An out of the way pub that could be worth seeking out in these days of financial woe.
Amidst the unpromising industrial estates that punctuate Durnsford Road sits the imposing figure of The Woodman. A large and traditional looking pub, The Woodman is just a short walk from Wimbledon Park Station and has ample parking space for those arriving by car.
Inside, the decor does not betray your first impressions. It is furnished with light woods rather than deep mahogany, yet this is a pub that prefers to act its age rather than attempting to be trendy. Past the bar that meets you upon your entrance, is a large sun lounge area, suitable for dining or just for finding some privacy. If the weather is good, the garden at the back has a considerable amount of seating and there are also plenty of tables to the front of the pub, if you can put up with the noise from the busy road.
As a pub without many competitors in the immediate vicinity, The Woodman attracts a large and varied crowd. The sheer size of the place allows different groups to feel at home, without too much in the way of conflict.
The bar area is normally propped up by an older crowd of seasoned drinkers, while the younger generation play pool or watch sport on the big screens. It can get a bit loud during certain sporting events (especially if local favourites Chelsea are playing at home), but those wanting some peace and quiet can retreat to the more relaxed surroundings at the back of the pub.
This light and spacious area is normally a favourite haunt of families and couples, who make up the majority of the pub’s busy food trade. Here you will find dedicated staff who provide a quick and polite service that matches the warm welcome given at the bar.
The menu is without frills but provides plenty of options. There are a large range of burgers, grills, salads and traditional pub fare to choose from and plenty of desserts if you’ve got room, which might be an issue as the portions served here are very generous. The steak is particularly cooked well.
There aren’t too many places in London where you can get change from £3 when ordering a pint - The Woodman is one of them. This is a pub that stocks the bar with its clientele in mind. There is a wider range of draught lagers available for the sports crowd with Fosters, Carlsberg, Becks, Kronenbourg and Stella all fighting for attention. The fridge is well stocked with bottles and there is an adequate amount of bitters. The Pinot Grigio is of a good quality and a standard selection of spirits is available.
The Last Word
The Woodman is consistently solid across all areas and the low prices make it worth a look. It’s as cheap as a Wetherspoons but provides a much more pleasant experience.