Bad haircuts, lagging lunchboxes and two dead Tamagotchis. Let's face it, most of us are still making the same school tailored mistakes, even today: Your Hackney haircut cost too much, your tupperware re-enacted a scene from Apocalypse Now on the commute and you're a house plant hazard. But if there's one playground theme you should tustle with, it's definitely a trip to The Schoolhouse in Battersea.
The love child of Byker Grove, Grange Hill and a car boot, The Schoolhouse dose classroom with a dated passion. Host to two split main spaces, Schoolhouse needn't be compass navigated thanks to it open plan; one room the more restaurant orientated, one more drinks primed. Brimming with school memorabilia that both you and you parents will likely share laughs over, Schoolhouse blends vintage school furniture with retro games, toys, old school photos, chalk boards, book laced walls and rustic charm. While the school theme was actually more subtle than I first thought it would be, it kind of came as a welcome relief, with Schoolhouse toting thought-out yet dated interiors that don't batter you with garish school motifs.
The Food and Drink
The last time I drank out of a plastic syringe, I was a baby bird with a broken wing. Keeping the school theme strong, cocktails at The Schoolhouse hark back to sulphur laced tech labs and coffee crooning class teachers. Tucking into the seemingly horror titled 'Bubbled Tea Lagoon' and 'Weird Science Goblin' at £9, we got our first dose of science supping. While the Lagoon was a dry-ice and sweet-shop flavoured bubbling of conical flask, Falernum and grapefruit bitters, my Goblin was one cool, cucumber, complete with syrup filled syringe and gin; Simply sweet, yet totally design neat, the authenticity of cocktail props is a cute addition. Props for the beer list at Schoolhouse too, not only did they stock my ever beloved Kona Big Wave (£5.25), there's bottles the likes of Redhook Long Hammer, Meantime Yakima Red and Jacker Pschorr Hell too.
As I get onto the food, I want to talk portion control. While a phrase you only learnt as a bumbling beer drinking adult, it's not a phrase that you knew as a kid, or one that Schoolhouse seem to know either. This is good. While i'm a fan of edible artistry and sustainable, petite work, Schoolhouse make no bones about the piled high plates you loved as a nipper. After woofing down a 'Schoolhouse Board' of beloved curly fries, fried halloumi, and hash bravas at £16.95, it was the mains that made a stake for Katie Vs. Food. From a roaring Winter salad with butternet squash, caramelised onions, a soft poached egg (two would have been better for the size) and fried potatoes at £10.50; to my Schoolhouse burger, served fresh on a school tray with brioche bun, salad and curly fries for the same price, Schoolhouse do great tasting food that you wholeheartedly recognise. Especially when it comes to their cream toting, sticky toffee pudding. The venue's gunning for salted caramel ice cream as a side to this one, see what you think for yourself.
While school was seemingly out for Easter, I can't say that we were dissuaded by the slight quiet of Schoolhouse on the night we visited. And let's be honest, you can't blame London for up and leaving when their Mum's were planning to rustle them up a roast that weekend. With plenty of tables dotted with local folk, and another troop of friends giving us a run for our 'stay 'til close' money, Schoolhouse had a diligently dosed charm, most notably upped by our premium hosts, Matt and Ella.
Rather than battering your brain with algebra, Schoolhouse brings beer and burgers to your Battersea meandering. And it stands in good stead. A theme that once was only found in the lordy dancefloors of rock bottom priced clubs, pigtails and bar crawls, I really like how Schoolhouse have adapted the teacher trope with more of a rustic edge, yet managed to maintain a creative cocktail menu that has promise to evolve. Remember kids, E = MMMMMMMC 2