Around the corner from Battersea Park is The Lighthouse, a spacious and elegant pub for casual drinking and dining, with themed food nights, pub quizzes and a south facing beer garden. With all that, we headed on down to see why this Battersea babe is so popular.
The Venue and Atmosphere
The pub has a nautical theme to go with the name, with a lot of relaxing coastal images dotted about the walls. Currently cascading across the room is bunting of the 6 nations national flags, as The Lighthouse currently screens the games on weekends.
My date and I dined on a Wednesday evening, and there was a gentle buzz about the place; the kind of buzz that comes with comfortable drinkers relieved that they’ve made it halfway through the week and can therefore justify spending the evening down their local. Throughout our evening the pub filled with a sports team celebrating their mid-week sporting efforts in the only way sports teams know how - with pitchers of lager and excited banter, while on the other side of the room, friends gathered to spend the evening chatting away over a few bottles of wine. All of this was carried out to a brilliant soundtrack of classic and retro pop hits.
The Food & Drinks
With a recent menu change, we were spoilt for choice with many great pub food classics at The Lighthouse. We debated what to have over a bottle of the house red, and though Wednesdays are famously ‘Pie Night’ (pie and a drink for £12), we decided to forgo that offer and pick from the main menu. We struggled to decide what to start with, opting for 2 dishes we knew we could share - the charcuterie board (£8) and the ‘Three Bird Toast’ (£8). The charcuterie board comprising of a lovely selection of prosciutto and salamis was really enjoyable, elevated higher by the sweet and chunky fig chutney. The Three birds that accompanied our toast were chicken, goose and duck, of which the latter was the best part - pink and juicy and paired quite nicely with the chutney, too.
Our main courses were carnivorous - his, a medium-rare cooked steak (£20) with fries, mushrooms and a creamy peppercorn sauce, mine a plate of pig cheeks with bubble and squeak (£16.50). The pigs cheeks were extraordinarily tender. Cheek meat is known for being beautifully tenderised thanks to the cheek muscles being so frequently used, but these fell apart with even less effort from my knife than I expected. Though the presentation left a fair bit to be desired their flavour was exquisite; succulent, rich, deep in that beautifully fatty flavour that pork has, but for the moments that the flavour became too intense, the bubble and squeak was there to level out the tone with its sweet carrots and crispy potato shell.
Though full, our waitress insisted that the chocolate brownie (£6) was not to be missed, and she was right. That perfect in-between consistency of barely cooked gooey-ness with a light crunch to the topping was indulgent and rich. It swam in a golden, sticky caramel sauce which we scooped up with the brownie, while I also enjoyed a scoop of the mango sorbet (£2) just to balance out all the sweetness and cleanse my palate.
The Lighthouse is everything you could want from a gastro-pub, while not losing the casual, unpretentious feeling of your beloved local. Everyone is welcome whether it’s for casual drinks or intimate dinners, and as every Londoner knows, the beer garden is one hell of an asset and guaranteed to see more action than the Playboy mansion come the summer.