John Gregory-Smith found a hip new corner of SE London at the Tulse Hill Hotel
We got off the bus onto a busy roundabout and checked maps on my iPhone for the millionth time. We were in the right place. Really? We had come to Tulse Hill to stay in a new hip hotel, not that there is anything wrong with Tulse Hill, it’s just not that hip.
The Tulse Hill Hotel has been newly refurbished and it’s stunning. A grand facade has been lovingly restored to welcome you into a slick pub, all dark green and oaky, with an old fireplace, comfy chairs and plenty of inviting corners to sit for hours.
Lined with an array of interesting booze, the bar is the focal point, serving ales and well made cocktails. Their espresso martini is insanely good! A lively open plan restaurant sits at the back with a huge tiled window framing the kitchen, mis-matched chairs and glass sliding doors looking out onto a massive garden that is just waiting for a riotous summer to start.
They have 9 rooms at The Tulse Hill Hotel and if you’re looking to stay on the edge of central London I can’t recommend them enough. Charcoal grey and elegant, with huge beds, contemporary lighting and lovely vintage furniture.
After checking in, we sat in the corner of the restaurant and ordered the soft back of ribs that we had seen earlier at the bar. Covered in a slightly sweet BBQ sauce the meat fell off the bone, tender and rich and not a bit greasy.
We shared a board for our mains from the specials menu, meat-loaded with steak, bone marrow and a little pie. This might sound a bit much but it worked beautifully. The sirloin was succulent and juicy, the bone marrow unctuous and rich and the pie just heavenly. It was oxtail, reduced and braised to a mighty mess, smoky and rich and served with a little jug of gravy.
Ignoring the slight meat sweats, we trooped on and had a lavender and honey cake that was sadly a little dry. But their fondant was fabulous, oozy with rich dark chocolate and served with sharp kirsch soaked cherries.
Despite their best efforts to get us to have a nightcap we rolled up to bed full and happy. This is most definitely the pub that we would all love to have at the end of our road.
The Tulse Hill Hotel 150 Norwood Road, Herne Hill SE24 9AY
Rooms start from £105 with breakfast
For more information visit tulsehillhotel.com