Located in the heat of Vauxhall, this ‘contemporary cool with a retro vibe’ pub has been gently restored to expose period woodwork, which contrasts with statement walls of the deepest blue, bedecked with vintage cricket prints - a nod to cricketing mecca The Oval. Here punters relax on reclaimed wooden classroom chairs while feasting their eyes on bookshelves laden with classical literature, dictionaries and nostalgic toys, all of which play their part in immersing cricket fans, beer aficionados and neighbourhood foodies into this vibrant hideaway.
If you head upstairs, you’ll find The Refectory, a new dining room reminiscent of a schoolmaster’s study with quirky harlequin wallpaper, zinc-topped tables and bookcase-lined walls. The Library Room at the back of the bar features nostalgic Penguin books wallpaper and gives easy access to the heated terrace and sheltered beer garden.
Reflecting the school time vibe is the Back to School menu, which rotates monthly and features childhood favourites such as bubble and squeak; liver, bacon and onions with a jam roly poly to finish. Available at a set price of £20 (Monday to Thursday) this is one school dinner that’s not to be missed.
Those after a little more sophistication can tuck into The Fentiman Arms’ seasonal British menu including must-try mains of whiskey and maple glazed ham with fried duck egg, pineapple croquette and triple cooked chips; wild boar and sage sausages with smooth mash; or a garlicky chicken Kiev, all updated classic British dishes with a distinct Geronimo twist.
WHAT TO DRINK
While The Fentiman Arms does a good line in beers, with craft brews in the fridge and Sharp’s Doom Bar, Meantime London Pale Ale (a Fentiman favourite) and Wimbledon Tower Pale Ale all on tap, our waitress was particularly clued up about the wine list, recommending a very good Viognier, which went well with our meal.
For a cosy, affordable and deliciously filling Sunday roast, it can’t be beat.
Food and drink ****
Staff attentiveness/friendliness *****
The Fentiman Arms
64 Fentiman Road