300 Creek Road SE10 9SW
Back in 2005-06 there was a local campaign to ‘Save the Hood’ when its existence was threatened by council plans for redevelopment. According to its website, the pub’s patrons won out with some stellar arguments about its being 200 years old, “friendly to women” and “not a wine bar”. With that kind of progressive thinking how could the council bring in the JCBs, right? Unfortunately for the Lord Hood, I can’t find much to savour in its salvation.
To start with the positive, the exterior is actually rather promising. Nothing flashy but with an old town house pub look and a bit of greenery it looks like a welcoming, unpretentious sort of place. However, there’s a line between ‘unpretentious’ and ‘not trying at all’, and once you get inside you realise that this place has long since crossed that line. It has the shabby red velvet and dark wooden bar stool thing going on, with a dartboard and pool table, but it all looks like no-one’s touched (read: cleaned) anything for 20 years +.
We got a few good hard stares from the locals when entering; they were about 6 in number and made up the entire clientele. The Internet buzz about this place is that it’s all about the Live Music - especially jazz and folk - but thank goodness for beardy musicians because there was little sign of the 60 people who apparently attended the ‘Save the Hood’ meetings and I wonder how this pub would survive otherwise.
The service was a little unfriendly and the barmaid seemed pretty put out when we asked what selection of ciders they had – Magners and Strongbow, which is pretty indicative of the average drinks selection. The beer garden doesn’t add much either: perhaps I was too harsh on the Pilot Inn, as the Lord Hood’s concrete patio slab adjacent to the main road certainly made me wish I were back at GMV.
I acknowledge that the Live Music here can be a huge draw for many and that a good gig can really make a place. Therefore I reserve ultimate judgement on this place until I check out the Jazz, but frankly I can’t think of any other reason I would want to go to the Lord Hood again.