Cambria, SE5 9AR
- 020 7737 3676
- 40 Kemerton Road, SE5 9AR
A friendly gastropub conversion near Loughborough Junction Station.
You can tell there are signs of gentrification in an area when it gets a gastropub, and judging by the well-to-do accents heard around Ruskin Park, it's none too soon for this corner of London, near the much-maligned Loughborough Junction (the pubs nearest the station remain closed and boarded, though).
There's a large beer garden out back on several levels and attractively presented (including a BBQ in the corner) photo, and seating inside curves around the central bar, with the usual range of comfortable sofas and wooden tables, hanging chandeliers and other familiar gastro-style decor. Staff are very friendly and chatty, trying to get the menu printed up for the day when Ewan visited at midday on a Saturday, just as they opened. By 1pm the place was getting busier, popular with family groups, in particular.
The bar has two handpulls in use (there are four in total), with Black Sheep Bitter and Adnam's Broadside on a July 2009 visit. Draught beers included Staropramen, Leffe (£2.30/half pint), San Miguel, and Bulmer's cider.
The menu emphasises the sourcing of ingredients from Smithfield meat market and New Covent Garden for fruit & veg, and indeed the ingredients in Ewan's main course were all fresh and well cooked, though a little pricy at £9. It was vegetarian sausages (doing their best imitation of real ones, and tasty too) on a base of pepperonata photo, not overdone and well-judged, though the plate of bread on the side seemed a bit unnecessary.
They advertise a pub quiz on Thursdays, among other events.
Ewan's verdict: This is a welcome local pub for the area, and hits all the right notes.
itsbruce's verdict: This is a very friendly pub with a varied crowd of customers and staff who work hard at maintaining the welcoming atmosphere. It also serves very good food for a gastropub. Shame they stopped the Tuesday night curry club; food was excellent.
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