I went with my friend Caimin to the Boot & Flogger on an August Friday evening. The atmosphere was really pleasant and the place not overly busy compared to other venues in the area at that time of the week.
The Boot & Flogger is slightly hidden on Red Cross Way; as a local resident, I have walked by many times without realising it is there. It is only a ten minute walk from Trinity Church Square. The décor is old and inviting as you would expect for a quaint and historical venue described as “London’s oldest wine bar”. The wood panelling and the open fire help to create the feeling of what it would have been like in times gone by.
The food is traditional English with a modern twist. We decided to have a light starter: I had the crab toast with chilli, fennel and avocado which was lovely and refreshing, and Caimin had chilli squid on toast with garlic mayonnaise which he enjoyed, even if the mayo was a little over powering. They were generous portions (costing around £9 each) and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality and freshness of the seafood.
For the main course, I had the grilled scallops and bacon with tiger prawns, spring onion and chilli (£17.95). The scallops were cooked perfectly, as were the prawns, and even though the saltiness of the bacon was quite dominant, the combined flavours worked well together. Caimin had one of the specials: a sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce (their most popular dish, priced £24.50), which he loved. For dessert we shared a strawberry Eton mess although by the third course, we were so full we didn’t really need it! (But perhaps on a cold winter’s night when one is really hungry…?)
The wine list is impressive and if you enjoy a glass or two, then this is a great venue to make your ‘regular’. We had a bottle of the Sancerre Millet Roger 2015, which was divine, and then finished the evening with a glass of the Sandeman 1994 Vintage Port which added to the atmosphere of the place perfectly!
Our waitress was delightful — a nice balance of professional, helpful and friendly. After dinner, she gave us a tour of the place: it is deceptively big and full of character, with antiques and memorabilia scattered around everywhere. It has private dining rooms, both large and small across two levels where groups can eat together. There is also a garden where you can enjoy a cigar from their collection or a nice glass of champagne or port.
We liked the place so much, we will definitely be returning this autumn/winter which is when I imagine the atmosphere is most enjoyable. The venue works well with both small and larger groups and is a good option for a birthday party or similar celebration. Certainly a worthwhile discovery!
Boot and Flogger 10-20 Redcross Way, London SE1 1TA
020 7407 1184
For bookings & opening times, please visit: www.davy.co.uk/wine-bar/boot-and-flogger
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Registered office: Trinity House, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4DH.