Always lively, The Coat and Badge has got it all. A beer garden, restaurant and a laid-back pint or two await, tucked away just off Putney's bustling high street.
An open-plan design makes for plenty of space inside, but tables, bar stools and sofa sections keep things cosy too. The bar itself is decorated with seemingly random paraphernalia, including a guitar, globes and books that look one hundred years’ old. Elsewhere, decor is wooden, and cutesy yet elegant. Bunting drapes over the menus and even the restaurant features sofas and scatter cushions, while windows are topped with stained glass and toilets are found behind a secret bookcase door. The beer garden is large too but, predictably, fills up quickly come summer time. In the colder months, it's helped along by outdoor heaters, but most guests choose to stay tucked away by the open fire inside.
This busy and bubbly bar offers both a warm welcome and a warm climate. The temperature inside can get customers down to their vests and t-shirts, even on the coldest February days, but then, there are plenty of chilled drinks available to counteract any over-heating. Behind the bar, the team take time over every guest, answering pricing queries and trickier questions with knowledge and ease. The open fire isn't the focal point, but still has a homely effect, while board games invite groups to settle in for a competitive afternoon. For a little extra challenge, Sunday's pub quiz throws £50 prize money into the mix.
With a corner set aside for dining, Coat and Badge hits 'gastro pub' right on the head. Cuisine veers on the fancier side of things, but retains an intrinsic pub classic flavour. Wild boar and apple sausages set you back £10.85 or a rabbit and root vegetable stew can be savoured for £12.50, while Sunday lunches range from £13.50 for half chicken to £15.50 for beef ribs, however there’s not much in the way of hearty dining for peckish veggies.
While The Coat and Badge doesn’t serve up anything particularly extravagant, there certainly are a fair few options. Ales include Doombar for £3.75 and, on occasion, a drink brewed especially for this particular pub. House red is smooth, fruity and slips down particularly easy at £5.70 for a large glass. Prices are pretty standard for Putney, and fancier bottles are available from around £18 to £25, even when we’re talking bubblies. Yes, there are cheaper drinks available about town – however, the sheer range here could make it all worthwhile, with something to suit every taste. Christmas time even brings gifts of Jameson’s hot toddies, and there are all manner of juices, soft drinks and non-alcoholic options available, too.
The Last Word
This is basically everything you need from a south west London pub. The beer garden is pleasant and popular, the drinks are varied and plentiful and the team are eager to please and generally of a cheery disposition. Comfortable temperatures tend to creep into over-warm, and rounds will add up pretty quickly. However, there's no denying that a wintry afternoon whiled away with wine and Trivial Pursuit often equals time, and money, well spent.