Anyone who follows my blog or social channels will know that I am a big fan of Dead Dolls House. As a result, they invited me to their Peckham branch which has just reopened as The Clayton Arms. What do you get when you douse a cosy South East London pub in the unique Dead Dolls charm? Here’s the verdict.
Clayton Arms is first and foremost a pub, so the food menu reflects this. It is definitely at the posher end of pub grub with menu classics like burgers and fish and chips being joined by lamb shoulder and thornback ray. There is also a selection of small plates if you are in a sharing kind of mood. I went to Clayton Arms with Holls – she opted for the Old Spot bacon chop with mash, cabbage and mustard, while I opted for the burger after seeing someone else order it (it looks pretty impressive, right?)
The bacon chop was very tasty – not at all chewy and full of flavour – however, it was also very salty. I only had a bite and thankfully so, as I don’t think I could have finished the whole chop. My burger was a winner – juicy, cheesy and filling! As far as London burgers go, it didn’t rival specialist joints like Meat Liquor but, for a pub burger, it was good. The chips were actually some of the best chips I’ve had in a long while. Super crispy on the inside and almost like mashed potato on the inside. I am not the biggest fan of chips and even I could appreciate how good they were! For dessert, we shared a treacle sponge and ice cream sandwich cake.
Props to the chef on the treacle cake, it was divine! The cake wasn’t too dense and had a very generous helping of treacle sauce. The ice cream sandwich was nice as well, the choc chip cookies were morish and the sweetness was well balanced by the vanilla ice cream. We enjoyed our meal at Clayton Arms but it doesn’t rival the menu at Dead Doll’s House. Other than the stand out treacle sponge and the chips, it was just very nice pub food – which, sometimes is exactly what you need!
While Dead Dolls House is all about the hand crafted cocktails, Clayton Arms is all about the hand picked wines. They have a carefully selected menu of wines from around the world, and all of the staff have had a wine tasting session so they know what they are talking about! We tried two white wines – Chakana White Blend and Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
The Chakana was light, crisp and quite fruity. It was a nice bottle, especially for that price (£28). The Nautilus was unlike any wine I have tried before. It had a very distinctive grapefruit taste and was sweet and easy to drink…perhaps a little too easy to drink 😉 If you’re a wino – or even if you’re not – this is a great spot to try some wines you’re unlikely to find in your average boozer.
Clayton Arms is in Peckham but a bit tucked away from the main hustle and bustle. It is quite quiet early in the night and has a cosy setting, complete with sofas and a fireplace. The staff are friendly and chilled, and the place just generally has a warm vibe. But then, at 9pm, the DJ hits the decks and the mood flip flops. On the Saturday we went, the DJ was playing everything from hip hop to motown and it immediately elevated the atmosphere. It went from sleepy, cosy pub to pre party. It got a bit busier and louder, more like Dead Doll’s House in the evening. We stayed until around 11pm and by the time we left, it had quitened down a bit but the DJ was still going strong!
The Fine Print
The pub is a short walk from Queens Road Peckham overground and is pretty easy to find, just off the main road. Small Plates are around the £5 mark while mains range from £10-14 – not bad for posh pub grub but the best value for a meal. Puddings are £5 each. Drinks are very reasonably priced, with cocktails from £7 and beer from £3.60! The wine menu has something for every budget, with bottles from £19 up to £65, and glasses for under a fiver.
Clayton Arms is like the more casual version of Dead Dolls. I would 100% recommend it for pre drinks or a lazy day in the pub, but it wouldn’t be my top choice for food. That said, a bowl of chips is a must if you do go for drinks, they’re so good!
Have you been to Clayton Arms or Dead Dolls House? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!