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Review: The Lord Northbrook, Lee
There once was an ugly duckling with feathers so stubby and brown nobody could have imagined he’d turn into a glorious swan, let alone a lord.
But apparently miracles do occur.
Looking at old photos of what The Northbrook used to be like, it’s no wonder it won PubSpy’s not-so-coveted Grotty Toilet award last year.
Now however, passersby would never know it was the same place.
Despite avidly watching Ten Years Younger and Extreme Makeover, I have never in my life seen such an incredible transformation.
The mere thought of this beautiful place being referred to as ‘grotty’ is absolutely ludicrous.
This pauper has become a gorgeous prince – he has improved so vastly the owners have given him a much deserved lordship.
Stepping inside, I instantly relaxed and left the day’s stress at the doorstep.
Soft music, comfortable chairs and an extremely stylish paintjob (which even matches the napkins) come together to make hanging out here extremely luxurious, rather like taking advantage of someone else’s posh house.
When I say the barman doubles as a cleaner, it may not arouse thoughts of grandeur – but stay with me.
After serving me a bottle of Fentimans Victorian Lemonade (£3), the very smart-looking, apron-clad young man stepped out from behind the bar and went about dusting the antique-style picture frames with his pink feather duster.
Stifling a giggle, I felt as if I’d walked into a camp period drama.
Obviously very comfortable with his own masculinity, this superb servant would slot perfectly into any lord’s manor – how smug Lord Northbrook must feel with his appointment.
As with any upscale establishment, the drinks menu surpasses that of the common boozer.
A range of well kept ales from small local breweries are always available along with an extensive wine list which would embarrass many fine dining restaurants.
Fresh flowers add another touch of finery and elegance to the already perfect pub and people obviously love the change.
Middle aged, middle class couples who wouldn’t have been seen dead in the old place were indulging themselves in civilised conversations and a cheeky bottle of vino, while a young trio of sexy women had picked The Lord for a celebration venue.
I’m not sure what they were clinking to - it may have just been a toast to their new favourite bar.
And if you’re in the mood for food the lunch and dinner menus look utterly delicious and reasonably priced.
Luckily I didn’t see the White and Dark Chocolate Terrine with Pistachio Brittle until I got home and checked out the new website.
There’s not a cat in hell’s chance I’d have left without scuppering my diet otherwise.
Visit thelordnorthbrook.co.uk to check out upcoming events.
Address: The Lord Northbrook, 116 Burnt Ash Road, Lee, SE12 8PU
Decor: **** (super stylish and beautifully spic and span)
Drink: **** (very pretty bottles of unusual pop, variety of ales and impressive wine list)
Price: *** (reasonable)
Atmosphere: **** (friendly, welcoming, relaxing and upmarket)
Staff: **** (sufficient in drink serving and dusting)