Review on View London.co.uk
by Kelly Hussey
People have been bemoaning the homogenisation of pubs for some time now as bland neutral colour schemes and increasingly expensive menus overshadow what puts the ‘great’ in Great British pubs. At the heart of this is the dreaded refurbishment. And so The Candlemaker is here to remind us that sometimes a makeover is most definitely a good thing.
The Candlemaker is an example of a refurbished pub done good. It is a real beauty. The well sized space has been designed to feel cosy and comfortable with an artistic, kitsch edge that is charming rather than irritating.
Exposed brick walls have been enlivened by large pieces of colourful artwork, including a large painting of the iconic Battersea Power Station. The seating is eclectic without being schizophrenic, mixing simple wooden tables and chairs with more comfortable sofas. Instead of high stools you get comfy, fabric high chairs. In the winter there’s a real fireplace and for the warmer months there’s a sizeable outdoor area that’s partially covered, obviously designed with the interior décor in mind – continuing the effortless style from inside the pub. Yes, it’s pretty, but the real visual treat is a full-sized suit of armour called Sir Battersea.
This is a real neighbourhood pub that has clearly been welcomed with open arms by Battersea and south west London locals. The pub has already started to offer events, such as club night Figure of Wax, promising ‘Brighton Rock, London Beats and Northern Soul’ on the last Saturday of every month from 9pm. The rest of the time you can settle in with one of the board games and while away an entire evening with good-natured arguments about who is and isn’t cheating.
The food menu at The Candlemaker is simple with classics like fish and chips leading the way alongside twists such as the pork and chorizo burger. This is no flouncy gastro pub, however, with most dishes coming in at £10. The pub has also started doing an ‘express lunch’ for those in a hurry, including dishes like a halloumi sandwich with red pesto, salmon fish finger sandwich and Thai green curry, all priced at £5.50.
There’s an impressive bar at The Candlemaker with a good selection of spirits and a large choice of draught lager and beer. The beers rotate but they do offer a couple of great Redemption Brewery beers, crafted in the capital. There’s the malty amber ale Hopspur or the coffee aroma of the best bitter Urban Dusk to choose from. If you don’t fancy an alcoholic drink then the coffee is particularly good, courtesy of Small Batch Coffee in Brighton.
The Last Word
The Candlemaker is a great addition to Battersea’s ever-increasing bar scene. A much better incarnation following its transformation, it just goes to show that sometimes a decorative flourish – and a suit of armour – can make all the difference.