Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bar: Colour theme at Crystal Palace

What's with the colour theme of the bars on Crystal Palace Triangle? First the Bluebottle, then the Black Sheep Bar, and most recently the White Hart. I went to the Black Sheep on Easter Monday, very quiet. Although it was a slow evening everywhere and the staff were helpful and chatty (in Croydon they'd use the absence of customers at the bar to go back and smoke, not clean up and offer table service), I was still disappointed. I'd fancied a bit of a buzz after a weekend of family and TV.

So it was nice to find the White Hart. It's been there for some time, since O'Neills sold up, and the recent paint job - brown outside with a large white stag's head painted across a wall - had caught my eye. Finally got there last week, and loved it! Large selection of beer and wine, although didn't try (or even see) any ales, so can't testify to those. Bottled Duvel, on tap Staropramen (and Granat Staropramen), Budvar, three Belgian fruit beers, and plenty of others, plus freshly made orange juice and good coffee. The atmosphere, though busy, was relaxed and friendly, with great service and a nice mix of seating areas to aid friendly interaction. The stack of board games was untouched and hardly original, but it does give a sense of what to expect. There's a small courtyard garden, but it wasn't the day to sit there.

Best of all was the food from the small grill area. We just had snacks but they were superlative: crispy potato wedges and home-fried nachos with dips were both really good. I am a sucker for specials boards, it gets me going back to a place. Burgers and steaks look to be staples but they had nice sounding exotic foods and old pub standards. Definitely a place to try again.

Oh and Wednesdays at the White Hart is 'HartBeat', mixed sounds, mainly jazz and blues, from 9pm. See you there.

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