The Talbot has been lavished with a lot of love and attention since undergoing a full refurbishment in 2008, following a buy-out of the freehold from Punch Taverns that saved it from being turned into flats.
The Talbot cuts a pretty impressive figure. The bold green corner-positioned building is well maintained and looks modern, and there’s a nice front patio area complete with outdoor seating. Inside, it’s been stripped back and feels very clean and trendy without veering into cold and charmless. The ground floor pub is simple with white walls, large blackboards, a pretty chestnut bar and stripped back floorboards. A few high stools nestle against the bar and booths make up the bulk of the seating. Upstairs is another area geared towards dining with larger tables, although the décor is identical to the ground floor bar with little to set them apart.
This is a pub that was neglected – very neglected – and has since seen a revival, being happily adopted by the locals, many of whom are clearly regulars judging from their laid back banter with the staff. Although they offer food here, it is a few steps away from really entering true gastropub territory and they have a focus on real ale and good beer, which is nice to see.
The food at The Talbot is really little more than upmarket pub grub with a focus on good prices (you’ll struggle to pay more than a tenner for a dish here). Think homemade ravioli and fresh fish pie and you get the idea. Hardly the haute cuisine of some of London’s swankier gastropubs but they are clearly making an effort with their menu.
The Talbot offers four real ales on tap at any one time – Fuller’s Pride and Harvey’s Bitter are on draught at all times with two rotating guests to keep the regulars happy.
The Last Word
If ever there was an argument in favour of independent pubs over large-scale chains then The Talbot would be it.