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Woodman

© Rob Greig
Battersea

A Battersea gsatropub owned by the Hall & Woodhouse Brewery.

Battersea High Street is an odd place. Quiet, almost desolate, in the shadow of several looming towers, it has surprisingly little in the way of shops or cafés. What it does have, however, is a handful of pubs. One of these, the Woodman, has come under new ownership, and is going for gastropub glory – though only in a half-hearted way.

The interiors are a case in point: the handsome front bar (with Chesterfields, gilt mirrors and old barrels, lit by candlelight) gives way to a dining room that so nearly gets it right. Pale hues and a high, vaulted ceiling give it a New England vibe, while scuffed wooden floors, piles of logs and more candlelight further add to the ambience. But it’s undermined by the crammed-in tacky leather chairs and shiny brown tables.

The cooking was equally mixed. We enjoyed the combination of crunchy crostini, crumbly goat’s cheese and a gutsy tomato and chilli sauce, but the squiggles of mustard dressing were surplus to requirements. Meanwhile, a lacklustre stack of smoked mackerel and potato salad not only failed to deliver the promised hit of horseradish, but came with more of that ill-judged mustard dressing.

Next up, our slow-braised Dorset beef stew was comforting and full-flavoured, though several Dijon-slathered ‘mustard croutons’ nearly ruined the party. Did the owners have shares in a mustard factory, we wondered?

But a terrific own-made white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake saved the day: its salty, buttery biscuit base and creamy, berry-filled middle making us with we’d gone straight to pud. The compact wine list offers a clutch of by-the-glass options, while the real ales come courtesy of Dorset brewer Hall & Woodhouse.

Staff were young and friendly, cranking up the chart music when it wasn't busy, and treating regulars as old friends. A good thing too: given this pub’s location, it needs all the neighbourhood trade it can get.

Venue name: Woodman
Contact:
Address: 60 Battersea High St
London
SW11 3HX
Opening hours: Open noon-11.30pm Mon-Sat, noon-10.30pm Sun Food served noon-10pm daily
Transport: Tube: Clapham Junction rail then 319 bus
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:2
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  • 1 star:1
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ATDesigns_UK

I love the Woodman. The food is always good, and often far too large a portion and the staff are very friendly. The winelist is excellent  ranging from a reasonably inexpensive Shiraz to something a little more special (but it won't break the bank!) and the Badger beer has to be one of my favourites. I often pop in for a scotch egg and hand cut fries at luncthime, which never fails to hit the spot if I'm in a bit of a rush. Great place to take dogs too.

Sarah Wilson

Worst experience ever!!! Wine was awful staff considerably rude especially the head chef/owner think he goes by the name of James!!! Order m/rare steak came more like a well done when I mentioned it to a waitress she took it back to the kitchen were I heard the chef shouting at her for a mistake she hadn't made when the next steak was brought out it was over cooked again I was so hungry I just ate it quickly so I could leave would not recommend this place to my worst enemie

Ben

Great place for a pint or some good food. Not too busy either, which makes a change in London.