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The Normanby (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Normanby in Putney, London

231 Putney Bridge Road, Putney, London, SW15 2PU
Cuisine: Brasserie
Tel: 020 8874 1555 | Email to The Normanby | Transport: East Putney | Write review

The Normanby Review

Over-planning one's social life is hazardous, ill advised even. Don’t pretend otherwise. Overt organisation can suffocate spontaneity, annihilate the very soul with anticipation and leave one feeling despondent and disappointed. It is important to remember that things never normally go to plan.

Although I'm singing staunchly from a laid back hymn sheet, I will admit that a basic blueprint for socialising should be adhered to; these provisos are good company and a decent venue. Where would we be without it? I dread to think; probably all stuck on Facebook playing Farmville in our underpants.

Enter Friday night; I was fortunate not to be shackled by the drudgery of social networking, instead contently nestled as the filling in a golden sandwich of quality companionship and an upbeat establishment. I was feeling very epicurean; simplicity is genius and all that. Even strolling through the hazy evening twilight of mid summer Putney to The Normanby was a pleasure. Well, once we established exactly where we were going.

The Normanby didn’t exactly blow either of us away as an uber culinary and drinking paradise, but that’s not the point of it. It’s a place to chill. Beautifully furnished, it has the aura of a warm, watering hole. Awash with soothing red and stylish black walls, with well placed leather sofas and ornate wooden slats, relaxation takes a hold automatically.

Far from rammed, and smattered with casually dressed twenty somethings, The Normanby suited as an alternative from the madness that weekend nights in the capital can produce. Couples looking for a bit of downtime could do a lot worse than come here. Our conversation flowed seamlessly at our table alongside the delightful eclectic music which ranged from Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’ to Bob Marley’s, ‘No Woman No Cry’. As far as ambience goes, it is hard (and would be hypercritical) to find fault.

A top tip for any chaps who find themselves at this South West London haunt should beware of the deceptive and alarmingly protruding wall as they visit the gents. On behalf of Fluid, I would not like any of our male readers to mildly concuss themselves.

Now getting back to the crux of the evening, the food and drink we had was a mixed bag in terms of quality and our own individual physical states at the end. Guess who came off worse.

The menu offered the usual pub grub fare; I opted for a spicy Chicken steak sandwich, my friend a Steak Clubhouse Sandwich. These sandwiches were rather monstrous beasts, which erased the empty voids in our stomachs. Unfortunately, their sidekicks were very much an anaemic Robin to a beefy Batman, with the fries not being too far away from fast food standard and the salad a little bland.

To compliment this we had a fine bottle of Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Well I say we, I mean I, as my friend told me she didn’t much care for wine. This decree lead to her being comparatively sober and slightly smug as the effects of this fresh tipple took hold of me. The cosmopolitan wine list is a definite strength of The Normanby. The service is also very cheery, with the lovely Australian waitress Tam, being friendly, informal and professional all rolled into one.

Tickled by wine and beginning to ramble slightly, I attempted to coax my friend to share a gluttonous dessert of warm chocolate and nut brownie with cinnamon ice cream. My impression of Father Ted’s Mrs. Doyle,’you will, you will’ failed to convince my mate to shovel a spoon into this sweetly, satisfying pudding. So while she had a degree of class about her, I was left feeling like an inebriated Augustus Gloop from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This basically hindered us going anywhere else that night, not that it mattered as we were both happy.

I earlier referenced the Greek philosopher Epicurus. This legendary figure of thinking would concur with my friend and I that with very good company and pretty good food, The Normanby provides quality entertainment.
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Customer Reviews for The Normanby

Average (based on 7 votes): 7 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Normanby.

“I have been a lot of times because I am living in the neighbourhood I must say that it used to be a really good place to enjoy watching football or having something for lunch/dinner. But in the last months the responsible of managing, from the manager to the waiters/waitresses are really bad. The are very impolite, slow and not very friendly with the customers.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Neighbour, London (5 years 10 months 4 days ago)

“I went there last week to watch the football..my goodness what a change a few months can make... The atmosphere was excellent and the bar staff very professional and friendly. I liked it so much that i have booked a table for all England world cup games..on doing so the Manager informed that I will recieve full table service on each event!!!! It cant get any better than that!!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
chistie, london (8 years 6 months 24 days ago)

“Went here a few days ago for a big birthday dinner. What an awesome place! The manager and staff were friendly and attentive and even provided a personalised burger for the birthday boy! They put the burger on their menu for the night and it tasted fantastic! They probably need a little more practice at massive parties of people like ours but as the food came out slightly slow but to be fair it was worth the wait. Everything on the menu is fairly priced and looks amazing. Apart from the food this place has a great atmosphere and a lovely decor, perfect for drinks after work or at the weekend. I'm really glad i don't live far away from this pub as i will definitely be going back again and again!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Laura , Putney (10 years 7 months 26 days ago)

Show all user reviews for The Normanby

“Truly poor service (exceptionally slow service & argumentative manager) mixed with very average food has thankfully become a bit of a rare thing... but hey, then there's Normandy! I am rather surprised Time Out has given it such raving reviews. The manager overheard us commenting on how slow the service was and came to apologise as they were extremely busy. They must do take-away as the dining room was mostly empty. The medium rare steak of one of our party was charred. The manager, straight out of the Faulty Tower School of Catering, cut the steak over our friend's shoulder, thought that it was perfectly cooked and then proceeded to show the meat to other guests to get their opinion. No answers... Awkward... and embarrassing... He was happy to make another one but it would come out exactly the same way. It soon became too tense for comfort and the manager walked away from our table. And so we walked away from his restaurant. Shocked that places like this still exists.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
angela, london (10 years 8 months 1 days ago)

“Went here for Valentines dinner. The food was great and the wine list was clear and impressive with no outrageous over pricing. The service was also really good and three courses with wine for two people at £60 is pretty good going. I'd recommend the Normanby to anyone!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
O kirk, Putney (10 years 9 months 24 days ago)

“I was at the Normanby the other night for a few beers by myself as I had some reflecting to do... I was enthralled to engage in some lively debate with the young, red-haired bar owner that really did brighten up my evening. He was ever such a nice chap. Others in the bar seemed to enjoy themselves and the beer tasted great. I may even go as far as to say that the Normanby may become a local. Very friendly!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Henry Jones, London (10 years 10 months 2 days ago)

“What a gem of a pub. I'm yet to sample its evening menu (which looks amazing), but I frequently grab my lunch from the Deli counter. They have fresh doorstop sarnies £1.75!, hot homemade pies and salads and more that can be taken away! The coffee is of a new level for the area which might'nt be sayng much considering the competition but it is proper basita stuff! I've only had a couple of post-work drinks here but has a great time on both ocassions. My only complaint is the walk to the train but I guess thats a good thing after a couple of pints of Ale... or so my wife may say!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Keith Watt, London (10 years 10 months 2 days ago)

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