The pub offers one of the biggest beer selections in South West London.
Beer culture is changing. The monopoly that global breweries now have on the lager and bitter industries means quality is continually sacrificed for quality.
Ask anyone over 40 what Tetley’s used to taste like and their eyes will glisten over in reminiscence. It just ain’t the same nowadays.
Decent pubs have realised that people cannot afford to get drunk on lager, nor do they want the flavourless, processed bilge that’s usually pumped through dirty pipes. Instead, real beer and imported lagers have developed a popularity that has propelled the London pub scene into a new era.
One of these lucky pubs is the Lazy Fox.
Situated on the backstreets of Fulham overlooking Stamford Bridge, the Lazy Fox used to be a rough old hole, according to its general manager Alan Bane. It was predominantly a supporters’ pub for Chelsea fans and attracted its fair share of police attention during the days of football hooliganism in the 1980s and early 90s.
Since then the face of football and, increasingly, pub culture has changed – especially in London. Few of us can afford to drink the standard eight pints of lager required to transform us from erudite, composed human beings into marauding, scrapping animals.
Increases in beer prices means customers are more selective with what they drink. Quality is beginning to rival quantity. Do you want two £3 pints of the same old Carlsberg or would you rather a £4.80 taste of full flavour and texture, such as Rooster’s, a sought-after Yorkshire brew making its name on the London scene?
The Lazy Fox offers punters – and its fair share of football fans who visit on match day to drink beer and enjoy the atmosphere – one of the biggest beer selections in South West London. On the bar sit about 12 pumps and on the far wall the best invention since top fermenting beer – a pour-it-yourself bar.
That’s right, simply top-up a card with credit and you’re free to pull your own pints, with eight beers and ciders from around the world to choose from. We visited on a quiet Saturday lunchtime and opted for the rich Swiss brews before tucking in to the Lazy Fox’s surprising menu.
Many gastro pubs offer the same main courses but in different guises. Steak and ale pie is steak and ale pie after all. It’s pub food dressed up. But with starters there are always gems no one else has thought of and the Lazy Fox excels in this field.
The food pulls no punches, with mustardy macaroni cheese balls the perfect starter. The depth of flavour in these bread-crumb sealed gobstoppers makes them a meal in itself, but if you’re looking for a more balanced assortment of textures and spices then the salt and chilli squid will set you on the right path.
Averaging at £5.75 each they’re not cheap, but two starters before the game will do you until fulltime.
As for the mains, a delicious sausage and mash did exactly what it said on the tin (err… menu), although the fried and dried shallots atop the sausages caused major textural problems with the gravy. Meanwhile, opposite me was a plate of chicken katsu, which in some respects bore the appearance of a schnitzel with rice but the curry sauce ensured my taste buds stayed in Kobe and not Vienna.
Another pint from the beer wall, which sees new brews go on every day or so, followed our meal before we took off on the quiet backstreets of sleepy Fulham to enjoy the rest of our lazy Saturday.
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