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Leather Bottle (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Leather Bottle in Wandsworth, London

538 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London, SW17 0NY
Cuisine: Gastro
Tel: 020 8946 2309 | Email to Leather Bottle | Transport: Earlsfield | Write review

Leather Bottle Review

The same magic involved in The Tardis or Mary Poppins’ bag is at work at The Leather Bottle; it appears smaller from the outside than it does from the inside. I walked in to realise, to my happy surprise, that this pub has a humongous and pleasant looking bottom (which, in pub world, translates to good, large beer garden).

After adjusting my sense of proportion and having a swift ponder on the nature of perception and dimension, I realised that the inside is rather normal. London gastropubs seem to be hitting the mismatched furniture very hard at the moment, and the Leather Bottle is no exception. Even if, as I suspect, the furniture has not been picked up piece by piece in Parisian flea markets (essential for truly chic décor), I appreciated the effort. Stone floor and worn rugs complete the slightly rustic image.

Now to move onto the important matters: the food and drink. The tomato bruschetta to start was dull and the dressing on the salad garnish far too sweet. However, a revelatory second course redeemed the meal. My main of pork belly was rather wonderful, and cooked to that perfect melt-in-the-mouth point which completely put my companion’s fish and chips in the shade. Hurrah for me!

Dessert saw a reverse of roles as I stared jealously at my companion’s superior chocolate fondant from behind my chocolate mousse. The trials and tribulations of food ordering! I have a friend who will always order the same as whoever she is eating with, so that she will not be left dismally chewing through unidentifiable slop while staring at the meal from heaven. I wonder whether it is bad ordering that she suffers from or ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ syndrome? Does food always look better on someone else’s plate?

For drinks we went for the house red, which was pretty decent. If I wasn’t eating a huge meal I would have tried some of the ale from the Young’s brewery but, with three courses, it is important to pace oneself, or risk falling dead of excess over their tastefully worn wooden tables.

The beer garden really is a treat, with seating for over 250 people, it would fit Branjelina’s entire adopted brood. It even has a space for playing Boules, and a Boules championship, as if drinking lager in the sunshine isn’t enough entertainment.

It was rather quiet on the Sunday that we visited. In fact we were the only people sitting at the inside tables. Peeking out into the beer garden to judge the clientele, we decided they were mostly 30+ locals. It’s possible that it might get rammed on a Friday night with trendy young things but I think it unlikely. I was told it can get very busy, particularly on beautiful hot sunny evenings but it seems a chilled out venue for people who want a pint, not to lean against the bar pouting over a vodka and cranberry.

They have a few events to draw in the punters: a poker night on Tuesday, or the occasional music festival. Considering that it’s part of Young’s it actually didn’t have the impersonal feel that you can get in some chains.

All in all, my companion and I enjoyed ourselves. The Leather Bottle is a nicely decorated gastro pub, which feels a step up from your local boozer. The food and wine would not be out of place in a restaurant, but the portion size is definitely pub inspired. There should be warning signs, we decided as we staggered home. Pigs will be punished!
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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Gastro
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Youngs

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