South-east London pubs: Attlee’s staycation

Camberwell, SE5

This is my hood and I am known in the local watering holes as the booze hound that I am. I’m very well-behaved in public houses – no barking my head off in over-excitement as if I’m on my first night out or vomiting on the way home. I just sit patiently at Jane’s feet, taking in everything that is going on and keeping my nose peeled for any SAUSAGES  or scraps of ROAST DINNER coming my way.

The Hermit’s Cave, Camberwell

Jane took me to The Hermit’s Cave to show me off when she first brought me home from Battersea. I like it because it’s no-nonsense; no food except crisps and nuts (paw out for some of those please); no music so I don’t have to listen to the barmaid’s awful mix tapes; and, usually, no other dogs, although there is occasionally a French Bulldog acting the barfly. It is just a traditional boozer with coal fires in winter, seats outside on the street for smokers and real ales. Jane says it probably hasn’t changed since the 1950s, when my great-great-great-great grandfather was alive, and that is its charm, imho (in my hound’s opinion.)

A hermit would hate it, though – people are really chatty and friendly and Jane even spotted Hollywood star Dominic Cooper in here. In fact, he spoke to her, to alert her to the fact I was chewing on one of her expensive leather gloves. Swoon – that’s Jane swooning by the way; not me.

The Hermit’s Cave, 28 Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8QU Tel: 0207 703 3188

Nearest train station is Denmark Hill, a five-minute walk away. Bus stops at Camberwell Green, two minutes away – the 12 heads to Oxford Circus and the 436/36 to Victoria and Paddington.

  • Scores on Paws: Attlee: 5/5; Jane 5/5

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

The Phoenix is next to Denmark Hill train station and there is a huge clock in the middle of the pub, the railway clock, which can give you a start if you don’t know about it. But I do know about it so it’s all right. The pub has very high ceilings and wooden floors so my paws clack; clack; clack when I walk in and everybody knows I – Camberwell booze hound – have arrived. The best seats are the leather sofas – although I’m not allowed to sit on them. Otherwise it’s wooden tables and chairs inside and wooden benches outside, where it’s always busy in the summer. When Jane’s friend Maria l lived near us we used to go to The Phoenix every Friday night for its steak and chips and the whopping big tomato on the side.

The Phoenix, Windsor Walk, London, SE5 8BB. Tel: 0207 703 8767 Website:

Nearest train station is Denmark Hill – in fact, The Phoenix is in Denmark Hill train station.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee 4/5; Jane 4/5
The Tiger, Camberwell

The Tiger, which is on the corner of Camberwell Green, opposite the green, was called The Silver Buckle but now it’s called The Tiger and it is very popular with students and Camberwell’s bohemian types, who it didn’t used to be popular with when it was the Silver Buckle. It has lots of antique-y things around, like books from the 1950’s and old record players, and has lots of different wines for the humans. And roasts on Sundays. Even though it is a big cat, I like The Tiger.

The Tiger, 18 Camberwell Green, London, SE5 7AA. Tel: 0207 703 5246


Nearest train station is Denmark Hill, a five-minute walk away. Bus stops at Camberwell Green – the 12 heads to Oxford Circus and the 436/36 to Victoria and Paddington.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee 4/5; Jane 4/5

The Crooked Well, Camberwell

The Crooked Well has had lots of reviews since it opened a few months ago. It has been in The Observer and The Independent and The Daily Mail. Famous gastronomes have visited and spewed forth their views to millions of readers. So I, Attlee Common aka Phileas Dogg, have a hard act to follow. But I am not daunted. Because I am the only canine correspondent that has reviewed The Crooked Well and my pawspective is as important to canines as Jay Rayner’s is to humans. I know it is.

Jane, the photographer and I visited The Crooked Well on a Tuesday night and it was packed – so packed that I had to announce my entrance with some loud barking. Jane was a bit troubled by this display on my part as, even though she knew The Crooked Well welcomed dogs, she wasn’t sure I should make my presence quite so strongly felt. Grrrrrr.

Anyway, half of The Crooked Well is a sort of bar and half of it is a restaurant and we were shown to the restaurant part because Jane and the photographer were going to eat. The restaurant is quite upmarket and I felt proud to be welcomed so warmly into an upmarket restaurant – not too proud to beg for food from the people dining at neighbouring tables, though, until Jane put a stop to it.

Within a minute of sitting down I was presented with a bowl of water – and that made me glad. I was being treated as an important customer and quite right too.

Even though The Crooked Well is quite upmarket, the atmosphere is relaxed. There there was none of that fussing and constant ‘is everything all right with your meals-ing?’ after Jane and the photographer had been served. They were allowed to get on and eat.

And eat they did – Jane finished her two ricotta ravioli parcels, which were the size of her plate, with nary a thought for me – and the photographer saved me such a small crumb of his steak that it was clearly just a sop rather than a serious concern for my tummy and tastebuds. So no doggie bag. And no sausages. Boo.

Worse, the atmosphere was so pleasant and relaxed that, after dinner, the humans decided to order another bottle of wine. This could have made for quite a lot of boring sitting around for me but, fortunately, the couple who were celebrating a birthday at the next table were so taken with my good looks and refined personality that much Phileas fuss was made and I didn’t grow bored at all. In fact I was quite the star attraction. I can’t believe that top restaurant critic Jay Rayner had half as much fuss made of him as I did of me, Phileas Dogg aka Egon Bone-ay. High paw of approval to The Crooked Well.

The Crooked Well, 16 Grove Lane, Camberwell, London, SE5. Tel: 0207 252 7798


Nearest train station is Denmark Hill, a five-minute walk away. Bus stops at Camberwell Green – the 12 heads to Oxford Circus and the 436/36 to Victoria and Paddington.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee 5/5; Jane 5/5; photographer 5/5


Ruskin, Denmark Hill, SE5 8EN

(Within five minutes’ walk of all the Camberwell pubs)

I like Ruskin Park because it is huge – 36 acres – and there are trees to lift my leg against and a huge field to race against the wind in. And a view right across London to The London Eye and St Paul’s.



Peckham, SE15

The Victoria Inn, Peckham

This is Jane’s favourite pub in the whole of south-East London and the reason for that is that it has her favourite food on the menu – chicken kiev. Home-made too, with lots of garlic that seeps out when she takes a bite. It makes it one of my least favourite pubs because I never get a doggie-bag. Also, The Victoria Inn has a pub dog, called Queenie, and every time we go in there she gets all the attention and I don’t.


The Victoria Inn Public House and Lodgings, 79 Choumert Road, London SE15 4AR. Tel: 0207 639 5052


Nearest train station is Peckham Rye, about a five minute walk away.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee: 4/5; Jane: 6/5


Café on the Rye, Peckham Rye Park and Common (like me – Attlee Common)

This is not a pub at all – it is a café. A wooden café that looks a bit like a flying saucer stuck in the middle of Peckham Rye Park and Common. Dogs are not allowed inside the caff but there are always loads of us outside, sitting at the benches and racing around. There are nearly as many dogs at Peckham Rye Park café as there are babies and toddlers and yummy mummy types. It sells fried breakfasts – I always have a SAUSAGE or three – and has a bowl of dog biscuits on the counter. And bowls of water for us outside. Just as well because I’m always exhausted when I go there – Peckham Rye Park is brilliant. There is a big open field – the COMMON – where I can chase crows; wooded bits where I can chase squirrels; paths where I can greet other dogs and smell their bottoms; a pond where I can bark at ducks and an ornamental garden which I’m not really allowed in but I go anyway, before anyone can stop me, to smell the strange smells and pee against the strange-shaped foreign trees. Sorry Southwark Council but this is too good a treat to ignore.

Cafe on the Rye, Strakers Road, Peckham Rye Common, London, SE15 3UA Tel: 0208 693 9431


Peckham Rye train station is a ten minute walk away and the number 12 bus to Oxford Circus passes the park entrance on the Peckham side.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee: 6/5; Jane: 5/5

The Clock House

Well, I am a bit annoyed – very annoyed – because Jane went to review The Clock House WITHOUT me and what is the point of that? I am the dog and the writer of this site so I need to be the hound on the ground, not sitting at home awaiting her comments before I can put paws to keyboard. Grrrrr-not-huzzah! The reason she didn’t take me is because she went on a Saturday night and people were playing jazz and she thought I might disturb the mellow mood. But I had my jazz paws all ready. And, when she returned, she told me that there were two other hounds watching the jazz and that they had a bark-off during it and nobody minded. How I would like to have been involved in that bark-off. Her other comments are that the pub is very quirky and traditional – part of Young’s brewery and Young’s is the oldest brewery in London – and, here’s the exciting bit…it has a cinema with 14 plush old-fashioned cinema seats in it. What’s more, it is directly opposite Peckham COMMON – my favourite place in the world. I am very annoyed I was not included in the outing to The Clock House. I am giving Jane evil eyes to show I am annoyed.

The Clock House, 196a Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, London, SE22 9QA. Tel: 0208 693 2901. Website:

  • Scores on the (Jazz) Paws: Jane: 5/5

Herne Hill, SE24

Herne Hill is next to Brockwell Park and that is why we go there – because Brockwell Park is amaze-bones. It is on a hill and I can chase up the hill as if I’m going all the way to the sky and then, at the top, there is a big house which used to be the mansion of some very rich man but now has a café in it. And there are always lots of dog and they are always friendly so Jane doesn’t need to worry about me meeting the ‘wrong sort of dog.’

Brockwell Park, Norwood Road, London, SE24 9BJ.

Trains go to Herne Hill train station from central London and there are regular buses north and south.


The Commercial Hotel

This place is Jane’s favourite for a fry-up after a good old chase around Brockwell Park. Fry-ups aren’t cheap at £7 but, judging from the scraps of Gloucester Old Spot SAUSAGE I have tasted they are worth every penny. Friendly relaxed atmosphere and there are always lots of post-Brockwell Park tired dogs for me to sniff bottoms with.

The Commercial Hotel, 212 Railton Road, London, SE24 0JT. Tel: 0207 733 8783


Directly opposite the train station.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee: 5/5; Jane: 5/5


The Florence

The Florence is a gastro-pub directly opposite Brockwell Park and it is interesting to people as it has its own brewery attached and a big bit of equipment for making beer, about the size of an elephant, in the middle of the bar. It tends to be visited by lots of very noisy chiiiiiiiildren, though – why don’t they learn some pub etiquette, like us dogs, instead of racing around shrieking. If they want to do that, Brockwell Park’s the place – not the boozer.

The Florence, 131-133 Dulwich Road, London, SE24 ONG. Tel: 0207 326 4987.


  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee:3/5; Jane: 3/5


Greenwich, SE10

Greenwich Park is amaze-bones because it has lots and lots of squirrels – the most squirrels of any park I know. It is also very interesting for people because the Royal Observatory is there and that is where time is made. Something like that – I don’t really know because I’m too busy with the squirrels. And in the summer it is going to be home to lots of hoove-paw HORSES who are coming because of something called the Lympics. I think I could be in the Lympics, competing for Britain in the squirrel chasing section.

Directions: Cutty Sark DLR is about five minutes walk from the entrance to Greenwich Park; Greenwich also has a train station about ten minutes away with services into London Cannon Street and south into Kent.

The Trafalgar Tavern

As well as park-racing around in Greenwich, I enjoy walking along the Thames Path, by the Thames, obv, and having a pee against the huge black ship’s anchor on the way to show that I, Attlee Common, have been in town. The Trafalgar Tavern is along this Thames Path and it is famous because Charles Dickens used to stop in this very pub to eat seafood on his walk from his home in Kent to his office in London. Now Jane stops for Sunday lunch – and a very fine Sunday lunch it is too, the best in London she says. (No doggie bag for me, sadly.) It is expensive mind – £14.99 – but that is probably because Greenwich is a ROYAL borough. If Peckham was a ROYAL borough the pubs there would be allowed to charge £14.99 for a Sunday lunch but it isn’t, so they don’t.

The Trafalgar Tavern, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NW. Tel: 0208 858 2909.


The Trafalgar Tavern is a ten minute stroll, past the Cutty Sark itself, from Cutty Sark DLR.

  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee: 5/5; Jane: 5/5

East Dulwich, SE22

The Bishop

The Bishop has a pub dog – a Weimeraner – but as far as I can tell he sleeps all the time. Straaaange – if I was a pub dog I would be awake, on the watch for scraps. The staff are polite to dogs and as soon as I arrive they bring me a bowl of water, which is good as Jane often forgets about my hydration needs when we are in pubs and I am left properly parched while she glugs her glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The Bishop is good for Sunday roasts and posh macaroni cheese with bacon in it.





The Bishop, 25-27 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EW. Tel: 0208 693 3994


  • Scores on the Paws: Attlee: 5/5; Jane: 4/5