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The Ivy House, Nunhead, SE15

40 Stuart Road
SE15 3BE
Phone: 02072778233

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Steve of N21 left this review about The Ivy House

Really enjoyed my visit to this ex-Truman multi-room heritage pub from the 1930’s that was saved from the clutches of greedy developers by a locals campaign and is now an ACV and owned by several local shareholders. As described below its three main rooms with a bare boarded front room with impressive wood panelling and curved bar counter. Then beyond a pair of impressive double doors is a large theatre room with a stage for live music and comedy acts and then a further wood panelled back room with its own bar section that houses a community library (I am slightly tempted to come back for the advertised feminist sci-fi book club meeting on the last Monday of the month to see how it differs from normal Sci-fi).
The front room and theatre room were used as the Krays' 'Double R Club' in the film Legend, and I believe the pub still has the mirror with the R&R logo that replaced the current mirror in the front bar for the filming.
Four ales on in the front bar and for my visit these were two from the Wimbledon Brewery, Best Bitter and SW19 Blonde Ale, By the Horns Stiff Upper Lip Pale Ale and Bexley Brewery Redhouse Ruby Bitter. I went red again with the Bexley Brewery Redhouse Bitter and very good it was too.
There was a young vibe with the clientele in during my afternoon visit and a cracking 70’s/80’s soundtrack playing. Yes I enjoyed it here and very glad to find it still functioning for the local community post pandemic and some six years since the last review.

On 2nd May 2024 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2171 recommendations about 2043 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Ivy House

Ex-Truman multi-room heritage pub from the 1930’s. A bare boarded front room with impressive wood panelling, curved bar counter and rather jaded padded bench seating. A large rear room beyond a pair of impressive double doors with a stage hosting a children's party on our visit (tomorrow’s punters, I suppose). Four pumps in the main bar with a blackboard advising of further options in the kiddywinks bar. Listed were a good selection; Brockley Pale (very good), Siren Craft Undercurrent (fine), Dark Star Hophead and Creme Brulee, Truman's Runner, something from Cronx plus Suzie Wong's (who she?) cider. Also a good number of unusual bottled beers. A huge amount of classes and events were listed on exterior blackboards and it’s clearly putting itself squarely as the ‘community hub’ (upon reading the reviews below, I see it was the first ever pub listed as an ACV and saved from development). Quite a young demographic (sprogs excepted) means that this one is bucking the general trend a bit and is obviously quite successful. I enjoyed my couple of pints here and it’s well-worth putting on the ‘to-do’ list for London. They are doing a very good job. 8.5

On 10th December 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 5239 recommendations about 5222 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Ivy House

Probably the pub of the day on my trip around Nunhead, a fascinating story of people power to save this pub from the greedy developers, the first ever ACV and now run as a co-operative. I had a good long chat with an enthusiastic American lady behind the bar about this, she was very informative. At the same time a group were in making a film about the decline of the British pub and the reasons, I was a bit camera shy about getting too involved but added my views to be considered.
The main room is on entering, the curve ended bar in a side corner, fireplace opposite. Some recycled school or church chairs in here with back pockets, the former Truman's name and products listed around a picture height timber rail. Decent wood panelling, a wall next to the bar has a plethora of posters for local events.
Through a door to the rear, the bar continues here, this is the old ballroom and function room with a stage set at the end which has featured some celebrated acts over the years in the 70s when as the Newlands Tavern the pub hosted the likes of Ian Dury and Dr Feelgood, posters remain on the walls.
Another room has a beamed ceiling with more wood panelling and some unusual heraldic style figures. There is a paved outdoor area beyond with some cover.
Three pumps in the front room but three more through the door to the ballroom so you might want to check but they are all listed on a board. Brockley Pale Ale, Truman's Runner, Dark Star Hophead, Pentonville Oyster Stout, Brick Brewery Kinsale and Franklin's American Amber were on. Hallet's Real cider also available. Additionally the main bar has a large fridge of unusual bottles.
This is an admirable venture which deserves support and is thriving thanks to people power. Some communities would benefit from the story here, well done to all and long may the place survive.

On 13th May 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1708 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Ivy House

What can I add to the last review other than on a very warm night they had beer to match the temperature.About 8 cask ales and the two I tried were Tonbridge -rustic and Bristol Beer Factory -junga.Shocking condition and on a night when you want a cool refreshing beer.They have saved the pub next step save the beer.

On 23rd July 2016 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1023 recommendations about 1009 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Ivy House

This pub is a real survivor, having firstly seen the original Victorian building demolished to allow Truman's Brewery to build the present classic 1930's inter-war pub, then surviving the Luftwaffe bomb that wiped out the neighbouring row of shops in 1944 and more recently being rescued from the clutches of a property developer who intended to convert it to residential use. The last of these is in many ways the most significant, as the pub became a pioneer in the process - it was the first pub in the UK to be listed as an Asset of Community Value, the first pub to be bought under the 'community right to buy' clause of the Localism Act and is also London's first co-operatively owned pub, making it a beacon for hope and source of inspiration for many other pubs that have been and will be saved from developers up and down the country. The current incarnation opened in 2013 and presents a marvellous example of a well preserved inter-war pub, despite the fact that one wing of the pub has now been converted into accommodation. You enter into a small front bar with nice floorboards, a smart servery in the rear right corner and a nice fireplace with large modern art print above on the opposite wall. A smattering of standard and banquette seating runs around the perimeter with a larger table filling the middle of the room. A door to the rear leads through to two much larger rear rooms. The first you encounter has similar fittings and its own short section of servery with additional hand pumps (make sure you poke you're head round here to see the full ale range). A fireplace stands on the left hand wall and there are a few standard tables and chairs in the front half of the room. The rear half sees a couple of large sofas facing each other on what was presumably once used as a dance floor, given that the rear wall houses a pretty large stage with gold curtains, flanked by some big potted plants. The room has been decorated with an interesting collection of framed 1970's gig posters, hinting at the pub's live music legacy. Back in the days when the pub was known as the Newlands Tavern, it played host to many of the capital's pub rock and punk bands including Ian Dury, Hugh Cornwall, Dr Feelgood and Elvis Costello. Live music continues to be a part of the pub's remit and various flyers for upcoming shows were dotted around. Double doors lead through to a second large room to the right, this time with dark wood beam ceiling, attractive panelled walls, lots of standard tables and chairs, modern art prints and a book swap. Music played quietly throughout my stay and a number of well behaved children and dogs failed to spoil a pleasant visit, although rather remarkably I was eventually forced to leave because the staff lit a fireplace which turned out to have a blocked chimney, resulting in a most unpleasant smell.
The ale range was very encouraging, comprising Brockley Pale and Porter, Clarkshaw Phoenix Rising, Hop Stuff Renegade IPA, Head in a Hat Tifter, Dark Star Hophead and, in a nice nod to the pub's former owners, Truman's Runner. I enjoyed a pretty good pint of the Porter, although at £4.25 for a pint that was brewed just down the road, I started to feel some of that community spirit wearing off.
Pricey beer and blocked flues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this visit. It's almost unthinkable that the public came so close to losing such a wonderful building and it's good to see that those involved in the campaign to save the Ivy House are also advising other such campaign groups. This is a fine pub that now deserves to be well supported and I will certainly be heading back some time soon.

On 15th January 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3140 recommendations about 3140 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Ivy House

The Ivy House will reopen in the late summer

On 8th May 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2897 recommendations about 2834 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Ivy House

This is an inter-war pub built by Truman’s brewery. The right hand portion has been turned into private accommodation, but it still has three rooms. The front room is the smallest of them, and still has some original Truman’s panelling with the trademark Truman’s signage still in place, including for something called “Trubrown”. Unfortunately when I was in on Saturday afternoon we were confined to the front room as the two large rooms at the rear were being used for a film shoot of some kind. A shame, but nevertheless the front room, although fairly small, is a comfortable enough yet unpretentious room in which to enjoy a pint or two.
St Austell Tribute and Caledonian 80s (£3.20 a pint) were available, but unfortunately the Otter Bitter had just finished. I’m not sure about the availability of food, as we were in late afternoon on Saturday and the kitchen may have closed by then. They seem to have a steady stream of events here, including quiz nights, comedy nights, and they even advertised a forthcoming gig by John Otway on 3rd December. It’s difficult to form a complete picture of this pub from a single visit when over two-thirds of the pub was out of bounds, but it seemed a decent enough and basic pub. The ale choice seemed reasonable as well, and although I wouldn’t go far out of my way to visit again, I certainly wouldn’t object to another visit if I was in the area.

On 22nd October 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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train man left this review about The Ivy House

No answer on phone yesterday (14:00), is this place open or does it have non-pub hours?

On 17th May 2009 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 412 recommendations about 411 pubs]