The Brookmill is a pub that makes an impression before you even step inside. Located on a parkside road between Deptford and Lewisham, the curves of the building look like they’ve been smoothed with sandpaper. It’s very fetching, and I’d quite happily spend an evening staring at the exterior without even going in.
But enter you should. A decent bar selection makes the most of the south London location, featuring beers from some excellent local breweries (Gipsy Hill Brewing Company and Brockley Brewery among them). The atmosphere is lovely too. Bare brick walls, a weathered wooden bar and mismatched furniture may seem a bit hackneyed, but it matters not; the space is inviting and cosy, and large windows give it an open and airy vibe.
But drinking is only half of the story here, thanks to a tempting seasonal menu featuring things like burrata with aubergine caviar, beautifully presented and spiked with a fab combination of aubergine and golden raisins, if a little weak in flavour, and tuna tartare with macadamia nuts, which are soft and silky, but served in a high-sided bowl that made it fiendishly tricky to eat.
Clearly this ain’t your average pub kitchen, though not all the dishes we had were this fancy. Mains were more straightforward – cuts of pork belly and beef sirloin were notable for the outstanding quality of the meat – as were the simple, but satisfying, crème brûlée and chocolate pot we had for dessert.
Those tiny niggles aside, this is an exceptional boozer and a great addition to the burgeoning Deptford scene. Proof that, sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover.