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This locals’ favourite is never short of customers, but a canny and stylish reboot at the end of 2015 has bolstered The Florence’s status as Herne Hill’s number-one gastropub. The bar area – smartened up with ink-blue walls and banquettes the shade of Heinz tomato soup – appears to have doubled in size thanks to expensive-looking furniture replacing the booths; beautiful, warm lighting, however, retains the cosy feel throughout. The menu offers small plates and mains that combine traditional British comfort food with refined modern classics. All have punchy flavours and contrasting textures: creamy yoghurt, sweet pickled raisins and a sprinkling of dukkah complement delicate cauliflower florets, while shreds of tender chicken and smoky ham hock, topped with beautifully golden puff-pastry, make for a memorable pie. Summer barbecues, four real ales (including beers brewed in-house), and two short wine lists (one traditional, the other highlighting artisan growers) also help draw the crowds.
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