Sylvan Post review: Popular pub fare and real ales in a very unique venue
So many pubs and bars these days blend into one another with their identical interiors and serving the same range of drinks. However, when it comes to the newest addition to the Forest Hill drinking scene, Sylvan Post is a truly unique venue. The pub is located in an old 1960s post office, with many of the original features still in existence. I wouldn’t use the word converted exactly, because there are still so many Royal Mail features within the building, which I loved. The bar itself feels like an old Post Office counter, with the original shelving and clock behind – I could even read ‘first class x 12’ and ‘second class x 12’ written on one of the shelves. The door to what would have been the back office is now accessible with a mish mash of seating amongst old filing cabinets, including the metal strong room door. Adding to the retro, kitsch feel are formica tables and wooden seating, giving the pub a working men’s club-meet-school canteen – in a good way! The owners had clearly embraced the building’s history with lots of Royal Mail paraphernalia mixed with beer mats and other interiors from the 1960s.
The night in question a group of friends and myself visited, it was incredibly busy due to the Museum At Nights event up the hill at the Horniman Museum. Although we were too big a group to fit in one of the cosy-looking booths, we were lucky enough to get one of the large tables. We were all starving, so ordered from the varied menu, which includes a mix of British and Mediterranean fare. I ordered a vegetable frittata with salad and fresh bread, which was delicious and filling. Two of my friends ordered the Angus beef burger, which they really enjoyed.
Ale drinkers will be particularly drawn to this pub as it always has four real ales on tap. There was a good wine menu too, as well as the usual collection of bottled beers and ciders and spirits. The service was friendly, with a mix of 20 and 30 something clientele. Although it attracts mostly locals, it won’t disappoint those making a longer trip seeking a unique and quirky venue.
- Sylvan Post. 24-28 Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3XU. Nearest train/Overground station: Forest Hill (13 minutes from London Bridge). For more information, visit the Sylvan Post website.
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