On a chilly Sunday afternoon there are few things better than snuggling up in a cosy pub. And just a few wind-buffeted steps from Dulwich Village, The Rosendale is the perfect remedy to a wintry weekend. Owned by Renaissance Pubs (a company consisting of old school friends Mark Reynolds, Nick Fox and Tom Peake), you can quickly see how the combination of decent dinners on the doorstep paired with laid-back weekend lunches have made it one of the go-to gastro pubs for south Londoners desperate for a taste of the country - but without having to bother with the train ticket or even get mud on their Hunters.
The Rosendale may have drawn the line at the roaring log fire with fashionable dog accompaniment, but what it misses in country touches it more than makes up for in the general decor and atmosphere. If you’re with a group, the large bar tables at the front are perfect, while if you’re hoping for a quiet lunch there’s plenty of space upstairs or overlooking the large garden (which in summer makes for a very nice spot indeed for long boozy afternoons in the sun…)
As is the case with its sister pubs The Abbeville in Clapham and The Bolingbroke in Battersea, the food is a sort of turbo-charged pub grub that ranges from high-end burgers and fish and chips to beef wellington, pork belly and rabbit loin. On ELLEuk’s visit we tucked into a classic three-course Sunday lunch, starting with delicious bresaola carpaccio and the ham hock and chicken croquettes served with piccalilli, followed by traditional Sunday fare of two roasts. The beef was served perfectly pink and juicy, while the chicken was scrumptiously crispy and served with all the trimmings, including the traditional bread sauce. By now, with the light dimming outside, there was call for only one thing to cap things off – sticky toffee pudding. Granted, it was shared, but next time we’ll be coming back to eat a plate full of our own.
The ELLEuk Score
Style of food: Classic British with a twist
Good for: Easy dinner or weekend lunch
Prices & Other Details at The Rosendale
Address: 65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8EZ
Price per person for two-course meal without wine: £20
Bottle of house wine: £13.90
Glass of house wine: £3.40
Bottle of house champagne: £35
Glass of house champagne: £7.50
Private dining? Yes. The West Room seats 100 (160 standing) while The East Room seats 20 (40 standing)
Outdoor dining? Yes. The front garden is the perfect space for enjoying a pint with friends, the side garden is secret and secluded (ideal for intimate gatherings and private parties) and the rear garden is a more family-focused space with a specially designed children's play area.
Bar? Yes. The lovely old wooden-panelled pub is also open to non-diners
Who goes? South Londoners looking for a close-at-hand taste of a country pub
Nearest tube: The one sticking point – this is off the tube map in the wilds of West Dulwich. That said, West Dulwich train station is only a 5-10 minute walk away