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The Elm Tree Pub
116 Croydon Road, BR3 4DF
020 8658 8121
The Elm Tree has been beautifully refurbished and was re-opened 14th March 2015.
A friendly and welcoming family pub with a great atmosphere, serving home cooked food, and offering a range of cask ales.
The Elm Tree has an outdoor seating area to the front, and a modern, spacious beer garden to the rear.
We visited the Elm Tree on a Sunday. When we arrived early in the afternoon the place was already packed to the rafters, so it's clear that local residents are keen to get to know their new pub.
Previously the Elm Tree was the William IV, a pub of dubious repute and in decline. Now taken over by a new management and bar team, things have certainly changed inside. The decor has been given an overhaul and looks much more upmarket, with the bar organised into several areas with booths and tables for groups of different sizes.
Outside, there's a extensive beer garden which we'd guess gets the sun for most of the day. It's a lovely courtyard with plenty of tables and a couple of booth type areas - already dubbed the 'beach huts' - which we think will be very popular in the summer.
First impressions were good. We were greeted by several members of staff and immediately offered a child seat for our littlest one. After opting for the Sunday roast option (roast sirloin for me, pork for Mr Mumsnet Bromley and chicken for the Junior Reviewers), our food arrived speedily.
First thing to mention is that the portion sizes are generous, unless we got lucky! We all have big appetites and found that we couldn't quite finish. The presentation of the food on the plate isn't the most refined, but that's a minor quibble for what is essentially a satisfying home-style roast.
The sirloin of beef was delicious - flavoursome as well as tender - and the roast pork belly was happily moist and soft too. There were lots of vegetables to fill up on (not that the Junior Reviewers were that keen, but that's a fussy food phase and another story entirely...), and our side of sweet potato fries was an unexpected triumph for the grown ups.
For dessert we opted for chocolate fudge cake, traditional style figgy sponge pudding, and ice cream sundaes for the kids. They all went down a treat, even with the Junior Reviewers who had previously announced themselves 'too full'...
We've heard some mixed opinions on this venue (initial teething issues and some feedback that the sports screens are too many and too loud in one particular section), but our experience was a positive one. Prices are very reasonable and judging by the groups we spotted and talked to, the pub is living up to its aim to be affordable and family friendly.
The Elm Tree is still in its infancy, and the owner and manager have a lot of ideas of how they'd like the venue to develop in terms of live music and special offer nights, so for us it's one to watch. We wish the team well and look forward to seeing how things progress during the summer months!
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