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Pub Visit - England

Petts Wood1Thursday 3rd March 2016

Bob Thompson

Should you think about it, the name of this pub is a smart play on words. Not heard very much these days the expression “one in the wood” means that a beer is waiting for you without charge as it has previously been bought by someone else.

It dates from the days of wooden barrels. I realise that a lot of drinkers will know this already. This is a pub (inn) that is in the wood (Petts Wood). Quite clever really!

Petts Wood is one of those suburbs of London that was created by the railway as a dormitory for the city. The station itself is built in a kind of rural chalet style. Either side of the tracks are parades of shops which all look to have been built in the 1920s and 30s. I went out the wrong side of the station and so got to see more of Petts Wood than I intended.

Petts Wood2So I had worked up a thirst by the time I’d arrived at the “inn”. Yet, definitely not an inn, this is a micropub. It was founded by Barry Bridge, who previously worked as a money broker in the city, and his wife Sarah.

The premises was formerly Bradley’s Wine Bar and it opened as a pub on the 23rd May 2014. Since then it has become Bromley CAMRA Pub of the Year 2014 and then CAMRA Greater London Regional Pub of the Year 2015.

As a walked towards it there was no mistaking that I was going to a pub. Under the outside awning there were a number of bright yellow plastic chairs with cushions. Facing them were a pair of wooden tables, each either side of the door. There were also loose “stools” which were actually nothing more than plastic beer casks with a cushion on top. I hope they get back to their owning breweries.

Petts Wood3Either side of the entrance is a bush in a pot. These are festooned with orange electric lights which must look very welcoming on a cold winter’s night. I entered and went straight to a central upturned wooden barrel. There is a brick built bar with a varnished wood counter top. However, my pint was brought to me, so it seems table service is the norm.

Glancing around the room I noticed that all of the left side wall was covered with a huge woodland scene. On the same side there are fitted benches in front of tall tables that have loose stools facing the wall.

Petts Wood4In the corner there is a shelf on two walls that hold a number of board games that even include a shove ha’penny board. On the wall above this area is a framed map of the micro-breweries of Kent.

The seating on the right side duplicates that of the other. Here the benches are under a white-painted wall that has a number of blackboards displaying the food and drink offerings. Behind the L-shaped bar counter is a glass-fronted door through which the casks on their stillage can be glimpsed. High above there are garlands of hops. The pub is a shrine to the county of Kent. The beer, cider, wine and food all come from the county.

The beer selection was a follows: Ramsgate Brewery (Gadd’s) (Broadstairs, Kent) Al Murray’s Beautiful British Beer (4.0%); Brew Buddies (Swanley, Kent) Pioneer Pilgrim (4.1%); Ripple Steam (Sutton, Kent) Farmhouse Light (3.8%); Old Dairy (Tenterden, Kent) Snow Top (6.0%) and the house beer: Tonbridge Brewery (East Peckham, Kent) Permanent Wood (3.6%). Apart from the latter, the rest are guests.

Their cider and perry selection all comes from Dudda’s Tun of Doddington, Kent. There was Disco Dudda (Cider) (5.3%); Dudda’s Tun Spiced (Cider) (5.5%); Cheery Old Dudda (Cherry Cider) (4.8%) and Pear O’Dudda’s (Perry) (5.5%). Wines are from the Chapel Down Vineyard at Tenterden, Kent. These include white, rosé, red and sparkling varieties.

Petts Wood5More food is offered in this pub than most other micropubs, yet there is not anything hot.

They serve various savoury items on a wooden platter with gherkins, pickled onions and home-made chutney. There are pork pies from Dennis butchers of Bexley; giant sausage rolls from Flick’s Fancies of Horton Kirby, Kent.

They also serve cheese platters with Ashmore (Dargate, Kent) cheese. Naturally, there are all the usual snacks in packs.

If you are ever in this part of South East London you should make a bee line for this likeable little pub.

Important Information:

One Inn in the Wood, 209 Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood, BR5 1LA. Tel: 07799535982

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 12.00-14.30, 17.00-21.30; Friday 12.00-14.30, 17.00-23.00; Saturday 11.30-23.00; Sunday 12.00-15.00. Monday Closed.

The nearby railway station is served by trains from Charing Cross and Waterloo East every thirty minutes. It’s also served from Cannon Street every thirty minutes.
All of these trains call at London Bridge.

There is another route from Victoria via Bromley South every thirty minutes.
All of these trains go on to Orpington. The services are less frequent on Sundays.

There are also a number of local bus routes. 273, R2 and R3 run from Station Square right outside. Routes 208 and R7 stop in Queensway which is the other side of the railway lines.

Leave the station on the side where the ticket office is located. Descend the steps to street level. This is Station Square. Turn left and walk along that pavement with the Daylight pub on your right. Then turn left, keep walking. There is a pedestrian crossing. Do not cross but turn left, the pub is on the left.