dog friendly pubs, London, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

The Crown Tavern – Lee

There is nothing better in life than a summer evening spent in the beer garden of a country pub … ok some of you may think a beach in Barbados may trump that, but we’re a man and a dog of simple needs.

In truth The Crown in Lee is not a country pub, and alas we are still a long way from the balmy heights of summer. However, if you visit on a crisp, blue-sky spring afternoon, like the one Grenson and I enjoyed, you can sit in the excellent beer garden and fantasise about those halcyon days of summer to come.


It is only very recently that this pub has taken on a face lift of 80s hollywood leading lady proportions. Mere days after it reopened En Brogue (whilst lost on a detour avoiding the A20) was drawn to it like a bee to nectar. I have a feeling that any fine new pubs that open in our area send out some kind of beacon, calling all those in need of a decent pint in pleasant surroundings. And this pub definitely provides that. Cask ales aplenty on offer, world class wines (according to their website), and lip smackingly good pub grub. All served in plush new interiors, either in the large bar area or in the even larger restaurant area.


And if that wasn’t enough it also provides excellent quality floor tiles for all of your shoefie needs.


But as already mentioned, it is the beer garden that really floats my boat.


I very much like that it is big enough to accommodate a fair few summer revellers whilst also keeping an intimate air due to the booths (see above). I also approve of the fact that it is at the front of the pub rather than the back, so that anyone approaching on a summer evening will immediately begin to feel the garden buzz.


But my favourite aspect has to be the use of artificial lawn. If it was good enough for Luton Town FC in the 80s then it’s good enough for a pub in Lee today, (unless you are into football and of a certain age it’s best to just ignore that last statement and skip to the picture below).


Yes , that is a dog bowl of water brought out especially for Grenson by the bar staff. That always wins bonus points in my book. Add to that the fact that the barman also recommended a new draft ale then let me have a little taster of it first, and this pub is getting bonus points all round.

So yes, I stand by the fact that if you give me a pint of ale, a sunny evening and a beer garden with fake grass, then you can keep your Barbadian beach … (unless of course anyone wants to send us to Barbados to review their dog friendly beach bars … I’m not crazy!).


The Man and the Dog.


pubs for dogs, the dog blog

The Richard The First – Greenwich

Much like the subject of my last post (The Dacre Arms), this pub, The Richard The First, used to be a proper ‘old man’s pub’. You would often venture into the small front bar and find your only company to be two old timers playing dominoes (ok, the dominoes may be a figment of my imagination, but you get the gist). It was great. But with my fears about The Dacre’s survival in mind, The Richard The First probably couldn’t really go on as it was. Apparently pubs can’t survive simply on my annual visit, no matter how much I spend at the bar.

As a result, they’ve given the place a makeover, and have added a large dining area at the back plus an equally large beer garden complete with on-trend beach hut-style seating. It’s all been done with great care and looks really good. The food – pub grub with an upmarket twist – is lovely, too. Expect to find dishes like duck cottage pie and pheasant Kiev on the menu, for example. But the best part is that they have somehow managed to maintain the homely feel of the two front bars so that any passing domino players will also still be satisfied. Brilliant.



Grenson and I found ourselves a prime position in a window seat at the front and settled down with a pint of Young’s Royal Hill, one of the various special Christmas/Winter Ales on offer. Little touches like this make this pub one of my favourites during the festive period. It has become a traditional Christmas pub-crawl destination for the family ever since we ended up singing carols in there one Christmas Eve afternoon.


To be fair, it was probably the locals doing most of the carol singing (possibly the fella in the checked suit behind me in the picture above; top sartorial choice), but we definitely hummed along to The Holy and the Ivy…and may have even clapped in time to We Three Kings.

Anyway, I am very thankful that The Richard The First is still around this Christmas, because yes, it is a chain pub, and yes, it could probably be called a gastro pub, but it’s still a blimmin’ good pub. When you think of the alternative – maybe turning it into luxury apartments – then a good spruce up and the addition of delicious dining facilities is no bad thing at all.

Grenson and I like it very much, (he fell asleep again), and to top if off, on our way out we noticed a picture of the Queen Mum pulling a pint hanging on the wall. I mean, that’s almost as good as Mickey Pearce…almost.



The Man and The Dog.