Coombe Lodge, Addiscombe
Strictly speaking, Coombe Lodge is a Beefeater hotel and restaurant complex and not a pub at all. However, if we've just walked four or five miles round the Shirley Hills on a hot summer afternoon and we know that the nearest proper pub is at least another couple of miles away, even purists like ourselves can relax our principles. And, once inside the bar area, anyone could be forgiven for thinking that they've just come into a very big boozer. Just off the bar, and outside of the main restaurant, is a seating and dining area in a conservatory that overlooks the extensive garden, laid out with neat rows of picnic tables in anticipation of a massive summer trade that, if it's there, we've always managed to miss. In the winter, the conservatory is quite cosily warmed-up and, at Christmas provides home for a huge tree, quite tastefully decorated and making the whole place very festive indeed. Obviously, the Lodge's emphasis is on food, but they're quite happy to accommodate the passing drinker with the usual range of lagers, very decently served Pride and Pedigree and a fair choice of wine. All the drinks are at very competitive prices; in fact, cheaper than some of the local substandard 'real' pubs. The staff are mostly enthusiastic youngsters, probably learning the hotel trade and keen to get things right. The food is what you might expect in a Beefeater.
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104 Coombe Road, Croydon, Croydon, CR0 5RB
020 8686 2030
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