This is one of our favourite local haunts, not least because it’s where we had our first date almost a year ago (thanks Guardian Soulmates!). There’s plenty of space here, and in the summer a huge garden too. Dating back to the 1800s The Cuckfield was orginally a coaching house, and you can still get a sense of that from the high ceilings and enormous fireplace in the main restaurant to the back of the building. The pub sits between Snaresbrook and Wanstead tube stations, about half way up a friendly and busy local high street. There’s a fab farmers’ market on the first Sunday morning of the month too if you fancy a trip out east.
On a whim we wandered down to Wanstead last Saturday evening, looking forward to a simple, cosy pub meal and a few glasses of wine. One of the pleasures of eating out is deliberating over the menu, weighing up delicious choices before (eventually) plumping for a final selection. Unfortunately for us this was also the evening of a particularly successful game for local team West Ham and everyone had been out celebrating. All that deliberation had been in vain as the kitchen had been overrun with orders, and our options were reduced to fish and chips, turkey or chicken pie. Disappointing.
But not for long. I love Fish and Chips, and didn’t need much encouragement to change my order. A. had been salivating over a delicious sounding Steak and Smoked Cheddar Pie, but reluctantly switched to Turkey with red cabbage, dauphinoise potatoes and brussels sprouts (or mash, and no sprouts as it turned out). Both meals were tasty, but I must admit that we had been rather looking forward to our original choices, and it would have been helpful if the staff could have tipped us off! As it was much the same story for the dessert selection, we settled for mince pies at home in front of a festive film (Bad Santa – which I had forgotten was quite so adult!).
We’ll certainly be back to our local for a meal out again, and look forward to meeting up with friends for the Tuesday night pub quiz. It’s great that The Cuckfield is popular, but not so much that they run out of food please.
Loo Review (PMC Rating): ★★☆☆☆ These could certainly do with a bit of spruce up, and a regular cleaning and loo paper check wouldn’t go amiss either!
The Cuckfield, 31 High Street, Wanstead, London, Greater London, E11 2AA Saturday, December 9 2017