly burning teapot-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling, pink flamingos all over the wallpaper and old black and white photographs dotted about, stirring memories of wedding days and childhood, it feels rather magical discovering this place for the first time.
The spell was broken, however, when my companion pointed to Brugse Zot Dubbel beer (one of the impressive 15 drinks on tap) to ask how much a pint was.
When the cute-as-pie barmaid shocked us with price tag of nearly £7, he quickly changed his order and went for a glorious pint of Brooklyn Lager (£4.30).
I’m sure you get what you pay for, but blimey that’s a pricey pint.
I went for a Fentimans Ginger Beer (£2.60) and we wandered up a couple of stairs, into a charming section of the pub they call ‘Grandma’s House’.
Comfy armchairs, a roaring faux fire, framed photos and a furry rug on the floor make this a very cosy nook to hang out in.
Everything would have been perfect, if only the entire space didn’t totally reek of egg/sewage.
Two seconds after settling in, we were forced to vacate Grandma’s House.
Poor old dear, I’m not surprised she doesn’t get many visitors.
This area is free to hire for big groups, but I imagine only egg-obsessed lunatics would enjoy an evening at Gran’s.
A couple enjoying a très romantic date complete with an overload of sweet nothings also left the room’s eggy clutches – not even their love bubble could withstand the smell.
Choosing one of the fabulously varied tables in the main bar, each decorated with fresh basil plants, we drooled over the delicious sounding food menu entitled ‘Rations’.
Apparently the chef’s siesta lasts from 4pm to 5pm, but he must have overslept on Wednesday afternoon as grub wasn’t up until 6pm.
We promised ourselves to return on payday, and order the gorgeous looking burger of the week (£9.50).
Friendly young bar staff go a long way to making this pub special - it makes a huge difference when the people serving you are obviously happy to be there.
The regulars are a mixed bunch, with their love for the Barrel and Horn in common.
One guy, who was particularly enjoying himself among the busy crowd, spent the evening talking and laughing to himself opposite us.
I have to say his enthusiasm was infectious.
I will definitely be back when my bank account is restored to its former glory.
Check out their Christmas menu online now.
Address: Barrel and Horn, 204-206 High Street, Bromley, BR1 1PW
Decor **** (quirky, welcoming and magical)
Drink ***** (endless beers, ales and ciders to choose from as well as cocktails)
Price *** (a little expensive)
Atmosphere **** (busy and friendly)
Staff **** (very good fun, young and friendly)