If you ever need to see how a great local should be - come to this pub. It's got everything just right: a great selection of well-kept beers which are frequently changing, with up to nine ales available on the pumps at a time, we've heard on good authority (although there were a few less on our last visit) and the locals like a nice drop of ale. There's also good service and a great atmosphere in both bars, the larger of the two a bit louder due to its openness (unusual this, given that it's the designated saloon). There's a fire in the smaller, public bar, which we're looking forward to during the next, inevitable cold snap. In the same vein, if the British summer lives up to its promise, the beer garden at the back is going to be packed with people (some with kids, mind) fighting for a place in the sun. The change in management at the Oak a while back has made all the difference, making it a destination pub for us, at the very least. Regular events and live music are on to keep the masses entertained - we're looking forward to one they've called a 'Pub Beano' with curry and karaoke on the menu. That said, the home-cooked food on the menu is worth a look and is pretty good value. Thankfully, nothing fundamental has changed and the Oak is still a fine, traditional locals pub. The only concerning note is that, on a recent bank holiday lunchtime, the pub was almost deserted. It was certainly far better frequented three or four years ago, and we can't help but wonder whether the Oak is catering to a diminishing market - this part of the world is no longer as solidly working-class as it once was. We sincerely hope that the British Oak doesn't fall between the cracks, as it's the kind of traditional place which London needs to retain.
Review: 2 out of 2 people found this review helpful
Reviewed by septic
13 May 2010