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Beer of the Week (w/e 14th August 2022) with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

The Antelope, Tooting, SW17

76 Mitcham Road
SW17 9NG
Phone: 02086723888

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Tris C left this review about The Antelope

This is a late Victorian pub, originally known as the Foresters and on CAMRA’s inventory of having an interior of Regional Importance; I suspect that this pub isn’t the 1870s’ original though, still sporting an unused Courage sign bracket.
I’d not been to Tooting before, but think of it as an old friend from having watched Citizen Smith in the late ‘70s. This has a rather fine interior indeed, which probably explains why owner Antic hasn’t dynamited it. Unfortunately, Antic don’t have the imagination to capitalise on the interior, as there are no pictures of it on the website. Suffice to say, this must have been quite some gin palace in its day, with a good wood panelled floor, there’s an ornate flying bar back with a Barclays backlit parapet. This is exceptionally rare, possibly unique; the Turin Shroud of old brewery regalia. There’s some very fine Art Nouveau etched glass to select windows. A royal blue Anaglypta ceiling complements walls which are either plain or panelled, painted pale grey. Décor comes in the form of coats of arms to walls, mounted patterned plates and a stuffed deer’s head; furniture is somewhat modern and comfy, with peripheral banquettes. It would seem that this large room must comprise the bulk of the pub, but not a bit of it as there’s a substantial plain wood panelled dining room to the rear, but then a massive similarly attired room to the left, seemingly devoted to football, dimly lit with a megavision screen and probably once a billiard room. Customers were a mixed bunch, many supping in the fairly large beer garden.
There was Old Rosie cider (not considered ‘real’ by CAMRA), then three unused pumps, thereafter Volden Pale, Volden Session at a remarkable £3.30 a pint, Wandle and Jaipur, £2.60 a half and very nice, served by an even nicer barmaid.
This was easily the best of my seven-pub mini crawl. Miles better than the Long Room down the road, this is a must-visit if in Wandsworth and certainly an asset for the residents of Tooting; power to the people!

On 6th April 2022 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Antelope

Horseshoe shaped bar in a fairly large building,the interior decor is enhanced in a typical Antic way with various oddments,plates, tankards and the like as well as the odd mounted deer head. Eight handles on the bar with five on the go Sunday lunch time,Wimbledon Common, Sambrooks Wandle and American Red ale along with Thornbridge Jaipur and house beer Volden Pale, given the early hour I gave the Jaipur a swerve and had the Volden at a very reasonable £3.20 a pint. I didn't dislike it here.

On 11th February 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1586 recommendations about 1567 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Antelope

Central U shaped bar served 6 real ales. Interior a mixture of formal and shabby chic styles.

On 28th October 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2833 recommendations about 2774 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Antelope

This large Victorian pub, just a short walk from Tooting Broadway tube station, was reopened in 2009 by the Antic chain following a period as part of the unsuccessful Jack Beard group. Previously the pub was known as the Foresters Arms and going even further back, it was in here that Tooting and Mitcham Football Club was originally conceived. On approach, the pub is notable for some fine floral displays and the attractive curved frosted front windows. You enter directly to the bar area with a large U shaped servery immediately opposite. Sadly, this seems to have lost part of its bar back, presumably the result of opening the front part of the pub out into a single room. The right hand side sees rather drab grey panelled walls decorated with numerous small plates and dishes, scrubbed tables with standard chairs and a few comfier looking tub chairs, whilst to the rear there is a nice, unusual frosted glass wall. The left hand side has a mix of standard and comfy leather chairs under dark wood panels with pictures of sports action hung above and various stuffed animals can be viewed from here as well. An open kitchen can be seen as you make your way down this side of the pub before emerging into a large rear room which is split level and seemingly acts as a dining area. The lower space has long benches with books lined around their backs, serving a number of standard tables, whilst the larger, raised left hand side is set in a grandly appointed room with obscured windows and lots of formal seating. A rear door leads out to a courtyard with a mix of picnic benches and garden furniture to choose from as well as a smoking shelter in an old barn-like structure.
The handpulls that run in a row directly opposite the front door, so that they are the first thing you see on entering, were offering Adnams Lighthouse, Malmesbury Athelstan, Head in a Hat Bowler, Purity Ubu, Cottage Apollo and King Hopa Cabana, with a real cider and a real perry completing the line up. I gave the Athelstan a try and thought it was top drawer - had I not had to head off to a gig, I would've stayed and tried a few more of their beers.
This is one of three Antic pubs in a short stretch towards the tube station and if Graveney and Meadow is the food-led pub and Tooting Tram and Social is the music-led pub, this place is very much the drinker's pub of the three. I enjoyed my time here and it would be the first place I return to the next time I'm in Tooting.

On 21st August 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Antelope

This is a massive pub and a brave decision to take it on.Lot of nice old features still present but it seemed half finished somehow.Four realales on Lighthouse,Cornish Coaster,Jaipur and Vale -Vpa.Tried the last 2 which were in good condition but the Jaipur was lacking in hops.Cant blame the pub for that.Another nice Antic pub.

On 8th August 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 965 recommendations about 951 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Antelope

This pub has been well described by others, and I won’t repeat what they’ve said. It’s most definitely a much better pub under the Antic branding than when it was a Jack Beard pub. The main bar area has a most unusual and attractive latticed parquet flooring, and with the large room at the back on the left having the more traditional herringbone parquet flooring. Certainly the parquet flooring in the main bar would benefit from being properly cleaned to bring out the natural colours of the wood. When I was in late afternoon/early evening on Friday it was starting to get quite busy with a young crowd coming in. The music was being played far too loudly in my opinion, forcing customers to shout to make themselves heard. The noise levels were not helped by the fact that this is a high ceilinged pub with no carpets on the floors, although there is little that Antic can do about the structure of the pub, and it would be a shame to cover the wooden flooring with carpeting.
The sort of ale selection when I was in was as good as that experienced by other reviewers. There were six ales on handpump, with none from the usual suspects, plus something called Crazy Goat which is apparently a 6.8% cider/perry blend. A had a couple of superb pints of East London Brewery’s Foundation Bitter (£3.30 a pint) which was a new beer for me. I didn’t look at the restaurant menu, but there was a bar snacks menu advertised, consisting mainly of a few tapas items, plus what looked like a standard ploughman’s at £4.50. This is only the second Antic pub I’ve visited, and in both I’ve been impressed by the ale selection. I would be happy to visit this one again.

On 12th November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Antelope

This is a large pub in Tooting’s main shopping thoroughfare.

By the front door, a notice listing opening hours tells us that we’re about to enter a “proper pub where all are welcome ‘cept bigots and bandits and those that cause bother”.

Central doors lead into a large horseshoe shaped bar with what looks like an original bar back down the middle. Illuminated lettering on the bar counter towards the back denoting “Barclays Beers” tells us that this was presumably a Barclay Perkins pub long ago. High ceilings and a curved glass frontage indicate that this is probably a late Victorian pub. The front part has been done up in a rather gastropubby style with original wood panelling painted dark green, clipboard menus on each table and the usual mixture of sofas and wooden tables and chairs. On the right hand side, an area of the wall is painted a noticeable bright green and features a collection of hanging plates.

Beyond the main bar area at the back on the left is the open kitchen which serves a dedicated wood panelled restaurant area. Opposite this is an impressively large high ceilinged wood panelled room with something of a function room feel to it. In here is a snooker table and, on my recent Sunday visit, a drop down TV screen was showing the West Ham v Cardiff game at a muted volume. In one corner is a stage and an old style moveable screen refers to “The Broadway Comedy Club”, but I didn’t see any posters anywhere advertising forthcoming performances, so these might have been discontinued. Also notable in this room is a collection of antelope heads.

7 handpumps were serving Adnams Lighthouse, Gunhill, St Austells Tribute, UBU Purity Gold Ale and Palace Blonde Ale. The latter – 4.2% - a beer that I’ve not come across before, is described on the pumpclip as “The Official Crystal Palace F C Ale” and is “crafted for fans”. It’s brewed by Neil Morrissey ( of Fox – Morrissey fame ) who is apparently a Palace fan. I went for the Purity Gold - an excellent tasty pint, but, at a price of £ 3.40p for a beer of 3.8% ABV, it could be considered to be a bit on the pricey side.

A sign on the bar says “Sorry, we don’t sell Stella” but then adds as an afterthought “we’re not sorry really”. Several Meantime keg beers are offered as is Cerveja Sabres lager.

The pub is listed in the 2011 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It appears to be part of the Antic Pub Collective, a small group of London pubs that featured in a London Drinker article in June / July 2011.

I was pleasantly surprised by this pub. The front area with the bar counter is clearly designed to attract a youngish 30-40 something urban professional crowd, but there’s enough overall to please the traditional pub lover.

It’s not quite what you’d expect for a rather edgy area of Sarf Lunnon and I’d happily call in again if the opportunity presented itself. Finally, note that it doesn’t open until 4pm from Mondays to Fridays.

On 11th August 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Antelope

The Antelope is considerably larger than it first appears on entering, the front door leads you into a decent sized room with a central horseshoe bar, but exploration beyond leads to a room at the back set for dining but with another again sizeable room to the left with a pool table, large screen TV showing the play off football final and a corner stage. Beyond is a paved outdoor area.
Lots of sofas and armchairs as well as normal seating in the main bar, part stone and part inlaid wooden floor, lots of grey paint, green walls and hanging plates.
It's a trendied up pub there is no doubt but it was previously a Jack Beards with some reputation so c'est la vie.
Decor includes some odd furniture, similar to The Wheatsheaf at nearby Tooting Bec.
A good selection of drinks, seven handpumps directly opposite the door, Adnams Lighthouse and Regatta, Pride, Purity Ubu, Brains SA, Trumans Runner and Spitfire plus a table menu of mainly bottled Belgian beers. Clipboard food menus with decent looking fare, not too unreasonably priced if the quality is to be believed. Choice of a jug or straight glass offered.
A sign said "We don't sell Stella and we're not sorry". Excellent stuff!
A good bluesy background soundtrack (Black Keys I think).
A vibrant and somewhat trendy/boho vibe but I reckon the different areas will suit most people and I liked it here. I reckon its another welcome addition to Tooting's improving pub selection.

On 31st May 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1695 recommendations about 1669 pubs]