Sandrock, CR0 5HA
- 020 8654 3829
- 152 Upper Shirley Road, CR0 5HA
A pub with dining room in Shirley, taken under new management and refurbished in late-2008.
This is certainly a conveniently-located pub for those trying to walk the London LOOP, lying at roughly the midway point of one of the legs. It sits on a road heading south towards Addington, near the Addington Hills and a local golf course.
Inside there's a bit of seating around the bar (with a few small tables), but the focus is on the large multi-level dining room behind. It incorporates several large round tables in the middle for groups, as well as several other smaller tables along the walls, by the windows, and up a few steps at the back. There's also some outdoor seating in a beer garden.
It's table service in the dining area, but service staff are friendly and attentive. The menu generally sticks to the standards photo of menu in July 2009, but emphasises the provenance of meat and fish (from Smithfield and Billingsgate markets) and notes that they always offer a vegetarian option for the Sunday roast photo of Sunday roast menu. Aside from this, vegetarian options are fairly minimal (a salad and some light bites). However, Ewan's butternut squash with trimmings (£9) photo really was most excellent, helped by a creamy sauce and some fine cooking (the Yorkshire pudding was clearly home-made and not from frozen). It was good enough, in fact, that I'd consider coming here again if in the area.
There are three handpulls for ale at the bar, with Adnam's Broadside, Black Sheep Bitter and one off. There's draught Peroni (£3.80/pint), Früli, and Gaymer's pear cider.
Music was playing in the dining room, fairly bland smooth funk/chilled-out house style, but not too loudly. Papers are available for reading, and staff were happy for us to move after ordering when a larger table became available.