94 Northcote Road
Clapham, SW11 6QW
tel: +44 (0)20 7924 1814
I didn't mean to go to The Draft House for lunch. In fact, I had no idea it even existed. I was happily strolling down Northcote Road in Clapham, on my way to meet two girlfriends at an Italian restaurant called I Sapori di Stefano Cavallini I had been wanting to try for ages. But when I arrived at 146 - I stopped dead in my tracks. The restaurant was boarded up. Completely shut. I quickly texted my girlfriends: ABORT MISSION. I remembered passing by The Draft House about three blocks previously and told them to meet me there instead. I arrived first and was pleasantly surprised to find a buzzy, warm atmosphere with miles of fantastic beers on tap. Brooklyn Brown Ale, Porterhouse Red, Crazy Ed's Chili Beer (eh???) and Black Forest Beer, just to name a few. I figured that even if the menu was dodgy-looking, we could at least stay for a pint or two and then move on. But the menu didn't stink. Quite the opposite. We were greeted to starters such as ox tongue fritters with horseradish and beetroot (£5.50). Mains included roasted Tuscan sausages with lentils and fennel (£10.75) and a house burger stuffed with roquefort (£9.50). Onion rings came as a side dish - and people, listen up! They were fan-bloody-tastic.
With lots of Americana on the walls, The Draft House is somewhat of a cross between a British pub and an American diner. And while it's definitely for beer-lovers with 17 choices on tap and 50 in bottles, winos won't be disappointed either. The food is a cut-above pub grub and the atmosphere is stylish and chilled. All in all, a real find - even if by accident.