Bridge House Tavern, Penge

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 3 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (10 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The gentrification of Penge begins, as this old boozer gets relaunched by the team behind The Rye in Peckham. We'll be down to give the new Bridge House a look (and take a new photo) as soon as we can.
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Reviews (1)
01 Jul 2013
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Prices from Hampstead, service from Hell.

I have been living in SE20 for about 10 years now and remember first going here when it was painted red, white and blue and a bit spit-and-sawdust. It was nice enough then but a few years back it had a change of management and got a new paint job and a much needed refurb. The beer went up a bit and they started doing £8 burgers and tarting up the beer garden. Was a fairly decent pub by then and I enjoyed visiting quite regularly. The other day I noticed a new paint job and some extra plants and signs about events on the front, thought there must be another change of management. Today I was thinking of somewhere to go for some food and drink and decided to go there. Never again.

We arrived, bought a round and sat down to look at the menu. 1 and half lagers, a bitter and 3 soft drinks - £18.80. I see that food has gone up too, it’s now £12 for a burger. Unfortunately there are no burgers available this day except the vege ones. We order 1 pork belly roast, 2 vege burgers (at £12 each!) and 3 kids meals. The food is ok, but a bit meagre (e.g. 7 chips for a child portion, no salad, mayo in a paper cup etc) and somewhat overpriced for the quality. One interesting new development is that when ordering the food I am asked to provide a card to start a tab. I have never been asked to provide a deposit before when ordering food.

After finishing our food I go to the bar to settle the ‘tab’, now it really starts to go wrong. When it is my turn to be served the bartender says “Who’s next?” There are only 2 of us waiting, surely he must know? I say “I would like to settle this tab please” and hand him the tab card. 2 seconds later, after logging on to the till he says “What was the number of your tab?” Luckily I have looked at the card number and can tell him what it is. Without showing me the bill he presents me with the card reader and says “£58.60”. Thinking this still seems a bit steep I pay the bill and inspect the receipt, I find that 10% has been added for service.

Setting aside the fact that this charge is normal in restaurants but not pubs, I do understand that many establishments now tack a service charge on the bill before they give it to you. However, until now I have found that establishments that add a standard service charge are scrupulous about letting you know about this before you pay your bill.

I say to the bartender,
“You have added 10% to my bill without telling me.”
“Oh, doesn’t it say on the menu?”
I point out that it doesn’t say on the menu or anywhere else. He says
“Well that’s the way it works ‘round here.”

Annoyed already at inflated prices and more so that I have been charged without my agreement I ask him to refund the service charge. Clearly trying to embarrass me he calls loudly across the bar to his manager,
“This guy wants his service charge refunded. And it has to be done right now!”

The manager says nothing to me and starts to refund the money, I say to her,
“You really should let people know before you add on charges.”

She does not reply, but the bartender says,
“Not a tipping kind of guy, eh?”

The thing is I am a “tipping kind of guy”, but I don’t like hidden charges and I don’t like bar staff trying to embarrass me. The manager says nothing about his rudeness and I say that I will not be coming here again. The response-
“I don’t give a f*ck”


Reviews (1)
09 Oct 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
THE BEST PUB in SOUTH LONDON! We love it there... amazing people, fantastic food and drink and awesome atmosphere! x
Reviews (1)
03 Oct 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
love this pub, a heaven in the middle of penge, change of management last november, but same owners, has turned this pub around,always a friendly welcome, great food, always interesting specials, new menu i noticed over the weekend, great wine list, a good choice of real ales..... farmers market staring in december, and best of all, theatre is coming to penge in january 2013..
Reviews (1)
27 Sep 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
my family and friends travel miles to frequent this hidden gem....class and sophistication
Reviews (1)
07 Feb 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
How this pub has changed! Was invited to the pub a few weeks ago to catch up with a few friends and was surprised with what I was greeted with. Staff were friendly, food was great and overall a nice place to go. I have since been back with my kids and husband on a Sunday for lunch and plan on having my 30th birthday celebration there. Having spoken to a few people I think it's under new management but don't quote me on that one, but would make sense with the improvements I experienced.
Reviews (1)
23 Apr 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Great pub, lovely food, always a couple of bitters on and the Youngs is usually good. Tastefully over the top decor, and friendly staff. Too middle class for you? Plenty of good boozers on the high street. Not q East Dulwich enough for you? Get on the 176. For me, whether it's for a pint and a paper, a place to meet friends, or somewhere to take visiting relatives for dinner this is pretty much bang on. It's pricier than other pubs round here, but you gets what you pays for, and thank god Penge finally has some variation. No idea why this only has a two pint score - it's a safe three or four; I guess the old photo indicates that fancyapint haven't reviewed it since the refurb.
Reviews (2)
13 Dec 2009
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Absolute joke of a place. So up itself it's untrue. Rude staff, vastly over-priced booze and food. They frown at a working class accent and want you to be their friend on facebook. It's an ugly blot on the good name of Penge. If you want poncy and overpriced, do yourself a favour and get the 176 up to East Dulwich where they will take your money but leave your dignity intact. The sooner this monstrosity shuts down the better.
Reviews (1)
04 Jul 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The area really needs a good pub that sells good beer. I have tried the Young’s Special three times and it has always been kept so badly that it was not drinkable. I was told, in a very patronising way, the first time that “that’s how the beer is supposed to taste”. I tried the food last night; it took 48 minutes to arrive and my starter came with the main course! Instead of making me a new main course they put it under a lamp in the kitchen for 20 minutes while I ate the starter. This ruined the meal. The prices are extortionate, the beer is bad, the staff are rude; go to the Dulwich Woodhouse instead!
Reviews (1)
07 Jun 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
We visited in on a Saturday evening in May 2008 and they had been open in the new gastro guise for eight or so weeks. I had a great burger and chips and my wife has a (gluten free) salad. The food, beer and service were all great and we did not feel as if was over priced. Penge is looking up!!

Contact details
2 Penge High Street, Penge, London, SE20 8RZ
020 8778 2100
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