On a sunny afternoon, the Spencer’s numerous tables on the edge of Putney Common are a joy, especially for families or dog owners. They’re large, solid, well-designed tables too, far better than the pub norm. The pub’s corner premises are pleasant enough, with big windows, grey-green wood panelling and the usual battered wooden tables and old school chairs; leather sofas and banquettes mark out the restaurant area. It all gets a bit noisy when busy, though, and there are no quiet corners in which to hide. Amiable bar staff deal efficiently with any queue, dispensing pints (three real ales plus standard lagers) or wine (a nicely priced list, with around 20 choices by the glass).
Food is a please-all selection of standards, including assorted burgers, pies (shepherd’s, fish), cumberland sausages and mash, chicken caesar salad and a few pasta dishes. Start with a classic prawn cocktail; finish with lemon tart or crème brûlée. It’s not adventurous, but execution is better than you might expect. Crab, chilli and parsley linguine came with copious amounts of fresh crab, and was a nicely balanced mix of flavours, though strangely devoid of any oil. Fish pie was creamy and packed with salmon, but marred by a too-sharp sauce. Sunday brings roasts with all the trimmings.
237 Lower Richmond Road
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-midnight Mon-Sat; 11am-11pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri; noon-4pm Sat. Dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Fri; 5-10pm Sat. Meals served noon-9pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Putney Bridge tube or Putney rail or bus 22, 265, 485|
|Price:||Main courses £9.75-£24.95|
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Average User Rating
3 / 5
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Tried the Spencer at the weekend and had such a lovely time I thought I'd encourage others to go there. The new owners seem to have settled in and the staff are really friendly and helpful. The food was extraordinarily good honest pub food with an inventive few twists, without being pretentious - there's a very fine line and they have got it SO right here. Maybe it was helped by the wine and my friends, but I can't wait to get back there! The prawn cocktail is proper old-school prwan cocktail with lovely tangy pink sauce, the monkfish was cooked to perfection and so meaty with balanced sauces that really work and the vanilla panna cotta was the standard you'd expect in a far more expensive establishment!!! Seriously, go and try it - especially when the weather is nice, you'll not regret it!!
It's been my regular for some time but have always had a problem with the quality of the staff. Then today I encountered various lame excuses for short measuring in a plastic brim glass. If it's a brim glass the beer (not including the head) should be to the brim. They serve it at least 12mm short as a result. At around £4.30 a pint that's probably around 40p I'm being overcharged. When I complained I was given excuses such as ‘customers expect a head’, ‘the head keeps the beer cold’ and 'if I'd asked they would have topped it up'. I do not want to have to ask to get what I paid for. The glass glasses have pint lines and are served correctly but this experience has seriously p****d me off.