We admit that on arrival, just viewing the outside, we both thought it needed a lick of paint to spruce things up somewhat but on venturing inside, the place offered an enveloping warmth due to both the wood fire burning in the main bar and the friendly buzz of the room.
We we're also surprised how big it is; from the outside it looked a 'normal' size but once inside it seemed to cover a much more substantial area. It maybe large but it sure wasn't empty with the pub was doing a rockin' trade across a balanced customer base which is always a good sign. What's more, given it's size, it is able to operate a distinct dining room as well as sizeable traditional pub area. We've commented before in relation to gastro-pubs like The Gun that the food orientation had become so dominant as to effectively remove the pub element from its DNA but at The Ship, with the food area occupying its own separate space, the pub element is very much alive and well.
As befits a pub, there's a good range of real beer on sale: being a Young's pub, the usual range of Young's ales were on tap but so was Bombardier as well as Wandle Ale from the local Sambrook's Brewery which I tried for the first time while there and very much enjoyed. There is if you want it a wine list with prices offered to suit most pockets but we decided to stick to bar drinks for the duration of our visit - a visit that turned out to be a much longer affair than we had originally planned.
We took a broad selection from across the menu with the full order seen in the pictures below. The Ship looked after us with a foie gras terrine with pistachio, pear, apple and herb chutney, celery salt and walnut bread to start us off. Foie gras is always a good way to start anything really and the chutney salad added a nice lift to the gras.
For dessert, I choose the creme brulee and shortbread biscuit, while our dining companion friend , unable to decide between the sticky toffee pudding and the chocolate marquise left the decision to the kitchen and was looked after with both on his plate in tasting portions. I would have liked the creme brulee to have been a little lighter and I had not chosen the sticky toffee pudding for the very reason that I didn't think I could manage a heavy option, but overall, this was a satisfying meal. Furthermore, with a three course meal coming in comfortably under £30 it's also good value.
We would rarely travel the length of London to go to a pub unless it was somehow special but the Tweets of both @ShipWandsworth and @Mcmoop suggested The Ship might just be that. Indeed, the place is made by Oisin and the environment he's created and we had a really great day there in really great company. Now, if they'd only relocate it eight miles East we'll certainly become regulars.
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