Our mission is to surprise locals with foodie gems on their own doorsteps... To kick off, West Streathamite, Sarah H. and I went south to the Railway Inn, Greyhound Lane. With a distinct whiff of Farrow and Ball in the locality, we were not surprised to see the thriving Railway Farmers’ Market outside the pub sell its last stupendous chicken from Gill Wing Farm in East Sussex as we arrived, and empty platters on the Wren Sisters' (who run the Tea Rooms at the back of the pub) cake stall.
We ate from a tempting bar menu, and shared a plate of handmade Peckham chorizo braised in vodka & red chillies with cherry tomatoes (£5.75); meaty chorizo with a kick, complemented by sweet ripe tomatoes. Other options were home cured gravadlax (£6.50) and beetroot hummus (£4.50) - next time! We think the menu is incredible value for the top-quality ingredients used (only free range meats and sustainable fish, plus artisan breads are used);-starters are around a fiver, and mains mostly £9.50-£12, and puds £4.50-£6. Word is that the burgers are particularly fine (free range Hereford beef -and kangaroo!), but as it’s January, we had grilled halloumi salad with artichokes, beetroot, & walnuts, and marinated chicken with lettuce and cherry tomato salad & Caesar dressing. Both looked and tasted delicious, but sadly left us too full for pudding, otherwise dark chocolate panna cotta with pistachio ice cream, apple crumble, or spiced orange cake with home-made chocolate and orange ice cream would have been irresistible.
Halloumi Salad with Artichoke, Beetroot, and Walnuts.
The charming Railway staff checked we were happy with our food; - a nice professional touch. We didn’t try the sensibly priced, Old World and grown-up wine list - house £14, Macon Villages £19.50, organic white Rioja £18.50, & decent claret & Pinot Noir £20. A fine selection of quality spirits and London brewed ales on offer too. We will certainly return for Winesday Wednesday, when most wines are sold at £15 a bottle.
There’s a lot going on here. The Tea Rooms opened in October last year, and serve coffee roasted at the Volcano Coffee Works in West Norwood. The big airy room hosts activities like children’s sewing and craft classes and hosting several community organisation. Bustling with families enjoying Brunch when we visited, the convivial atmosphere here also pervades the comfortable and stylish bar at the front. There’s a very popular roast Sunday lunch- our top tip is the whole free range chicken, which is £25 for 2, but would comfortably serve a family of 4 with small children. Sadly for us, lunch tables were already fully booked for the next Sunday.
The Railway Tea Rooms - Daily 9am -5pm
The Railway is indeed a diamond.. Sarah's verdict: "I’m amazed that this fantastic place exists in Streatham and I never knew about it!" Mission accomplished.
The Railway, 2 Greyhound Lane, Streatham Common, SW16 5SD
020 8769 9448 www.therailwaysw16.co.uk