As the winter evening’s draw in and the rain hammers down outside, a cosy pub is sometimes all you need to perk up.
The Star & Garter, in Lower Richmond Road, Putney, offers the perfect antidote to the misery of winter, alongside a new head chef and menu.
The interior of the pub is classier than your usual local. The drinking and dining area are kept separate, with purple plush cushions and rustic tables overlooking the River Thames.
There is also a large, well-stocked bar stretching from one entrance to other, with the crème-de-la-crème of the whole venue located next to the bar – a cheese room. According to the Star & Garter website it is the only bar in the UK boasting its own cheese maturing room, which are all bought in from dairy farmers.
My guest and I are lead to a secluded dining area with a great view of the river, located away from the hustle and bustle of the drinkers downstairs.
The menu is made up of a variety of dishes, ranging from traditional hearty pub grub and more adventurous meals. My friend, who is vegetarian, also felt she was well catered for. It is the type of place you could bring a large party of people to and everybody would be happy.
To start with I select a beetroot, feta, orange and mint salad (£6.25), while my friend orders the soup of the day, which is mushroom (£4.50). My salad comes served on a dainty plate and is deliciously fresh, with the orange and mint complimenting each other well. The soup comes served in a generous portion, with my friend sipping it down within minutes.
I’m feeling in the mood for something traditional and so for the main course I select the grilled pork chop, braised red cabbage and mash, priced at £11.75. The pork is tender and juicy, while the mash is just the right creamy texture. My guest goes for a goats cheese, red onion, mustard and tomato tart (£10.50). It looks like a quiche in appearance, but I’m told is very cheesy with a deliciously crumbly crust.
You can’t visit a bar which has its own cheese room without sampling what there is on offer. Instead of a desert I jump at the chance to order a cheese board for one, priced at £5.50. The attentive waiter recommends the Spanish Monte Enebro, while I also chose the Colsten Basset Stilton. It comes with a small bunch of green grapes, oatcakes, quince paste and chutney. The cheese is served in small slices rather than intimidating large hunks, perfect to round the meal off and finish the evening in cheese heaven.
The Star & Garter is so homely and welcoming I don’t want to venture outside into the misery of winter again, but unfortunately the one thing they are lacking is a bed for their lazy diners. I’m making sure I visit again to escape the cold nights, as well as sample more of the cheeses from the wonderful cheese maturing room.
The Star & Garter, Lower Richmond Road, Putney, visit thestarandgarter.com or call 020 8780 2122