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PubSpy reviews The Talbot, Brockley
ON FACE value, The Talbot is remarkably unremarkable.
Its fatigued green paint job would camouflage it in a pleasant Brockley street if it weren’t for an eyesore patio, while the inside space is at first glance small, plain and dilapidated.
But visiting this pub is like sifting through bric-a-brac at a jumble sale and finally unearthing a battered vintage whatnot to treasure.
Heading in, it didn’t seem like there was much to take in about The Talbot’s interior – a more muted green than the outside, some old pictures on the wall, wooden floors and a bunch of wooden tables.
There were half a dozen punters, mainly younger.
There is a decent choice of drinks; a small range of slightly leftfield lagers and a couple of varieties of Harvey’s. I was disappointed not to see any Brockley Brewing Company, though.
Despite a well-dressed lad on a stool not pausing to even draw breath in his conversation with the barman, I received quite good service.
He managed to take my order and serve my pint without making either me or the nattering chap feel neglected. Well played, sir.
I was aggrieved to hand over £4.80 for a pint, though it was a bright, hoppy Leffe.
As I reassessed The Talbot, I realised it is cool in a low-key, beaten up kind of way.
It comes across as no-frills but then serves non-standard lagers and I spied a disused specials board flogging dishes such as game terrine, steamed mussels and venison.
Pub music is always contentious, but if I say I heard two Smiths songs in the space of half an hour, it probably gives you an impression.
The overheard bar chatter had a similar vibe – ‘literary canon’, how to define terrorism and class politics.
There was not one mention of Moyes In, Holloway Out, or Ibrahimovic’s screamers the night before – which on one hand I found refreshing and on the other disconcerting.
This is a pub where it does not feel wrong to sit in a corner reading a book, so I did. It was only Spike Milligan, though, I wouldn’t want to get too high brow.
The Talbot, Tyrwhitt Road, Brockley
How it rated:
Decor** Still can’t decide whether it was shabby or shabby chic
Drinks**** Quirky range
Staff**** Multi-tasking pro
Atmosphere**** Non-standard but interesting
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