The Grape and Grain
Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 2AA
0208 778 4109
There’s been a lot of buzz around the Grape and Grain with twitter and facebook ablaze with praise from loyal punters, so it was well and truly time for the Weekender to pop in for a pint. Stepping out of Crystal Palace station on a wintery Saturday night, the deserted road leading up the hill to the main road is eerily reminiscent of the opening scenes of every horror movie ever made. You’ll definitely have a well-earned thirst by the time you make it up the hill, but what greets you at the top is a slice of country charm in the midst of the Palace.
Renowned for its real ales and ciders, the Grape and Grain has been featured in the Good Beer Guide for the last three years running. They have 16 real ales and ciders permanently on tap, both local and imported. There’s also a decent wine and spirit selection if you’re that way inclined. The Grape and Grain hosts jazz nights, regular quiz nights and festivals; its next beer festival is planned for March 1-4.
The menu is cheap and cheerful pub classics with £7.50 burgers, a range of pies (£8.50) served with bubble and squeak and £3.50 desserts comprising traditional pudding options of apple pie, bread and butter pudding, and cheesecake. Every Sunday they dish up a Sunday roast from 12-5pm for £7.50.
Set apart from the High St, the vast structure that is the Grape and Grain sweeps across the corner of Anerley Hill, resembling a country pub in its size, style and stature. Inside I’m reminded of the quintessential pubs you associate with places like Newcastle; there’s a country charm that goes hand in hand with the cosy décor, rich in wooden panelled walls and big sofas, right down to the last drinks bell ringing, which is accompanied by a veteran barman cat-calling “last drinks lay-dees and gentlemen”.