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Review: Tiger's Head, Chislehurst
As the glorious, unexpected sunshine drenched south-east London this week, my friend and I wanted nothing better than to run away to the seaside.
Sadly, work commitments and money troubles stopped our adventure in its tracks – we didn’t even get to wander around topless eating ice creams.
But we did manage to do the next best thing.
Pulling up to Tiger’s Head in what could almost pass as flip-flops weather, it’s surprisingly easy to forget you’re in the Big Smoke.
With white wooden-fronted houses surrounding the pub and nautical ropes leading up to the entrance, we instantly felt like somehow we’d achieved our beachside day out.
It was a shock to discover such a gorgeous watering hole had been right under our noses all this time.
The expensively renovated barn-look of the place mixed with a modern paintjob, smart black and white pictures and homely, fashionable chairs suddenly made me panic as to whether PubSpy’s tight budget would stretch to lunch.
But while it may seem a little posh on entrance, the staff, menu and atmosphere could not be more down to earth and welcoming.
It’s like sitting down to eat in your own home – if you were very well-off and constantly had strangers round for tea.
We picked an intimate table, tucked away in a cosy alcove and our wonderful waitress was right over to take drinks orders – a service not often seen in pubs these days.
Everything was going so perfectly until I ventured to the loo and came face to face with something which put a bit of a dampener on an otherwise magnificent day.
I’m not the biggest fan of kids at the best of times, but the last thing I wanted to see as I washed my hands was a mum holding her daughter over toilet while she relieved herself with the door wide open.
One question, why?
Fighting to delete this rather unsavoury image from my mind, I rejoined my friend to order food.
It’s a shame we weren’t drinking or celebrating as the wine and champagne lists read like a good book with bottles of red available from £9.95.
I went for the sinfully luxurious rump steak burger (£5.99) and asked for red onion marmalade on the side – oh yes.
My delicate friend brought herself back to life with a steak sandwich and tried desperately to ignore the men walking past, Guinness in hand, after her outrageous St Patrick’s Day debauchery.
Glancing over at the specials, I suppressed a tear.
If I only I hadn’t made the ludicrous decision to deprive myself of all things sweet I could have tried the chocolate meringue.
Luckily my cocoa-clouded mind was distracted when an adorable couple on their 80s came in and were greeted by the charming manager.
With an expert glance towards the table full of children near us, he steered the pensioners towards the other side of the pub saying “yes we love them, but we don’t like listening to them.”
‘You’re not wrong there’ I thought.
‘And we don’t like watching them wee, either.’
How Tiger’s Head rates:
DECOR: **** (wooden beams and bricks meet modern, stylish furnishings)
DRINK: **** (plenty of beer and ale on tap along with huge choice of wines)
PRICE: **** (cheap lunch offers alongside more pricey meals)
ATMOSPHERE: **** (relaxed, welcoming and smart)
STAFF: ***** (very friendly and attentive)
Address: Tiger’s Head, Watts Lane, Chislehurst, BR7 5PJ