Going down the (deep) pan

Took the in-laws to the Grove/BRB/whatever last night to take advantage of their 2‑for‑1 pizza offer. The place was empty, as all the students have gone home for the summer. Asked the barman if they would be showing the Arsenal game later; he said no, the pub is under new management and won’t be showing any football any more. Disapointment number one.

Sat in the smaller of the two bars, ordered our pizzas. I ordered Fiorentina, as I like a bit of spinach. When it came, a bit of spinach was just what I got. One leaf. No joke. Disappointment number two.

Took a bite of the pizza, realised straight away something had changed. The base, once light and crispy, was now biscuity and sweet. Tasted like pre-prepared. Unenjoyable. Disappointment number three.

My father-in-law went to the bar, waited for a while to attract the bartender’s attention, then was told that this side of the bar wasn’t open and he would have to go round to the other side to be served; this despite the fact that the smaller bar area was as busy as the larger, and we’d already been served from this side three times. Disappointment number four.

No football, bad pizza, ignorant/lazy barstaff. I can’t think of a single good reason to go back there now. Sounds like the rumours are true.

Which local pub can I watch Premiership Plus games in?

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

26 thoughts on “Going down the (deep) pan”

  1. Yep, sounds pretty much identical to the experience I had there when I went to watch the Spain v Ukraine game in the World Cup — I won’t be returning in a great hurry either…

  2. Must have changed very quickly. was there last Tuesday taking advantage of the lack of students and our pizza was fine, no different from how they’ve been for the last couple of years. Were the same chefs behind the ramp and recognised most of the staff.
    You can normally catch most of the footie in the Hermits, or it may give them a bit of a shove to show it upstairs in the Castle. They’ve always advertised it in the past but seem to have been a bit half hearted about it.
    Must say big thumbs up for the new Thai on Coldharbour Lane !!

  3. Interestingly given Marks comments you linked to i was speaking to someone from Punch Taverns (in a work capacity) yesterday and they have just acquired a large amount of tenanted pubs from the Spirit group. She seemd to indicate that the way they do things may be changing from now on — perhaps this includes getting rid of their tied lease properties? I don’t know.

    Just a personal opinion — i went to BRB once a couple of years ago — thought it was crap then to be honest — you can always get better pizza in places like pizza express and the drinks were pretty poor. Why can’t pubs just be pubs eh?

  4. The Cambria is pretty good for football — It’s just behind Ruskin Park off of Herne Hill Road — Walk through the gate next to the garden centre on Denmark Hill, straight to the end where the other gate on Northway Road is — then to the end of that road and it’s first left on the corner — a very nice unpretentious pub that always shows the football…

  5. Watching most matches isn’t a problem, as I go to the Cadeleigh Arms. However, pricing policies have forced them to stop showing the Pay-Per-View matches; that’s when I went to the Grove. Last time I went to the Hermit’s they didn’t have Prem Plus, neither do the Castle or Silver Buckle. Any other suggestions?

  6. I find the George Canning is ok. Its far from being a footie pub, but it rolls out the screen for games and has a friendly atmosphere.

  7. Peter — I have friends who, when not watching the footy in the Cadeleigh, head for the Prince Albert down on Bellenden — although it’s not my favourite. If you’re happy to travel, then we also go to the Magdala up Lordship Lane, but that’s obviously a bit more of a trek.

  8. You’re right, Peter, hardly anywhere in Camberwell shows Prem Plus games. The Grove used to be the only one that did. I stopped going there during the World Cup, and went to the Canning instead, but as an earlier poster stated, I think the Canning’s football conversion may only have been World Cup-related. I doubt they’ll pay for Prem Plus either.

    The only other one I can think of that might show Prem Plus is the Black Sheep on Camberwell New Rd. I’ll check it out tonight if I get home from my park football/binge-drinking evening in time. I play for the New Corinthians. You may have seen us, we wear long shorts, top hats and monocles, and my manservant, Jaynes, serves us lemonade at half-time. We intend to show up in Burgess Park one Sunday afternoon and show those South American blighters who invented the bloody game!

  9. Like I mentioned in my previous post — The Cambria showed Prem Plus games last season, I would be surprised if they didn’t this year too…

  10. I’ve been to the Prince Albert before; that’s a proper footballing pub, and it’s quite close to me. I’ll check that out.

    As for the Cambria, that sounds very promising but it’s quite far from my house. Only a short hop on the bicycle, of course, but sometimes while watching football I consume bicycle-unfriendly drinks.

  11. I ventured into Camberwell/Peckham borders last year and ended up in a pub called The Montpelier I think, god that was horrible — The Cadleigh is o.k though — I’ve been there a few times, a throughly decent sort of place…

  12. Does the new Thai place do takeawy? — I may go there on Friday there have been too many good reviews to ignore now!

  13. watched quite a lot of footie at the Cambria over the last 34 years — it can get very full and the telly is small and over the door so you get a crick in your neck.
    The clientele can be Arsenal-unfrindly too which may or may not be a problem … (it is for me)
    Pub can get very smoky too.
    The Cadeleigh is better — really big back room — but still only 510

  14. Cambria does have a big screen projector since they moved out the pool table although if it’s sunny outside it’s not very clear, shouldn’t be much of a problem for most winter games.

    I used to go to Jack Beards over the road from S&D for the odd bit of football. Last time I was in there the barman and his mates had the pool table pockets stuffed so they could play free pool, consequently service and atmosphere was not so good. There’s also the other Jack Beards on the corner of Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Station Road who show footy. Not sure if either screen PPV games though

    The joiners arms also show games although, again, not sure if they show PPV games.

    The only other pub I’ve been to in Camberwell that might show games is The Prince of Wales on Knatchbull Road. Haven’t been there for a few years but remember it as being the kind of pub that shows footy and as a friend just moved down the road I may visit it soon.

    That leaves 2 I’m aware of but have never visited; The Ivanhoe on Ivanhoe Road near the top of Camberwell Grove and The Paulet Arms on Paulet Road, runs parallel to Colharbour Lane.

    I like watching football in the pub.

  15. My thumbs up goes to the new Thai too and yes Hannah they do do takeaway but not delivery.

    I was in the BRB on Tuesday night too and noticed the lack of football. Plus we thought the pizzas were not up to there usual standard but thought that bar staff were a bit nicer than usual!!
    Will miss the football at the BRB — I wonder if it will affect their profits because it was always packed for football games.

  16. Sounds like a very poor management decision by BRB (or whoever has taken over now) to stop showing football — The BRB on Kennington Road still shows the footie and they are always pretty busy anyway…

  17. I find it a little difficult to generate sympathy for displaced football fans, I must say.

    As a rugby fan, there’s few things more depressing than walking ’round every pub in the area, only to find they’re all showing the same football match (Even when it’s Nowhere FC versus Backofbeyond Athletic).

    It’d be a great shame if the BRB has gone downhill, though.

  18. Good on you Marwood! I’ll happily watch footy, but as a Taffy in exile I love my rugby.

    I remember trying to see the (rugby) European Cup final once and, like you said, everywhere was showing some lower league mid-table clash (of sorts). Managed to convince one place to let me watch (nearly all of) the first half, before the football started. Took some doing though. And this was when they were showing the “pundits” and ad breaks, with the volume down.

    I hate the idea of setting up a direct debit to Mr Murdoch, but fear this is the only way forward. Let me know if you find somewhere in the meantime.

  19. Murdoch is murder. Also dock. He signs you up, them docks your pay. I thought that Welsh Glyn bloke who came 2nd in Big Brother last night was good, copeywolf. “I’m from the mountains,” he once said and had that kind of clarity.

    I once sat in the Hermits Cave wtching my hometown team Peterborough United playing in the FA Cup against Newcastle at home. The pitch was waterlogged, but so was the Hermits floor for some reason, beer and fag-ash mix, so it was like being there because the pitch and the pub floor were contiguous. I was the only viewer.

    I used to work with Cliff Morgan’s daughter.

  20. Aaah Glyn. That big, strong, sensitive intellectual who typifies Welsh men.

    If Cliff Morgan’s daughter is anything like her dad I’m sure she was a pleasure to work with. I used to see him often in my London Welsh playing days. A wonderful chap and a humble legend who’s had a real tough time health-wise, sadly.

  21. Re comments on the new Thai place on Coldharbour Lane. I think its called Su Thai or something like that.

    Anyway, we have been there about 4 times now but sadly last Friday night the food was pretty sub-standard.

    What is it with places that start off with the best intentions and then slowly go downhill. Seems to happen quite a lot in Camberwell, though I guess its not unique to SE5.

    The Thai Place is another example. A few years ago it served brilliant thai food at really cheap prices. OK, so the prices haven’t gone up much but boy has the food gone to the dogs.

    The only exception to this seems to be the Vietnamese place near Hermits Cave. Been reliably good for years.

  22. HI SG, rest assured Su~Thai is not going down hill. Any complaints are taken very seriously. A chef can have a bad day like all of us and if it is reflected in his food then all the staff suffer as they rely on you the customer for a job. It is a new venture and there have been teething problems. The staff are all Thai and are creating dishes from Thai ingredients. SO please do not lose faith just yet and if on your next visit you are disappointed please ask to speak to Suthi.

  23. Will do.

    We tried to go there again last night to give it another go but it was closed. Damn — oh well, will try again next week.

    We ended up in the place across the junction, Lamoon I think its called. Excellent, non smoking throughout already — will be going there more often in future.

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