Franklin’s, East Dulwich

If I lived in East Dulwich I’d be fat. I’d have to win the lottery, as its not really representative of South East London any more. It feels like Balham or Battersea, with independent boutiques, book shops, wine shops, florists etc etc. They’ve got nice looking bakers and even a cheese shop.

A cheese shop in sarf east London? Cue raised eyebrow. I’m from Croydon, cheese shops are for North London

Anyway, the reason I’d be fat is Franklins, where I ate lunch yesterday. It was my uncles’s birthday, and he, my 93 year old gran, Kirsty, Aidan and I had a wonderful lunch there. In fact it was all a lunch should be. Tasty food, good drink, wonderful company, well paced, good portions but not so large you need to sleep afterwards, excellent service.

But to start to the start, the place is part bar, part restaurant. If it hasn’t have been an occasion, I’d have been happy with a main course and a few pints of (very good) Brockley Brewing Company beer. The bar itself is great. A long handsome thing with lots of interesting things to drink, from microbreweries to Diageo’s finest, and a great wine list.

The welcome was warm and genuine. The lady serving that day was local, wasn’t that rushed and had plenty of time to chat with a SE London family (Camberwell and Croydon). She was great. The perfect bar – waitress – maitress d’, good chat, informative on the food and drink, friendly without being in anyway overbearing.

Once we’d had a few, we went back into the restaurant bit. Nicely done, simple tables with white napery. A lady sitting in the corner having a distinctly civilised lunch on her own. 2 g&ts, a dozen oysters and a glass of wine. I wish I’ll be as civilised when I get to my ’60s.

The food was excellent and simple. Roast pigeon with garlic, prawns and aioli, calf faggots, black pudding and mash, poussin and harissa. You get the idea. Bistro fayre that relied on quality and technique. All of which disappeared to the last morsel and was well complemented by Lebanese red and rose from Massaya. Which allowed me to make my “he’s not the massaya, he’s a very naughty boy” joke.

A lovely butterscotch tart and a large glass of calvados and I was done, thinking I hadn’t had a more relaxed, civilised lunch in years. We all loved what we ate, including the most adventurous young eater you’ll meet. Aidan like the faggot and black pudding.

£200 quid including service for 4 hungry and thirsty adults seemed good value. There’s a cheaper set menu that would have been good as well and quite a lot cheaper.

It’s only a 35 minute journey from me. I suspect various different Blewers will be back because this is a great local restaurant that’s worth travelling for.


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