Love BBQ? Love Sunday vibes? Love booze? The Coat and Badge is Putney’s long-established go-to Gastropub, and my second home;so traipsing here alone expecting to be surprised would have been unfair. Instead, I took along a fellow foodie to make sure I’m not tempted to tell any hyperbolic porkies, and guess what? Turns out my little local ale house is as scintillating as my heart knew it to be; lively, entertaining with a touch of Mr Darcy and a lot of banter every night of the week.
Stoically tucked behind perfectly manicured hedges and away from the maddening buzz of Putney High Street’s shopping haven sits a stunning oasis-style ale house that truly deserves a horse and carriage parked outside the front door.
Part of the fun and frivolous Geronimo Inns group, the Coat and Badge is bestowed with a very large garden, roaring open BBQ, plump and colourful cushioned wooden benches, indoor fireplaces, light hues and gorgeous pale woods. It reminds me of an easy, breezy country-chic conservatory. Stacks of readable and reachable books tempt you away from the bar buzz and décor and into another headspace where you’re tempted to put your feet up by the fireplace on an armchair with a glass of red, or laze under their stunning skylight on a hot summer’s day.
Chic though it may be, the well-hoofed Coat & Badge is far from pretentious. A few cosy cuddled dates, Putney’s boisterous local rowing team, yummy mummies with no kids just cocktails, and a group 20-something locals wrapped in blankets outdoors comfortably watching the rugby on Sky TV; the vibe is ‘welcome home, get comfy and let’s get you a drink’. Also, the service is sharp, making this home so much better than ours that we end up staying for 4 hours. In fact, even on a Tuesday night, it feels like the weekend is already here.
Food and Drink
The menu has an elegantly homemade feel to it; the juicy, charred sweet pork ribs = WIN and the classic sizzling sirloin (£21) blistered on the ever-roaring outdoor BBQ served with tender stem broccoli (£3.50) and Cornish Mids (£3.50) has us mesmerized. On the side, our scarily attentive and adorable host, Dariusz, automatically pairs up a stunning red for both dishes with considerable panache and flair. Aside from the theatrics and happy buzz, the staff know what they’re doing when it comes to food and wine; we’re feeling rich, plumped, preened and well-fed like poultry in December, and ready to park up by the fireplace.
My mate and I both decided this is the perfect spot for us; me because I truly feel right at home with the food, banter and books, and him because he’s thinking of bringing his next date here for Sunday lunch accompanied with a walk down the river by the boats. The point? The Coat and Badge insists you be yourself and have a great time, which is exactly what a proper pub should be.