Next to Peckham Rye Park sits The Clock House. Part of the Young’s collection, the vintage and stylish pub offers great food and drinks to its locals. On a sunny June Saturday, after a short bus ride from the station, and a warm stroll through the park, we headed there to see what sets this spot apart from the many other pubs on offer in South London.
Neatly tucked away on a side road, The Clock House stands proudly with a gorgeous and welcoming front terrace. With plenty of space for groups and diners outside, it was buzzing on a Saturday night as we walked through to the pub’s entrance, with people keen to make the most of the summery weather.
After its recent refurbishment, the venue feels fresh and cool with its exposed brickwork and mismatched furniture. The front section of the pub is light and airy, with an eye-catching aquamarine blue bar and simple wooden furniture, perfect for a quick drink and scotch egg. We were, however, after something slightly more substantial so passed the bar to the dining room, a warmer area with vintage photos hung on walls, fireplaces and summery flower arrangements.
With most of The Clock House’s patrons drinking and eating al fresco, we had a couple of tables to choose from in the restaurant. Other diners included families refueling after Saturday fun and games in the park, a few couples having a relaxed supper and a group of friends having a catch up over plates of proper fish and chips.
Food and Drink
Alongside all the beers, wines and ales you'd expect to find in your local, The Clock House also offers a good selection of cocktails. Fancying something strong and punchy, we opted to have a couple whilst mulling over the food menu. I tried the Cosmopolitan (£8) which was a gorgeous flamingo pink, the fruity cranberry and citrus flavours providing a much needed sweetness against the big measure of vodka. My date opted for the Old Fashioned (£8), strong with whiskey but well balanced with the bitters and orange. For a local boozer, both were top notch cocktails.
The Clock House's food menu is made up of pub classics so there’s something to keep everyone happy with a big focus on using fresh and seasonal ingredients which helps to add twists and variations on the traditional British dishes on offer. We started with the Ham Hock and Mackerel dishes which were both delicious. The ham hock terrine (£7) itself was packed with big chunks of salty ham, and with some of the accompanying piccalilli and soft bread, the dish was well balanced and a great start to the meal. The other starter of Cornish mackerel (£7.50) was the highlight of the dinner for us; a lovely fillet of flaky mackerel perched on top of new potatoes, olives, soft boiled egg and mixed tomatoes. All the elements complemented each other - the salty olives, smooth egg and sweetness of the tomatoes perfectly marrying the subtleness of the fish.
The table next to us were going through bottle after bottle of rose. With drink envy we then ordered two glasses of Whispering Angel (£7.50 small glass), a renowned rose from Provence which was fruity and refreshing; a perfect Saturday evening drink.
Onto the mains and after our two light starters, we went for the two meatiest options; the 28 day aged Aberdeen Angus rump steak (£17.50) and the Pan Roasted Lamb Rack (£16.50). The steak, although slightly more medium than the rare which was ordered, was perfectly seasoned, and the accompanying fries, watercress and peppercorn butter provided a mix of flavours and textures to help make it a well rounded plate of food.
The lamb cutlets - plentiful and well-cooked - came out served on a bed of baby wild asparagus, braised peas and sorrel gremolata which provided a burst of flavour - the freshness of the spring vegetables also helping to cut through the richness of the lamb. I was lucky enough to have some fries to pinch, but I would advise ordering a side of new potatoes or mash; it would be a shame to see the delicious flavours of the meaty gravy get left behind.
If you’re ever in Peckham and looking for a low key cosy dinner or drinks on a beautiful terrace then then The Clock House is definitely worth heading to. Not just a pub for the locals, The Clock House ticks all the boxes you need for a relaxing evening. If you’re looking for a private space then ‘Blakes’ - their hidden cocktail bar is your perfect Peckham getaway.