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Blake's at the Clock House

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs East Dulwich
3 out of 5 stars
Blake's at the Clock House

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A cocktail bar upstairs from the Clock House pub.

Blake’s is ‘hidden’ behind a bookcase (albeit one with a massive doorknob on it) upstairs at the Clock House, an unexceptional Young’s pub at the Dulwich end of Peckham Rye. It has a distinctly different offering to the downstairs operation, mainly because of its diminutive size – it seats about 20. 

But the problem is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Plush blue banquettes, smart dark wood furniture, modish light fixtures and jazz-funk soundtrack say cocktail bar; a massive pull-down screen showing live sport says #bantercentral. The drinks list says something in the middle – it’s craft-beer-centric, with a short set of classic cocktails. Somewhere in SE22 there’s a Pinterest board with a few too many ideas stuck to it.

The selection of brews from the US is disappointing – you can find Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam and Goose Island at any Wetherspoons these days – but the local offering is more solid. Brick Brewery’s Peckham Pils was on tap when we visited, and in the fridge there’s a strong showing from Bermondsey Beer Mile stalwarts Brew By Numbers, The Kernel and Fourpure.

Food options are definitely worth exploring. Two burgers – a beetroot, lentil and mozzarella veggie patty and a medium-rare beef one – were excellent. A sharing board of scotch eggs, sausage rolls and cheeses that landed on a neighbouring table looked the business, too. But again, there’s a jarring clash of vibes – who wants to eat fries out of a cardboard box while sipping an £8 cocktail?

Clearly pitched as a more premium alternative to the neighbourhood boozer upstairs, Blake’s would benefit from tightening its focus. Taking ‘Match of the Day’ out of the equation would be a solid start. 


Address: 196a Peckham Rye
SE22 9QA
Transport: Peckham Rye Overground.
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