Category Archives: Food

All change around Putney

Putney is having a facelift. Everywhere you look there are roadworks, scaffolding and plenty of new shops, bars and restaurants springing up too. The Exchange is still undergoing a transformation while the works at the station are fascinating to catch a glimpse of every once in a while to see how things are progressing.

The crossroads has been a bit of a mess for a few weeks now but it looks as if that is reaching its end, with those fancy timer crossing guides now up and running. They must have been installed after numerous crashes and near-misses at that junction.

Down at the bottom, meanwhile, there’s two new bars – the Swift (review to come) and The Toy Shop both give more options for the going out brigade beyond Fez and Citizen Smith (oh, fine Lost and Co, if we must) while Bills is now a nice established part of the high street. Flames, which always overpowered the smell of the nice little flower shop next door with its doner kebab odours, is also, mercifully, gone too.

As mentioned, it’s the station where most interest lies. For months now it’s been undergoing serious work to make it able to handle the huge numbers of people that use the station – which can be seriously busy – to meet this demand, and at present it’s in that stage where it look as if nothing is being done. Yet you know that once the new staircases go in and the ticket hall starts getting expanded and all that it’ll feel like a different place. It’s not hard to imagine people looking back at photos of it from 2011 and seeing it as utterly different and impossible to comprehend as we do in of photos from 1911.

Putney Station

Putney Station

Meanwhile over at East Putney tube the new apartment blocks are slowly taking shape and altering the skyline. The fact a small Waitrose is going in underneath for residents to shop at after leaving the tube is a huge bonus too. Can’t say the Exclusive Foods shop really entices us in very often for some essentials. Putney Hill was given some new tarmac the other day too!

All in all, then, things are looking up and it’s very welcome as Putney deserves all the improvements it can get.

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Filed under Bill's, Cafes, Citizen Smith, Lost and Co., Putney Train Station, Restaurants

Tried and True review

Tried and True cafe on the Upper Richmond Road

Tried and True cafe on the Upper Richmond Road

On a grey, overcast Saturday a week or so ago, The Putney Paper visited the Tried and True cafe on the Upper Richmond Road, near the Arab Boy pub.

Having walked and ran past many times it was great to finally go in and the first impressions were good. Staff were friendly, immediately gave you a free bottle of water with glasses and got you seated. The menu was full of choices and the special – jalapeno cornbread, poached egg and pulled pork (pictured) – was divine. So much so our friend had it the following day when we returned for a second sampling.

The special - delicious!

The special – delicious!

We also tried a very tasty, well made sausage sandwich and a deliciously simple salmon bagel, that came with a little side of capers to add as you wished. The tea and coffees were more than adequate and the price, while not ‘cheap’, is certainly not expensive either.

They also have nice music playing in the background and the decor is plain and simple, a nice change from the wood, antique-y feel of so many cafes and coffee shops (there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just been done to death).

All in all, Tried and True is a lovely place and well worth the visit, even if it is a little further down the Upper Richmond Road than you may otherwise be inclined to walk.

Tried and True cafe on the Upper Richmond Road

Tried and True cafe on the Upper Richmond Road

As a final tempter, they even give you a free badge when you leave. You can’t say fairer than that. You can follow them on Twitter too.

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Filed under Cafes, Food, Good Putney

Bill’s to open in Putney, replacing Slug and Lettuce

Bill's set to open in Summer 2013

Bill’s set to open in Summer 2013

Putney high street has been on a mini downward spiral recently, what with the closure of some decent shops and the opening of the likes of Poundland and What a Chicken, but some good news was spied this week when bland highstreet boozer Slug and Lettuce closed to be replaced by a Bills in the coming months.

As you can see from the image to the right it’s expected to be open by early summer (which given the current weather could be some time in 2014) but we’ll hold out they mean around May time. It’ll be nice to have a good quality restaurant on the high-street and Bills does a good all-day selection of stuff, as you can see from its website.

It’s already advertising for jobs, so it’s nice to see some more inward investment to Putney of the sort The Putney Paper can get behind and happily spend its few remaining groats and guineas at of an evening.

What do you think? Pleased to see a new restaurant or would you rather something else? What else is Putney lacking at present?

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Filed under Bill's, Food, Restaurants

In praise of…The Jolly Gardeners

There’s so much lovely stuff in and around Putney we’ve decided to start an “In praise of” section to celebrate what makes the area so great. The first lucky location, place, or thing to achieve this honour is one of our favourite pubs, The Jolly Gardeners.

The Jolly Gardeners on Lacy Road

The Jolly Gardeners on Lacy Road.

Situated down Lacy Road past The Coat and Badge, its location is not the most inspiring, as it sits among residential houses on a quiet side street away from the hustle and bustle of the high-street.

However, this actually works to its advantage as not only does it mean many are perhaps unaware of a second pub past the Coat and Badge, so it never seems to get intolerably busy, but there’s a nice sense of escaping the high-street and relaxing in a quieter pub, including its small but cosy beer garden situated at the front of the pub.

Inside is equally nice, with the standard wooden-pub interior but some nice big, Victorian-gentlemen chairs – think Holmes and Waston – and a fire, perfect for a post-shopping or pre-match pint.

The food is also good, better than The Coat and Badge in our opinion, and priced at the usual £8-13 depending on your choice. We can definitely recommend the burger, particularly with the various mustards on offer from the pub, a nice touch you don’t always get. The bar staff are also friendly and up for a chat which is always welcome too. It can get quite busy when Fulham are playing, but that’s to be expected, and if you avoid that crush it’s usually easy enough to grab a seat.

While winter is still hanging around waiting for Spring to arrive, it’s certainly worth popping in, although sadly, and a bizarrely, they’ve stopped serving their lovely spiced cider too. Shame, as we could ‘appily sit in there and drink it all day. Apply – happily, geddit, geddit…ah forget it.

You can follow them on Twitter here.

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Filed under Alcohol, Food, Good Putney, Pubs, The Jolly Gardeners

What? A chicken?!

Putney is a lovely rag-tag place of a community.

What a Chicken in Putney

What a Chicken in Putney

While on the surface it appears very much part of the South West London set, sat on the river full of expensive modern flats, beautiful old houses tucked away down side streets and a general hint of ‘rah’, there’s also a nice buzz of normality, of not taking itself too seriously.

This is in part due to the fact it has a good old-fashioned high-street buzz thanks to the numerous shops on the, well, high-street, and the Exchange, and plenty of good proper pubs and quirky local shops unique to the area.

However, even The Putney Paper, ever one for inclusiveness, was slightly perturbed by the appearance of a shop called What A Chicken on Putney Hill over the summer. While fast food outlets are no bad thing, the name of this new eatery alone is enough to turn heads, and opens itself up to various interpretations:

  1. What? A chicken?!
  2. What a chicken!
  3. What a chicken?

And so forth…Not only that but it has hideously gaudy colours and advertisers things like burgers for a pound. That can’t be good surely? Its opening, following on the heels of Poundland (more useful as it sells things you may actually want), just doesn’t seem in keeping with the area – can’t we have a nice local bakery opening in its place? Or nearby at least?

Yet, one alcoholic night we found ourselves in need of some sustenance and, lo, the welcoming signs of What a Chicken called us like a siren’s song. We were dashed on their chicken-burger and cold chips rocks. However, we must confess, it wasn’t that bad. Not sure we’d go back, and Subway probably remains the late-night takeaway of choice, but if you are in the mood for chicken, well, we ain’t gonna stop ya.

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Byron Hamburger – a welcome to Putney review

This week, with a rare glimpse of sun shining through the cloud on the longest day of the year, The Putney Paper headed to the newly opened Bryon Hamburger on Putney highstreet to partake of a sumptuous burger and see if it’s somewhere worth your time.

It’s certainly nice inside, with a narrow entrance widening to reveal a mish-mash of 1950s diner style seating with wood floors and a cavenous back section where chefs prepare the burgers, chips and milkshakes on offer, among other items. They also have a unique selection of beers, rather than the standard fare, which is a nice touch.

Both The PP and friend went for a burger which was well-cooked and served in that time frame of long enough to know it’s been cooked but not so long you worry they’ve got bored and forgotten about it. Chips were acceptable and we had plenty of condiments to keep us going with taste variations. Staff were pleasant, doing the usual staff based things they should, and the toilets were more than acceptable.

It was at least as good as GBK, a mere 50 metres away, so choosing between the two really is like arguing if you like reaching 6 by 3+3 or 2+4 but Byron certainly has both the more interesting layout and more seats, so you have more chance getting on on a busy Friday or Saturday.

Overall, another welcome addition to the high-streets, but nothing to set the world on fire, it is only a burger joint after all.

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Filed under Food, Good Putney, Restaurants, Weather

The Prince of Wales, a rainy review

The pointlessly incessant rain of the last few days has at least given The Putney Paper the chance to sample some pubs over the weekend, with The Prince of Wales on Upper Richmond Road – in the direction of East Putney tube – the latest pub to be sampled for the first time.

It’s an interesting one as, perched right on the road,  it looks as if sitting outside would be a fairly rubbish business, drowned out by all the passing traffic and the uninspiring sight of a bunch of office blocks across from you, but actually it was quite nice, watching the comings and goings of the Putney people, particularly once the torrential rained returned.

Inside, it’s very nice, with – somewhat oddly – hundreds of playing cards scattered across the roof, falling out of a top hat the like Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses would wear, but otherwise nice leather sofas and wooden fittings throughout. It wasn’t cheap, £9.50 for two fancy ciders,but you come to expect that these days really.

The food menu looked good but we didn’t get a chance to try it, so a good reason to go back as the burger, chips and salad sounded tasty and was a reasonable £11, which is fairly normal for a London boozer these days.

You can follow The Prince of Wales on Twitter, although they don’t seem to update that often.

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Filed under Alcohol, Food, Pubs, The Prince of Wales