Part of our Best Pubs in London microsite. See if we've included your local.
Crooked Billet is a common pub name. It refers to a bent stick that has fallen from a tree. This Crooked Billet, on a road named Crooked Billet displays a crooked billet in its front bar, while a man chops up another crooked billet on the Crooked Billet's hanging sign [Edit: well, he did, but a recent revamp seems to have deleted this this bit of character.]
Having cleared that up, we enter the pub. The timeless interior is almost entirely wooden, and sprawls off round several corners inviting exploration. The back room, more of a drinking hall, is illuminated by the light of the biggest coal fire we've ever seen. Such is its intensity, the two nearest tables are left empty. We feel sorry for whomever the 'Reserved for 6pm' sign refers. Something about roaring fires brings out the best in people, and the family crowds in this area look very cosy indeed.
No surprise to find that this is a Young's pub — the beer was brewed down the road in Wandsworth until recent times, and the brewery still owns many of the hostelries in the area. The usual range is on offer, along with a few other mainstream ales. We haven't yet tried the food, but the inventive take on pub classics looked mouthwatering.
In the summer, punters of this pub and the neighbouring Hand in Hand spill out onto the grass of Wimbledon Common. The Billet even offers picnic blankets to customers, if you order a jug of Pimm's.
Monday is quiz night.