Tag Archives: The Landor

The Landor pub, 70 Landor Road, Clapham North, SW9 9PH

One of my pet peeves about Clapham and Brixton is that there is a real dearth of really good pubs. Not so North London with amazing gastropubs like The Albion, Draper’s Arms,  The Scolt Head and the Bull & Last. West London’s also pretty good with the Prince of Wales in Putney, the Dove in Hammersmith, and all those lovely little pubs along the Thames. Brixton has some good places (particularly The Prince Regent and the Florence but these are more towards Herne Hill) but Clapham lags behind. Sure you can squeeze yourself into The Sun or The Falcon – and that was much fun in my 20s – but now I’m getting on a bit, I need a seat, and, y’know, for it to be quiet enough to talk and stuff. I’d also like some decent food and good wine, not served in pint glasses at £5 a pop. I’d also like everyone I know to move to Brixton and the moon on a stick, just so we’re clear.

And so for me, Clapham finds a winner in The Landor. It has a pool table for lazy Sunday afternoons. It has been done up and looks right nice. It has lovely new management who come out when you’re having a fag to suggest you might want to try the garden later on. It has a brilliant singer on Friday nights with a lovely voice. They’ve done up the beer garden out the back with a lovely covered walkway and trees with lights in them. You can always get a table. But the atmosphere’s still good.

Truth is, The Landor is an integral part of my London story. Lady B and I lived practically opposite for a couple of years in our 20s and were there all the time, often the morning after the night before pretty much in pajamas and with whoever had ended up crashing on the sofa in tow, often playing pool, eating Sunday roasts, drinking pints of beer and bottles of rose in the summer. Lady B once laid down full length on the pool table. She also once spilled a full glass of red wine on her white jeans and stuck her leg up on the bar in order to “salt” herself to get rid of the stain. We had birthdays there. We often invited half the pub back for after-beers. Lady B has settled down somewhat since then but going back there still makes me laugh at the fun times we had.

There’s even a theatre there seating 60 people – I bumped into the theatre director last Friday night in the garden and he is quite a character. I’ve not been yet but its on my list.

So there you have it – an ode to arguably my favourite pub in London, to fun times, and what I love about living here – a good old fashioned pub, with regulars at the bar, good music, Sunday roasts, a game of pool and a pint. Now just to tempt Lady B back to London so we can hang out there together again…

London is happier in the sun

Yes, we’re all nursing beer garden cider hangovers and sunburn, and covering up embarrassing tan lines; but London in the sunshine is definitely a happy place to be. 

My weekend has involved a bit of this…

..and some of this…

…courtesy of The Landor’s beer garden; and some of this..

…courtesy of Windrush Square in Brixton.  And also some burgers in Dulwich, a home-cooked BBQ and a random cycle to Penge (of which more later); and it almost involved a dip in the Brixton lido (to be saved for another weekend).  

Slap on the factor 15 and enjoy the sun!

Best of Clapham (IMHO) – Volume 1

 

Here is a snapshot of my favourite places to go in Cla’am (disclaimer: some of which may not be as good as they used to be!).

The Landor - my great friend Niki and I lived pretty much opposite (and in) The Landor for about 3 years.  Good old man’s pub with pool tables, where you can always get a seat and some decent pub grub.  Has a huge beer garden that is inexplicably neglected in favour of the packed Falcon and it even has its own theatre which recently showed the critically acclaimed “Stockwell”.   The roasts are perhaps not as good as somewhere like the Calf but its still a chilled out comfy place for a quiet pint.

La Terraza – Awesome authentic Spanish tapas bar, restaurant and music venue on Bedford Road.  I’ve been in with El Grumpo and also with some drunken friends having spilled out of The Falcon and both times had a wicked night – great food, regulars at the bar, keyboard players doing Spanish music and a collection of locals dancing the salsa.  Has a terrace outside in summer where I drool over people eating calamares with a cold beer. 
La Terraza on Urbanspoon

The Loft - Run by the brilliant recently-refurbished Plan B guys, it bizarrely won Time Out’s best bar prize and I wouldn’t go that far, but during the week it is a great spot for drinks with mates in a “New York” warehouse style bar with views over Clapham high street.  Good cocktails, lounge seats and music but the food is average at best, and at weekends it’s packed.   They are currently doing 2 courses for £2 on their winter restaurant menu and 50% off roasts on Sundays. 
Loft on Urbanspoon

The Calf - dark and almost gothic with wooden floors and tables and velvet curtains, the Calf has an amazing selection of beers, cider and wine, really good pub grub and roasts, lovely bar staff and with board games liberally strewn around and large comfy sofas, the sort of place you can roll up, curl up and stay all day.
Calf on Urbanspoon

Cafe Cairo – this is apparently now closed because of a fire but in case it has re-opened I wanted to include it as it was probably the most interesting place in Clapham.  It had an upstairs Moroccan tent style room where you sat on the floor while drinking red wine, smoking a shishah and eating humous, merguez, pitta and greek salad.  Small room downstairs with crazy house DJs and wild party crowd.  Post-smoking ban they appeared to simply cut a whole in the roof but not sure how shishah smoking would continue in winter.  Lets hope it re-opens!
Cafe Cairo on Urbanspoon

The Stonhouse - comfy, cosy warm pub to go for delicious steaks and red wine. 
The Stonhouse on Urbanspoon

Four O Nine - Impeccable service and posh grub just above the Clapham North.  Great for taking your mum, your best friend and for a date.  Pretty much permanent 50% off food through toptable so if it’s struggling, take advantage before it disappears.  Not as good as Upstairs on Acre Lane though.
Four O Nine on Urbanspoon

Clapham Picturehouse – lovely local cinema featuring interesting mix of films and a homely little bar.  Or try the Brixton Ritzy, its sister cinema, which is housed in a sprawling old Victorian building with quirky bar and roof terrace.  Sadly, ticket prices aren’t cheap but that seems to be across the board in London.

Fish Club – Fab fish and chips in a minimal, basic restaurant.  Potted crab, battered haddock and plaice with fish and chips and musy peas are all delicious and fresh – I’d like to go back to try the grey mullet, bream and seafood.  
Fish Club on Urbanspoon

Secondo – great vintage clothes shop under the arches next to Clapham High Street station.   Great cakes, quiches and pies, and great selection of vintage clothes, shoes and furniture.   Also check out their Brixton sister shops.

Tsunami – stylish Japanese restaurant on Voltaire road.  Good selection of sushi and sashimi and great mains like black cod and Wasabi steaks.
Tsunami on Urbanspoon

Esca – buzzing deli with large sharing tables and a great selection of sandwiches, cakes and salads.  Good to pick up a coffee and read the paper, and to buy nice ground coffee and other kitchen treats.  Not cheap though!
Esca on Urbanspoon

Special mentions go to The Falcon (old favourite but don’t like the new squished up garden and suddenly full of very young people, either that or I’m suddenly older eek), El Rincon Latino (good tapas bar), Belgo Bierodrome (yummy moules frites), So:UK and the White House (both were very good “back in the day” for girlie cocktails and a dance),  Traders (beer and dim sum, great combination), Gastro (authentic French restaurant with decent food and great wines served in cute little tumblers, sadly a little overpriced), Metro (romantic garden restaurant) and Arch 639 (for having a name we always got wrong and managing to combine good DJs and pool with the narrowest bar in the world – weekend nights sometimes a bit hit or miss though).  Aquum is nice in summer to sit outside and drink wine, although the white leather seats and poncey bouncers put me off going at any other time.  Infernos was my special place during law school but no longer will I cross its threshold.

I’m also dying to try Breads Etcetera for its wonderful sounding breakfasts including Scandanavian breakfast with fish roe, cheese and ham and DIY toast – yum.