In a previous life, by which I mean until less than a year ago, the pub opposite the station in Forest Hill was The Hob and its reputation as a great venue for stand-up comedy was almost unmatched in south London.

Daniel Kitson regularly tried out new material upstairs and Stewart Lee was among the mega list of names to have played there.

Before it was The Hob, however, it was the railway signal and so its new guise is also kind of its old guise.

With new owners, The Signal may not specialise in comedy but a blackboard by the bar was advertising a gig.

That it was by the excellent Miles Jupp, who presents Radio Four’s The News Quiz, is reassuring news that not only does The Signal still hosts comedy but it hosts good comedy.

Leaving the laughs to one side for a moment, The Signal has a lot to love for drinkers who aren’t just heading in for giggles. The hippo and pair of cocks on the roof may raise a chuckle as you’re heading in, however.

The Signal’s big windows bring light flooding in and a fresh blue paint job, lacquered floors, hops above the window sills and flowers on the tables all add up to an inviting – and large – interior.

Combined with gentle soul music and the tennis on the telly, this is a decent place to sit and enjoy a carefree drink.

And what a choice you’ll have, too, with more than ten beers on tap including one from Brixton Brewery and one from Brockley Brewery.

Thought I didn’t sample it on my visit, I’ve little doubt the grub is up to scratch. It is a particular focus of the pub these days and it uses open fire cooking on a charcoal rotisserie with treats including pulled lamb and flatbread, local sausages and mash, and a 35-day aged beef burger.

The Signal, Devonshire Road, Forest Hill.

How it rated:

Décor**** Fetching

Atmosphere**** A nice place to be

Staff*** Efficient and friendly

Drink***** A lovely selection

Price*** Surprisingly reasonable

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