Reopening at the Open Page & The Earlsfield Grocer.

Last Updated on : 20th April 2021

The Open Page on Garratt lane has just reopened, the owners previously having had the bad timing to launch the rejuvenated pub at the end of last year, just before the whole sector was put into hibernation. First impressions were positive, with the garden providing an attractive and buzzy communal area.

There is a good selection of beers including favourites such as Pravha, Staropraman as well as other great bitters and IPAs. The current menu might be concise (short,) but it does cover all the bases. For a proud Essex man such as myself it’s good to see Mersea oysters taking their rightful place as a headline attraction. Otherwise, there are about 4 starters all at about £8 and 4 main courses all pretty much £15. Myself and my friend both chose the rib cap burger, which was very good and full of beefy flavour.

Service was friendly and attentive and not at judgemental when we relocated to the front of the pub to enjoy the artic blast that was proceeding up the road that early Spring afternoon. Not to worry though as we donned ever larger beer jackets to keep the chill out only for our lunch to end when it was time to go home for dinner.

Though I haven’t had the opportunity to thoroughly put the Open Page yet through their paces, my impressions are that this is a going to be a top-notch gastro pub to rival the best in the area. Having launched at the most difficult time for hospitality since the war, all I can say is I wish them good luck…they deserve it.

You probably think that Earlsfield needs another coffee shop about as much it needs more estate agents, well think again. The Earlsfield Grocer has replaced the much loved and much missed Cremoloso on what I like to think of as the elbow of Garratt lane.

This is not just a coffee shop, but also a pantry for Asian and other quality groceries, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to buy a can of personal favourite Karma Kola whilst stocking up on spices for a stir fry I was cooking (when finished I ate this with chopsticks to make it feel like I’d gone out for the evening, but that’s another story.)

I have had the coffee numerous times by now, and it is premium price (£2.50 – £3.00 a cup dependent on choice,) but it is also premium taste. My cortados and flat whites have always been full flavoured with slightly sweet overtones of what for me makes really good coffee and why it’d be both barbaric and unnecessary to put sugar in them.

The pastries join the select group of those that actually do taste as good as they look. I am a little frustrated that I can now buy them so readily as it is going to make a post lockdown diet hard to stick to.

The Earlsfield Grocer only has a limited range of hot food, limited to a choice of three sourdough toasted sandwiches. I recently indulged in the posh ham and cheese, ham and gruyere and I am happy to report that even though it was a sourdough sandwich, a bread I feel has as much character as a motorway service station, I found it delicious.

It will be interesting to watch as we progress into summer and the owners introduce ice creams and sorbets, to see how they compare with those of the previous occupants. The omens so far suggest favourably, though I am keen to continue to support Cremoloso as a virtual supplier.

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