The Crown reopens

The Crown in Blackheath Village officially reopened on 28 February after a £750,000 refurbishment by its owners, the family brewery Shepherd Neame. The former coaching inn dates back to the 16th century and the refurbishment has retained its atmosphere and the pub looks stunning. I spoke to a local couple who said they ‘loved the new look for the Crown and that it was the best pub in Blackheath’.

Traditional pumps have been installed on the bar counter and there were five Shepherd Neame cask ales available on opening night. They even served the ale in pewter tankards! The Cobnut ruby ale (3.4% ABV) was excellent, boasting toffee and earthy notes. Cobnut is part of Shepherd Neame’s Cask Club, a range of seasonal cask beers. More details on Cask Club can be found on their website

Left to right: Jonathan Neame, Tim Stimpson and Jan Mullerson

Tim Stimpson, the former England rugby international who represents the Sporting Partnership Foundation Fund had the honour of pulling the first official pint on opening night. Jonathan Neame, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, said that they were ‘celebrating the reopening of this wonderful pub, bringing it back to its former glory’, adding that ‘the pub will be right at the centre of this great community in Blackheath’. Members of the Blackheath Society were also in attendance. Jan Mullerson, the new general manager, worked at the pub twenty five years ago and is now back and in charge.
The food, sourced locally, was excellent. I enjoyed the steak pie, accompanied by Whitstable Bay Stout, which was a perfect pairing. I am looking forward to returning to check out the Sunday roast and live music nights. The staff were friendly end efficient, which gives the Crown the edge over other pubs. The outdoor seating area has great views overlooking the heath. The pub also has a piano and there was live music on opening night. Make sure to check out the mural by local artist, James Titcher, in the alcove outside the pub and the beautiful new traditional swing sign.

The new look interior

The pub is featured on this edition’s cover, with thanks to Shepherd Neame for the photograph. The full address is 49 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 OBS. It is quite close to Blackheath railway station.
Joanne Scott (who also took the photos here)