By Baldwin Ho

The ever-popular Grand Union, Brixton has been taken over recently by the ever-reliable Young’s & Co and they have reverted back to the former name of Hope and Anchor. The decor has been given a suitably glamtastic revamp with neon lights aplenty, exotic chandeliers and wallpaper that would make Madonna proud. The spacious outdoor area is still as awe-inspiring as ever with tiki huts and an outside tequila bar; I doubt I’ve ever seen a bigger outdoor area of a pub anywhere else in London. And music has been given its rightful prominence again with funky events like Records and Roasts on Sundays when they serve up funk and soul music from vinyl sets along with your Yorkshire puddings.

I can imagine the burgers are hugely popular here with the Young’s Burgershack offerings available, they are great value with most of their gourmet burgers are generously under the £10 mark.

We started off with a veggie sharer option and I’ve rarely seen a platter of less healthy but utterly mouthwatering vegetarian options. The double cheese croquettes and onion rings disappeared in about the same amount of time it took Usain Bolt to run 100 metres. The veggie sliders were served in cute, bite-sized portions with irresistible crispy beetroot as the main filling. There were also plenty of chips offered which wasn’t advertised on the menu.

For main courses, my guest was clearly in a margarita mood, as he ordered a margarita pizza as well as a margarita cocktail (and it was also present in the veggie sharer platter). Well, you can’t really beat a classic when it’s done as supremely well as in Hope and Anchor. The base was perfectly thin and crispy using their own sourdough base with delicious Nutbourne tomato sauce and freshly torn British mozzarella. It was also great to see classic cocktails on offer, as pubs far too often ignore these options as they are quite prep intensive. Although the frozen margarita machine was suspiciously empty during our recent visit.

It was initially disappointing that the chilli pulled pork burger I had asked for was sold out, but the Cornish crab ‘nduja and Ogleshield mac ‘n’ cheese more than made up for that disappointment. It was packed with flavours thanks to the complex, sweet and milky aromas from the Ogleshield cheese as well as the spiciness from the nduja. They also didn’t skimp on the Cornish crab meat, as there were plenty throughout the tasty mac ‘n’ cheese.

With such a crowd-pleasing menu, this is one local that will be pleasing the fickled Brixtonians for many years to come.

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