Once upon a time there was a young student who lived in Bermondsey. Every weekend she would head to The Woolpack with her housemates and gorge on cheese on toast and a greasy fry up. A few years later she awoke with a sense of nostalgia and decided to revisit her old local. She traveled from North London to Bermondsey. She saw the pub. The outside retained the deep green tiles and wonky signs and she breathed a heavy sigh as she remembered old friends and the laughter they once shared here. She opened the doors and gasped. Whilst everything looked the same, everything had changed. The green leather chairs with deep mahogany tables were the same, but they were clean. The wooden floorboards were the same but they were swept. The barmaid either hadn’t aged or was different but in any case, she smiled. The Woolpack has succumbed to peer pressure from the Bermondsey Street elite and has cleaned up its act. Literally.
The brunch menu has decidedly shrunk and has taken a minimalist approach. I was upset that my old favourite of cheese on toast no longer seems worthy of the new trendy eatery after all its years of celebrated gooey goodness. I realised I had to follow the The Woolpack’s example and grow up. I am no longer a student. I should no longer feel the need for a comforting welsh rarebit and a mocha. I am now a coffee drinker for the taste rather than the caffeine. I needed to have a word with my palette and stop the immaturity before I ran back to my student house to moan to my housemates about how my boyfriend doesn’t understand me. I took a deep breath and reread the menu. It actually sounded delicious. Yes, it is limited, but I would rather few options done well than too many inedible options. I went for the poached egg with avocado on sourdough and my usual latte. The barmaid smiled. A small part of me hated her for it.
The food arrived and was well presented. Apparently the bread is sourced from the bakery on the same street and they get all of their meat from the butcher down the road which are nice touches. I grudgingly admitted that my meal was nice. The portion size of the fry up has diminished somewhere along the aging process and has turned decidedly drier. Whilst I would have probably appreciated this the other half was slightly disappointed at his lack of a greasy bacon silhouette left the plate.
So how would I rate “The Woolly”? I have to admit I liked it. My food was nice and the staff were friendly. The fry up was overpriced for the amount on the plate but my meal was reasonable and a good size. Looking back, the friendly staff and cleanliness probably reflect a more adult me and I would no doubt have complained should the shabbiness of the past still be active. I also love that they support local businesses and source their food locally. I don’t think I would make the effort to travel so far to revisit The Woolpack but if I had friends who lived close by I wouldn’t advise against a visit. It is a lovely little place and wasn’t too crowded.
98 Bermondsey St
020 3437 0139