Blythe Hill Tavern

319 Stanstead Road,
Forest Hill,
SE23 1JB

This pub is one of London’s Real Heritage Pubs (ie it is on CAMRA’s London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest) and the description is as follows: “A most appealing Victorian corner local, which was given a makeover probably in the 1920s. The exterior tilework of that time has, sadly, been painted over, but doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of the interior. There are still three separate rooms with a public bar on the corner, a saloon to the left and a large room running across the back of the pub. There was once a small snug at the back of the public bar entered by the now sealed double doors. The servery has an unusual T-shaped layout designed to create a counter in each of the rooms. The fittings are typical of their time – plain and undemonstrative in contrast to earlier Victorian exuberance. The counters have plain panelling and the bar-back is also modest but with Tudor arches under the lowest tier of shelves. All the ceilings have exposed beams – not the real thing though: they’re just nailed on to create an ‘olde worlde’ effect. Another sign that the refit was done on a low budget is the use of imitation wood panelling in all the rooms. The fireplaces are pleasing – the one in the rear room with a decorated metal hood and the one in the saloon with a grey-blue tiled surround and a tile with an improbable-looking sailing ship. Attractive benches in the saloon and rear room. An unusual feature is the way customers are free to walk across the serving area between the saloon and rear room.”

The Blythe Hill Tavern featured on the Daytime Crawl of South East London in June 2007, the The Beautiful South: Daytime Crawl of Outer South East London in October 2011, and the Sunny Daze: Daytime Crawl of Petts Wood, Bromley, Catford and Forest Hill in June 2012.