Review: dinner at The Great North Wood

The Great North Wood has marked a distinctive change in what pubs West Norwood has to offer. After a refurb under new management, it opened last May and late last year the Tulse Hill Hotel followed suit, and soon enough Knowles of Norwood should be opening its doors.

pulled pork burger at the great north wood west norwood

Their pulled pork burger and fries is one of the must-haves on the menu

So in a nutshell…

What’s good about it?

*The food: meat lovers, brace yourselves – there’s a lot of pig and cow to get involved with. Their menu ranges from street food style pulled pork burger and fries to more upscale dishes like their lamb, and beef casoulet (mind the terrible quality pics – flash fail in a dark pub).

Look away now if you're veggie

Look away now if you’re veggie

pork crackling bar snack the great north wood west norwood

Yep, that’s pork crackling as a bar snack

The drink: sure, a pub that serves good food and drink should be par of the course but the thing that stuck out for us was the range of craft beers and booze from local breweries in stock, from Camden to Gypsy Hill. Last summer they also held the occasional mini ale and cider festival serving a wider range of ciders and ales.

Their ale festival in July 2014

Their ale festival in July 2014

Comfort food on standby at the Great North Wood

Comfort food on standby at the Great North Wood

What’s not so good about it?

The toilets: we’re not expecting them to be sparkling clean but fully functioning would be nice. There are only two women’s toilets and the layout is squashed – it’s easy to knock into the hand dryer and switch it on when you walk in. The locks are volatile and the flush is frequently broken, too.

The sport: the pub seems to be bit conflicted in terms of its identity. It proudly proclaims to show the sport but while it has two medium sized TVs fitted to walls at each end of the pub, the noise is either low or not on at all – presumably not to disturb their steady custom of restauranteurs but it lacks atmosphere nonetheless. It wouldn’t harm having the sound up on the left side of the pub, leaving the right side for those who want to eat with more peace.

All in all though it’s an encouraging addition to the area previously lacking in a decent night time drinking hole.


The Great North Wood, 3 Knight’s Hill, SE27 0HS

Blackbird Bakery, West Norwood

On a mission to purchase a property we found ourselves on a freezing Saturday morning on West Norwood high street. Cold and in need of food and drink before we embraced (ahem) the company of an estate agent, we considered our options (probably a supermarket) before we stumbled upon the Blackbird Bakery.

Opened just over a year ago and being a few minutes walk from the station we dare say it makes an ideal breakfast fix before enduring a Southern train journey. There are a couple of tables in the corner but on a busy occasion it could get a little cramped. Now for some yummy pictures of bread and pastries…




Featuring more classic breads and pastries than anything with a twist, we reckon it’s a great place to get your old favourites at the weekend. Prices are very reasonable for pastries; you’ll get small change from a fiver for a takeaway coffee and a couple of croissants. Plus the quality is there; the giant pastries aren’t just full of hot hair. Nom indeed.

Blackbird Bakery, 1 Beadman Street, SE27 0DN