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1 Love It

At last, we understand the pain that teachers must feel when they’re forced to say a pupil ‘could do better’. There is nothing more frustrating that something (or someone) showing promise, but not living up to their potential. So it is at the Althorp.

This neighbourhood pub, housed in a handsome building overlooking the green spaces of Wandsworth Common, got off to a good start by virtue of location alone. In the homely front room, drinkers were kept happy, with a mainstream selection of lager, cider and bitter (Asahi to Kronenbourg; Aspall’s; Doom Bar to Wandle) plus a decent selection of wines by the glass. But out back, in the dining room, the wheels started to come off.

First of all, this area was separated from the pub by an odd, brightly-lit ante-room. Rather than being given over to some well-behaved drinkers to provide buzz, on our visit it was kept empty by the use of ‘reserved’ signs. The dining room was quiet - too quiet for a pub - but for a soundtrack of ill-judged pop music (Blur; Damien Rice). The room was almost pretty, with lavish boutique-hotel curtains, tiny oil lamps flickering on the tables, and wire ‘branches’ with mother-of-pearl ‘leaves’ on the walls. But again, the lights were too bright for it to be cosy.

It was, however, the kitchen that was the biggest disappointment. There were flashes of brilliance, such as a perfectly seasoned and nicely-textured pork and pistachio terrine, beautifully matched to a light and tangy celeriac remoulade, that showed that someone out back could cook. But most dishes were let down by amateurish errors: large clumps of Iceberg hearts in an otherwise decent prawn cocktail; a fridge-cold sesame bun on an otherwise well-made burger; French fries that lacked colour and crunch, simply because they needed longer in the fryer.

On our visit, almost half of the adverttised pudding list wasn’t available, and the one we tried - a cheesecake with an exotic passion fruit and mango topping – was built on to a soggy base of cheap digestive biscuits. Too many details smacked of laziness or lack of care.

Service was equally inconsistent, from the one lovely waitress who knew her stuff, to her well-meaning but clueless colleagues.

We’d like to see the Althorp try harder, and live up to its setting.

Venue name: Althorp
Address: 20 Bellevue Road
SW17 7EB
Transport: Tube: Wandsworth Town rail, Tooting Bec tube or 319 bus
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Average User Rating

1.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening
Jon R

This place has been renamed - it's now called The Althorp, but the same comments apply as per The Bowler. The Good: It's a really nicely laid out pub - comfy, wood burning stoves, sofas, a good dining room. The bad: Nine times out of ten when you go in there the kitchen's closed - they only seem to be open for a very limited time during the day. Recently we managed to go there in the five minutes when the kitchen was open - we ordered brunch and then overheard an ill tempered exchange between the kitchen and the waitress about not taking more orders. Whether it was spite in relation to this, or just their usual low standards, my wife's scrambled eggs were cold and massively overcooked. Mine were slightly warmer, but that didn't make up for the fact that I'd actually ordered fried eggs. Service from the waitress was friendly, but the manager was pretty po-faced. Their range of beer is pretty dire. It's not exactly cheap either. It's really frustrating - this could be a fantastic pub, if only the food, drinks and service were massively improved . . . as it stands, why anyone would go here rather than The Hope (two minutes away) is beyond me. Please sort it out.

Sean C

This place is an absolute joke! A restaurant that doesn't have a chef until 6pm, I.e. no children please despite being in the middle of Nappy Valley. We hoped that the new management would have changed this from the previous owners, Bring Back Dexters!!!

Mr Jackson

Terrible food with equally poor service at 5* prices. Avoid unless somebody else is paying and you have already eaten. Disappointed new management appear to have taken this establishment to new lows when there were few positives previously.

Mrs M

How is it possible to get a roast wrong..... somehow they managed it at the Bowler. The food was stone cold- even when we sent it back! Toilets are dirty and are falling apart! Staff are just grumpy! I would rather go hungry!


Brilliant site now under new management. Improvements being made all the time and staff are pleasant and more than efficient. Do give this place a try, you'll not be dissapointed!