Review: The Crown, Blackheath by Paloma Lacy


The Crown in Blackheath is steeped in history. This 16th Century former coaching inn opened as a pit stop on the Roman road from London to Dover.

Today it sits neatly just a stone’s throw from the heath, making it the perfect spot for drinks al fresco, even in winter. I popped in for a lunchtime snack and holed up in the pub’s warmest corner. The menu, very much like the interior, is by and large traditional and rather comforting.

The Crown soup of the day

Soup of the day (£4.95), prawn cocktail (£5.95) and garlicky woodland mushrooms on sourdough (£5.95) come as little surprise, but are thankfully joined by shredded pork, mustard and parsley croquettes (£5.75) and tandoori spiced cauliflower, sprouting broccoli and onion fritters (£5.50), all as starters.

Mains include a choice of four burgers, with a red lentil burger with spiced ketchup the highlight. The chef’s specials take the diner from lunchtime into the evening, with the more traditional dishes sitting at the £10-mark, incuding steak and veg pie, scampi and chips, and sausage and mash, through to more bistro-style duck leg confit and Indian spiced chicken thighs for nearer the £13.

The Crown sweet potato fries

A couple of other dishes worth mention, Phanaeng beef curry (£13.95) provided a welcome departure from the usual Thai green or red curry inclusion.

And veggies haven’t been left out either, with mushroom mezzaluna parcels (£9.95). Given the hour, I was tempted by the prawn in Marie-Rose sandwich on granary (£5.95), a filling that elevates the humble sandwich from a boring lunchtime staple to a dining out daytime treat. Packed full of juicy prawns in a home-made sauce, I wondered why this fine sandwich, once so often found on a lunchtime menu, has all but disappeared. Sweet potato fries finished off the dish nicely, but I was defeated by the portion size.

Paloma was not a guest of the Crown, 49 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, London, SE3 0BS.
Tel: 020 8852 0326.

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