Food at the Tulse Hill Hotel

Tulse Hill Hotel We’ve been frequenting this pub ever since it reopened following new management last year (it wasn’t our kinda place pre-refurb) but haven’t got ourselves together to stay for lunch or dinner.

Tulse Hill Hotel pub garden

A recent sunny Bank Holiday saw us in their garden which, apart from the occasional screaming siren, was a beautiful sun trap.

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We’ve spent enough time in the pub eyeing up other people’s food to know they mean business when it comes to grub. We went for one of their sharing plates – they do pork, lamb, beef and the trimmings on a platter but we went for monkfish, which we later found out was put on the menu on a whim and was the envy of all the staff serving us at the time.

The monkfish sharing platter. Want. Again.

The monkfish sharing platter. Want. Again.

For the record, it was delicious. We didn’t need the side dish of buttered cabbage but we ate it up anyway (hey, it’s good for you, sort of).

Honey cake with orange ice cream and lavender. Too pretty to eat, but we did.

Honey cake with orange ice cream and lavender. Too pretty to eat, but we did.

The staff are so friendly here and the food pretty faultless – it’s the type of place you’d feel more than comfortable taking your parents (even the fussiest ones) knowing they’d enjoy themselves.

Tulse Hill Hotel, 150 Norwood Road, SE24 9AY

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Brunch at The Great North Wood, West Norwood

We’ve already had dinner here on a number of occasions and it’s just recently that the Great North Wood have extended their opening hours to offer a brunch option at the weekend.


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If you’re looking for super healthy, you might struggle. If you’re looking for hearty, you’ve hit the right spot. It’s basically gastro brekkie. For die-hard caffeine fans you’ll be pleased to hear hot drinks are served in huge cups, while healthier smoothies are on offer, too.

green smoothie for brunch at the great north wood west norwood

Probably the healthiest thing to be served in a dimple glass

The menu is quite traditional brunch fare, but more imaginative than your typical greasy spoon. We tried the avocado on toast (complete with egg and chorizo – which can be substituted for salmon), French toast and a dish comprising of baked eggs, bacon and ‘Boston’ beans – smokey, rich, saucy.

Avocado, egg and chorizo on toast

Avocado, egg and chorizo on toast

Prices range between about £6-9 – add drinks and you’re probably paying up to £15 per person.

French toast featuring bread the size of a doorstopper

French toast featuring bread the size of a doorstopper

While the pub fills up during the day, only two other tables were occupied while we were there, so it’s worth chancing your arm and making a spontaneous visit, especially when it gets warm enough to eat outside.

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Baked eggs with bacon and beans. Bigger than it looks

One of the nicest things about brunch here is the pace – there’s no hustle and bustle like in cafes, no rush to clear your table, and there’s newspapers to hand too. It’s all too dangerous to watch brunch turn into afternoon drinks…

The Great North Wood, 3 Knights Hill, West Norwood SE27 0HS

Forza Win, Peckham: Spring Chicken

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We didn’t know what to expect when signing up to Forza Win.

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What used to be a pop-up establishment is now a full-blown event in an old cash and carry in Copeland Park, Peckham.

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Check out their website for examples of past ‘projects’, turning basic locations like rooftops and pickle factories into feasting halls.

The set menu for the evening

The set menu for the evening

It’s a basic set up that really works – arrive between 7:30-8pm to take your seat (anywhere goes, it’s just a case of parking your bottom where there’s space) at one of the long tables. You’re encouraged to get to know your neighbours as ultimately you’ll be sharing dishes with them.

Limoncello mojitos were served on arrival

Limoncello mojitos were served on arrival

As soon as you enter, you’re enveloped in a warm atmosphere. Quite literally, too – the barbecue helps to heat the whole place and the woody smells reminded us of summer festivals (without the grim portaloo aspect, obvs).

Chickens for all! Food is cooked over the fire pit

Chickens for all! Food is cooked over the fire pit

Forza Win’s forte is Italian food using locally sourced ingredients. It’s a set menu and the price of the food (and aperitif – here it’s a limoncello mojito) are included in the £35 ticket price. Water is readily available on the table but if you want more drinks, you can order at their makeshift bar.

Homemade sausage served with cabbage and carrot to start

Homemade sausage served with cabbage and carrot to start

It’s a smooth operation run by a small group of individuals splitting duties into front of house, drinks server and a group of chefs. Dishes are served one by one; first up we had their homemade sausage with carrots and cabbage, then followed a series of greens before the main event – their 100 day old spring chicken.

Celeriac with apple

Celeriac with apple

Blackened leeks with Parmesan

Blackened leeks with Parmesan

Let’s just say you don’t go hungry. The ingredients might seem simple but everything has a delicious twist – think lemon and chilli infused broccoli with almonds and cheesy leeks. Platters of food are laid down with the intention of splitting between six people, and even if you think you’ll struggle to share fairly, you don’t – you won’t go hungry.

Serve yourself the chicken, with blackened potatoes and more greens

Serve yourself the chicken, with blackened potatoes and more greens

For those who aren’t ardent meat eaters, the chefs offer a vegetarian option too, so there’s no missing out. For those who are, enjoy some pictures of chicken.

Mismatched plates and cutlery add to the homely feel

Mismatched plates and cutlery add to the homely feel

All gone: this chicken had no chance with us

All gone: this chicken had no chance with us

The atmosphere is so friendly, it feels like a party. The staff seem to have just as good a time as you even when they’re flat out, and while you can’t always guarantee you’re sitting next to sociable people, usually your love of food translates and that’s it, you’re off chatting away.

They’ve just added some new dates for this particular event in May, so sign up before it’s too late.

As well as this seasonal event, they’ve just started ‘Awesome Sauce’ on Wednesdays, serving a plate of pasta with a glass of wine for £10.

As for us, we’ll be stalking their website to find out what their summer project is set to be…

Forza Win, Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN. 

Snapshot of Northcote Road

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This not-so-humble road, a stone’s throw from Clapham Junction station and Battersea territory, has an exhaustive list of shops, restaurants and cafes so for now we’ve built a small snapshot.

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Sure, there’s the high street chains – Oliver Bonas, Phase Eight, Whistles, Bill’s, Byron, Franco Manca, Nando’s, and so on –  but we can’t forget the local independent gems too.

Pictures for sale on their Saturday street market

Pictures for sale on their Saturday street market

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Inside Hutton's on Northcote Road

Inside Hutton’s on Northcote Road

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Many of the gift shops are admittedly hard to tell apart, as a lot of them sell pretty much the same stuff, but as ever the key is in the little quirks. In Hutton’s they post a daily horoscope on the counter (when they can remember to – the cashier admitted it’s easy to forget on a busy day) and their gift bags have recipes printed on them.

Flip the bag over for the recipe - cute!

Flip the bag over for the recipe – cute!

Outside Hamish Johnston

Outside Hamish Johnston

We’re building a little hit list of places to eat, drink and shop (oh hello Hamish Johnston, you look like a cheese haven), but let us know if there’s anywhere in particular that deserves a shout out.

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Review: Tapas at The Lounge Bar, Balham

In a town where so much has changed over the past few years, there are some establishments that stand the test of time. The Lounge in Balham will be celebrating 13 years this year – no mean feat.

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Pictured: chorizo in red wine sauce, scallops, cod croquets, patatas bravas, the remainder of a dish of olives…

It’s consistently popular with the locals though, and if you haven’t been before, make an effort to go – you won’t be disappointed. Don’t let the simplistic decor fool you; behind these doors is a vast menu of delicious tapas dishes masterminded by an incredibly hardworking husband and wife team.

Spicy garlic prawns - mind the eye-watering chillis...

Spicy garlic prawns – mind the eye-watering chillis…

Most items on the menu are what you’d get in every tapas restaurant but what makes The Lounge so unique is that they take a simple dish and, well, pimp it up. The classic Patatas Bravas dish isn’t just chips and ketchup, it’s crispy chunks of potato in a spicy tomato sauce that we’ve never been able to replicate at home. It’s the same with their meat dishes – when you order the meatballs and chorizo, be sure to order a side of ciabatta to dunk into the rich sauce. #yum.

A side of bread to dunk is a must with these meatballs

A side of bread to dunk is a must with these meatballs

The restaurant fills up fast at the weekends so we’ve been taking to getting our fix during the weekday (except Mondays, when it’s closed) when we’re more likely to get a table immediately.

5-6 dishes between two of you is more than enough. Throw in a couple of drinks and the bill is typically around £40.

If you fancy finding out more about their menu we reviewed the Lounge Bar three years ago, here.