The Pepys Building, Old Royal Naval College, London, SE10 9LW
- Recommended for:
- Families with teenagers, Relaxation
Expert review of Old Brewery
Alistair Hook, master brewer of local beer-makers Meantime, opened this excellent all-rounder to complement the Discover Greenwich visitor attraction. It serves every meal from breakfast to dinner, focusing on good-quality British ingredients, but most excitingly has an ‘experimental’ brewery on the premises that will be exploring obscure, ancient beer recipes with a view to reviving them. There are plenty of outdoor tables in a walled garden where the Greenwich pensioners used to smoke their clay pipes.
As well as the full range of snacks, hot drinks and cakes during the day, the Old Brewery serves simple, well-sourced British dishes in the evening. Starters might include confit middle white pork terrine, crispy pig’s ear, apple sauce and bread and beer-cured salmon with watercress and horseradish, while mains covers the likes of Dorset plaice with potato and spring onion hash, razor fish, caper and parsley butter or beer-braised mutton neck with ratte potatoes, anchovy and parsley jus.
Drinks are, of course, a major forte. There are a couple of dozen different wines, but the beer list extends to more than 50 options – and the menu offers pairings to help you choose the perfect beer to go with your food. Check out the Meantime London Porter, for example, with chicory, goat’s cheese and beetroot salad.
During the day, it’s a rattling café, dishing up sandwiches and simple food to the families exploring the adjoining Discover Greenwich attraction. At night, curtains are drawn to soften the room and it becomes a proper restaurant serving serious food under the shiny copper vats and rippling false roof of empty bottles.
The small bar is between the main dining room and the courtyard, with its curved exterior wall. There’s an all-day menu of bar snacks.
Made up of four large blocks, Sir Christopher Wren’s magnificently colonnaded Old Royal Naval Hospital is one of the architectural highlights of Greenwich. Discover Greenwich and the Old Brewery are in the Pepys Building, nearest the river, Cutty Sark (still undergoing repairs) and the main transport connections (Cutty Sark DLR, the boats embarkment point and even the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames). It’s handy for the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House, but – like everything else in the centre of Greenwich – a stiff uphill walk to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium.
In the restaurant, three courses without beer or service will cost around £25 a head. The beers, many of which are available in half pints, cost from £3.20, but you’ll pay a lot more for speciality beers (some of the high-alcohol Trappist brews cost £5.10 for 330ml) and, confusingly, the beers are served in a variety of sizes (Meantime IPA comes in a 750ml bottle, for example).
You'll see Meantime beers in an increasing number of pubs and eateries around London, but they also have their own spot in the heart of Greenwich, the Greenwich Union public house (www.greenwichunion.com).
More information on Old Brewery:
- Price guide:
- Bar, Café, Restaurant
- British, Snacks
- The Pepys Building, Old Royal Naval College, London, SE10 9LW
- 020 3327 1280
- Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Cafe Mon-Sun 10am-5pm. Bar Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm. Restaurant Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm; Sun 6pm-10.30pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Al fresco