No-one could argue that The Dutch House is hidden away, as it looms large at the side of the road. But how helpful is passing traffic to trade when the road in question is the A20?
The supersized boozer certainly has the capacity to deal with a huge influx, and you can even get your car washed while you visit.
Outside, the giant pub looks unloved – one of the signs has lost so many letters it now reads simply ‘The Dut’.
Inside is cavernous, with comfortable furniture, fetching beams and a fire place which give the place just a bit of gravitas.
Of course, the gaudy menus and early-2000s pop music quickly crush that. The fittings are generally tired and past their best though it wouldn’t take much to make The Dutch House quite pleasant.
The place has a family vibe too, with a pool table, one of those grabber toy machines and Easter chocolate on sale behind the bar.
It was disheartening to see no ales on tap – and only two taps with which to supply the ale – but on a sunny day I didn’t mind too much. A tangy Somersby cider was fine by me, even if at £3.65 it cost nearly as much as my lunch.
The pub has a pretty standard, cheap menu with all the usual suspects and I opted for a chicken and bacon melt baguette with chips for £3.99.
My expectations were not high and the food just about met them. The sandwich and the bread inexplicably chewy but it had plenty of filling. The barmaid was attentive and called me darling, so it’s not all bad.
Maybe it was because it was an early afternoon with just a couple of people passing through and a handful of barflies, but when nature called, I was trapped.
For some reason, I don’t know why and I didn’t ask (preferring to hold it in), the gents had been locked. That, I could have done without.
The Dutch House, Sidcup Road, Eltham
How it rated:
Decor *** A bit dilapidated
Atmosphere *** Family friendly
Staff *** Called me darling
Drink* Where’s the ale?
Food ** Filled a hole
Price *** Cheap food