The Ivy House, Nunhead

Please note that this review is from April 22, 2019 and may be out of date...restaurants sometimes get better, get worse, employ a new chef or end up with new management.

So I just opened WordPress to start writing this post, and I was instantly stuck. Where did I go? I only got back a couple of hours ago yet I had to search my to-do list to remember that I went to The Ivy House in Nunhead.

The same happened on the way there, I forgot where I was going. I mean, I know I had a couple of beers and there were trees walking by themselves later – yep, trees walking, I shit you not – I have proof.

© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

You’d have thought after spending 5 hours on public transport getting to and from Hampton Court on Friday that I might choose somewhere not quite so awkward to get to – but the random number generator rules OK?

The Ivy House is annoyingly positioned in some kind of weird hinterland between Brockley, Honor Oak and Nunhead – 3 places which I had yet to venture to on my travels, so I hope the SE massive are gonna big me up. In fact, it was the further south-east that I had reviewed so far.

All that beautiful sunshine and I chose to spend 3 hours in total in some form of train carriage.

Where did I go?

I didn’t have especially high hopes for…fuck…where did I go? I did actually forget, I’m not just writing this to make myself look as dumb as someone hoping to change government policy by gluing themselves to the DLR (chill out crusties, the Brexit morons deserve a week off from my condescending opprobrium)…what was I going to say? Oh yeah I went to…The Ivy House in Nunhead. Oh and I wasn’t expecting great things – their social media output wasn’t exactly selling it to me…

Unappealing enough to wish that the protesters had blocked the train line, but it must be on my to-do list for a reason. I was solo-dining as I am far too boring and ugly to have many friends, and therefore didn’t really care that it might not be the best ever roast. But why would you share images of a Yorkshire pudding that looks like it has measles?

Expectations set, I had done a bit of research about The Ivy House, and it was actually the first pub in London to be designated as an Asset Of Community Value under the coalition era (also known as the good times…seriously don’t try telling me you prefer arguing about Brexit to arguing about the pasty tax) legislation of the Localism Act.

This fairly unknown piece of relatively new legislation allows community groups to have priority to buy assets, such as pubs, that are beacons of the local community – basically to stop property developers buying up valued public houses. I’m not going to pretend that I know all the details, but you can look into it here.

Who am I?

Further than that, the pub seemed to have quite a history too – an old Truman’s Brewery pub, with it’s own mini-ballroom. It has lots of old features and had a great feel to it – if shabby in parts, and pretty minging toilets.

The gold curtain at The Ivy House in Nunhead.
How many drag queens can you fit behind the gold curtain? © Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024
The minging toilets at The Ivy House in Nunhead.
Ming – © Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

But I like shabby.

I arrived earlier than normal, at around 1pm, for a few reasons. Firstly, the sun was out and I wanted to make the most of it. Secondly I was hungry. And third – very much most importantly, they had live jazz from 2:30pm. So I needed to get the fuck out of there by then. I still have very painful memories from a few years ago, going for a Sunday roast after doing an accidental all-nighter, receiving my roast being just about able to sit and eat – then a jazz band started. And every time the track seemed to be ending, I thought “thank fuck for that”, yet they weren’t actually finishing the track, it would go on in a new and unexpected yet utterly annoying form – and this would repeat – teasing me that they had finished like the cheap dominatrix that I go to when she puts her fish slice away then comes back with a rolling pin. Wow that was a long paragraph, let me guess, my SEO plugin is going to hate it?

Paragraph length: 1 of the paragraphs contains more than the recommended maximum of 150 words. Shorten your paragraphs!

And that’s another thing that fucks me off – unnecessary exclamation marks.

How small is my nob?

I am in danger of rambling on for longer than Brainless Rebellion delayed the average commuter this week, so getting back on track with my visit to…The Ivy House in Nunhead. Got it!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!! Woooooo!!!!! Twat.

There was no possibility to book a table unless you were a group of 6 or more, I most definitely wasn’t, but there was a morass of seating options – in the front bar, in the ballroom back, in the back bar and, delightfully, in the little sun-trap of a garden. I was quite in love with The Ivy House, even if I kind of expected a fairly rubbish roast dinner.

I forgot to photograph the menu, but it is online and apparently the same every week – a choice of beef, pork or chicken. And some vegan nonsense too, but they were all on a bridge in central London (oh for a torrential downpour). Just £12.50 – I’ve only had 3 cheaper proper roasts dinners in London.

I was going to set fire to my recycling bin the other day as part of Recycling Rebellion but as my local council no longer seem to bother collecting it, I decided that I would instead have the more environmentally unfriendly beef. Don’t look at me like that, enviro-snowflakes. I’ve been recycling since before most people knew what it was, and I don’t have a car. Although I cannot afford a car.

Sunday lunch took around 15-20 minutes and it looked pretty much exactly the same as their social media output – sans the peas for obvious phobia-related reasoning.

The Sunday roast at The Ivy House in Nunhead
Well I did only pay £12.50 – © Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

Starting with the red cabbage which is my least favourite vegetable that I will actually eat, this was tart and tangy – certainly more bother than enjoyment.

Why is there a police car outside my house?

Then there was a small collection of carrots and parsnips, both in baton format, and both on the verge of being anaemic – they were soft enough to be in danger of resembling my willy. At least they weren’t offensive.

Oh yeah, I should wish you a happy Easter.

Three roast potatoes were supplied – it is the south, after all. Another 10-15 minutes, or perhaps a slightly higher heat, and they would have been very good. As they were, they were decent enough – not crispy on the outside, soft enough on the inside and tasted pleasant enough.

The Yorkshire pudding was pretty good too. Kind of crispy on the outside, kind of soft on the bottom, and a good structure. I have no seque to this so I’ll just tell you that I walked down the road the other day and saw a guy in a yellow high-vis jacket with a big sign stood next to the main road. Eco-warrior? Brexit protester?

Sunday roast at The Ivy House in Nunhead
The roast with not the most – © Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

Only two slices of beef were supplied, both pretty thin too. Granted I had only paid £12.50 – but like the meal overall the quantity felt a bit meagre. Peppered on the outside, but despite my photograph making the beef look like it was moving, it was dead. Too dead, long gone past medium and into the category that my mother would automate to. But it wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t tough – it was perfectly acceptable and inoffensive. Oh he was advertising a car wash.

It’s OK, mum, the police have gone.

The gravy was odd in structure but kind of decent. Rather gloopy and had formed odd puddles inside my yorkie of brown splodges on clear liquid. More was forthcoming on request – more than I could handle though there wasn’t exactly an overabundance of food on the plate – one of those times where I wished I carried a loaf of bread around. It was a proper homemade gravy and it thickened the longer that it was on my plate to become almost a good gravy. Again, rather innocuous tasting.

Overall the word ‘inoffensive’ very much sums up this roast dinner – the kind that my mother would cook. Except that she is better than this. Not miles better, but better. Don’t worry, she doesn’t use the internet and my dad doesn’t tell her anything about this blog…thankfully.

The Ivy House is a great pub – if I lived in the area then I’d be proud to have this as my local. It really has charm and a community feel to it – and is worth a visit if ever you are in the area. And that little beer garden in the sunshine – heaven.

But as far as visiting for a Sunday roast? It depends. Sure, if you live in the area, give it a crack – it’s cheap and you shouldn’t be offended – it isn’t going to make you want to block an airport. But it isn’t worth spending 3 hours travelling back and forth to it like I did. I wonder if those trees still walking?

At least it was better than it looked on social media. Shame I was still hungry afterwards – pretty sure I am supposed to put weight on when I go for a Sunday roast, not lose it.

I’m scoring it a 6.76 out of 10.

Next Sunday I’m attempting to whore myself out in Shoreditch, so I’ll either be roasting around there, or in central London somewhere on my prolonged Metline-less journey home. I’ve also announced Mystery Roast Club which I hope will be very unpopular.

(Visited 458 times, 1 visits today)


The Ivy House, Nunhead

Station: Honor Oak Park

Tube Lines: National Rail, Overground

Fare Zone: Zone 3

Price: £12.50

Rating: 6.76

Get Booking


Loved & Loathed

Loved: Great community feel to the pub. Fairly inoffensive.

Loathed: Small portions...nothing offended otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *