Leafy Crews Hill is home to Greater London's most northerly settlement, and therefore most northerly pub. Even the road to the pub — Cattlegate Road — sounds rural. It harbours what must be London's biggest collection of garden centres and pet supply stores in one area.
The Plough is a friendly pub with a small bar space and a whole parade of dining areas. The best seats are in the conservatory. Owned by the Hertfordshire brewery McMullen, the pub stocks their in-house ales including Country Bitter and AK bitter. Four were on draught during our visits.
The food is excellent, if unsurprising — mostly hearty British fare cooked to a high standard. The vegetarian nut roast (served Sundays) deserves special mention, outperforming the equivalent at the nearby Robin Hood. You also get table service — a rarity in family gastropubs. The staff do an excellent job of juggling the many orders and making everybody feel welcome.
At weekends, the Plough fills up with families who come from far and wide to tour the garden centres. Be sure to book a table for Sunday lunch — we saw a few parties having to wait, even before 1pm. The car park is larger than many an NCP, but still gets pretty full within 15 minutes of the Sunday lunch bell.
And best avoid at the weekend if you're the kind of person who grumbles about children in pubs. The Plough is about as family-oriented as can be. Not only does it have a separate children's menu, and a colouring set for every youngster, it also boasts a well maintained play area in the garden. For older funsters, there's even a petanque court out there.
The pub is easily reached by car, or via trains to Crews Hill station, which is just a 5 minute walk away.
On Facebook. Quiz night is Sunday.
Last updated July 2017.