Living in Putney, we're fortunate to be close to the City when we need to be yet also surrounded by enough greenery, parks and common areas to kid ourselves that we're in the country when we want.
One of our local pubs - a five minute walk along a leafy lane - calls itself 'A Country Pub in London' and last night we experienced what can only be described as 'one of those magical nights' as we were invited to their re-launch.
The Telegraph is a pub dear to my heart - a selection of wedding guests joined us to lunch there the day after we married twenty years ago and, as it's so close to us, we often head there on a sunny afternoon for a drink and a light lunch.
But last night was SOMETHING ELSE!
Recently under new management (MD Peter Linacre) we were invited to eat, drink and be merry - and boy did they deliver!
Regular readers will know that I'm a firm believer that I've either lived before or was born too late, so for me to be entertained by a live big band with some classic standards, while sipping on champagne and nibbling excellent food was like a dream come true.
My ex was part of a big band so it's a sound I'm familiar with and love - unlike our teen, who left just a little disgruntled after half an hour! It most definitely wasn't 'his thing' but when he chooses to listen to music that leaves me wanting to puke, with my ears bleeding, it's hardly surprising.
But for me 'The Mack Big Band' with their very talented singer (sheesh, he can hold a note!), Marshall Scott, it was a night made in heaven.
For the second half of the evening the pace was upped and the place erupted - every age group, from late teens to pushing a hundred hit the dance floor. One very persistent, elderly gentleman kept beckoning me to dance with him and I spent a while declining. Such perseverance should always be rewarded though, so I eventually joined him and was surprised to be proposed to! He was a good sport when I told him I didn't think my husband would approve!
What more can I tell you? The staff were friendly and chatty, the food was mouth-watering, original and plentiful and the refurb has been done to the highest spec. We will definitely be returning there with friends and I urge anyone in the Putney vicinity to go there and check it out.
In our goodie bags (containing bottles of port and delicious chocolate fudge brownies) we were given promotional material which told us that they'll also be running various clubs and societies - wine appreciation, dining, pub quiz, film club, digestive club talks, theatre, comedy/open mic, book club. Any locals, get yourselves there and help make this pub THE place to be.
So, a HUGE thank you to Peter and staff for a truly fantastic night. I wish you well and hope that The Telegraph gets the success it deserves.
*This review is my opinion. I was not asked to write it*
PLEASE head off and check out my books. Putney author and proud!