Not a pub, it’s a spacious ‘bar and kitchen’ which provides a mixture of sitting, perching and lounging facilities. I chose to lounge and take in the trendiness. The low table housing my drink is, my companion informs me, a railway sleeper. The chandeliers and suspended wooden beams I can identify myself and cans of Lyle’s black treacle contain the table’s sugar cubes.
The airy feeling is enhanced by light pouring in through the floor to ceiling windows which offer a superb view of the A3036. But as darkness closed in and I reclined further, watching the airplanes zooming overhead became quite enchanting. Or maybe it was the wine – speaking of which, was and a very pleasant house offering of Chenin Blanc. For beer lovers, there’s a huge selection ‘from all over the world’.
Another window lets you see into the kitchen which reveals a reassuringly clean set up with efficient looking aproned chefs.
The Plough’s ‘Anglo-American’ catering is impressive. It has a sophisticated creative menu covering various times of the day (and Christmas!). Brunch looked tempting with a range of healthy (chilled grapefruit with ginger, mint and sugar) to not so healthy (buttermilk pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) options.
For lunch or dinner there’s the choice of small or large plates with the emphasis on tasting portions inspired by a similar approach in New York.
A far cry from canapés, everything coming out of the kitchen was hearty and filling. I tried a tasty bean burger and some spicy jalapeno corn bread. They were good but could have done with something moist on the side. However, this would make the art of negotiating food, drink and gesticulations more complicated.
For meat eaters, there was a wider selection including a glistening ‘mini dog’ and a pork and apple burger. The best review went to the beef burger (‘really, really good’ said mid bite). The small plates are either £4.50 or £5.50 so ideal for a range of appetites and budgets.
The Plough is a short walk from Clapham Junction (even quicker if you locate the new exit) and sits on St John’s Hill away from the hordes of people.
It manages to combine a feeling of exclusivity with warmth, space, class, airplanes. It’s well worth a visit.
The Plough Bar & Kitchen
89 St. John’s Hill