Located at the foot of pretty Telegraph Hill, The Earl of Derby pub has been restored to its former glory by Parched – a small independent group run by four friends who also own the likes of The White Horse in Peckham, The Roebuck in Borough and the Grove House Tavern in Camberwell – where the lads at Mondo Sando rustle up their bangin’ sarnies.
The Earl of Derby is a lovely neighbourhood spot, and since opening at the tail end of June, they’ve won rave reviews from both critics and punters alike, and it’s easy to see why to be honest. Taking over the kitchen is talented chef duo George Genn and Laurence Pengelly, formerly of Good As Gold in Brockley. With backgrounds working for the likes of The Palomar and ROKA, to even peeling garlic for Lionel Ritchie (!), they’re stoked about bringing their new concept Gengelly’s to the table.
The menu draws inspiration from eating at their favourite restaurants, which include Trullo, The Spurstowe and BRAT too. It’s all about straightforward and hearty food here, with highlights including proper pies, chargrilled meats and fish, weekly specials and Sunday roasts using fresh, sustainable, and organic produce.
Plus, as if the lovely grub wasn’t enough to make the journey down to SE14, then the beers and wines on tap will be. Keeping things local to preserve the pub’s community charm, the pub is serving ales and beers from nearby breweries like Villages in Deptford – one of our favourites – as well as a gluten-free Helles lager from Brick Brewery in Peckham, and an alcohol-free Session IPA from Gipsy Hill Brewery. They’ve also got natural wines stocked here, so they’re also damn fashionable thank you very much.
They’ve also got a whole host of events in the pipeline, including a rolling programme of DJs on Friday and Saturday nights and live music to boot too. Winner, winner.
After arriving slightly late in time for lunch at 1.30pm on a Sunday, I fended off the Dalston Superstore-induced hangover with a pint of Peckham Helles and took a pew in the spacious dining room upstairs. The staff were all warm and welcoming, and though it only had a few options, the menu got me excited as soon as I spotted the 250g dry-aged rib eye steak and whole Scottish mackerel on it.
Once my friend had arrived, we got down to ordering, and I went for the mackerel which was absolutely out-of-this-world it has to be said. Served with a side of dragon shuyo cucumber and a delicious mayo-style sauce – which went excellently with the piping hot chips by the way – it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while and really sorted me (and the hangover) out.
My mate decided to go for the steak, which was served alongside some fresh Vesuvius tomatoes and capers. She let me have a couple of bites, and I’ve got to say that it’s up there with some of the capital’s best steak, so if you’re a meat eater, then this one’s for you!
Full to the brim, we decided against having a pud, though ‘Grandma Betty’s Lemon Butter Slice’ with a dollop of crème fraîche sounded pretty heavenly and was hard to turn down. I’m already planning my return to The Earl of Derby so that I can indulge…
The Overall Verdict:
This charming new boozer south of the river is well worth a visit, as it’s got some fantastic grub provided by Gengelly’s, welcoming staff and overall bloody good vibes. Perfect for dates or just meeting your mates, we can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in store at this new neighbourhood spot, so make sure you get down and see for yourself!