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|Address:||157 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HX|
|Tel:||020 8299 9598|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £14.50||Champagne: £42.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Thurs-Sun -12M)|
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I am rather partial to a mishapen squash by way of decoration. You’ll find plenty scattered around Franklins, draped across tables or fighting for knobbly elbow room at the gorgeous, gilt-topped bar. The menu is blissfully free from obnoxious affectations regarding provenance; you just know it’s good stuff (if the farm shop next door is anything to go by).
Cocktails are old-school; I’ll never complain about a sultry Black Velvet for £7. But I wasn’t wowed by my towering roast pork and crackling. Though piled high and succulent, the ingredients looked a bit beige and kinda tasted that way too. There was a distinct lack of greenery, and we’d foresaken a veg side in expectation of ‘all the trimmings’. Roast beef was tastier, and served with a pillowy yorkshire jazzed up by fresh herbs and horseradish.
I was pipped to the post for the last portion of honeycomb ice cream – damn you, Dulwich children and your elite tastes – but a slice of treacle tart proved a refined (rather than rib-sticking) pud. The diminutive portion was welcome given the acres of starch we’d just polished off.
The downstairs seating area was pretty and intimate, if lacking the atmosphere and almighty roar from above. The waiters and waitresses were keen and polite but somewhat harrassed, which is forgiveable given the demands of a boozy Sunday lunch crew.
I can’t help but think I’m meant to love this place more than I did. It certainly looked the part and so did the diners, who largely resembled the aging cast of This Life. Fewer chinos than Chelsea, but the uniform was almost exclusively North Face with a latter-day hipster twist. I’ll come back for dinner on a weekday – it looks to be a more mellow occasion, and there’s always something tempting on the menu. But I fear my allegiances may lie with the Palmerston down the road, where you pay a little less for food that’s a little better.