Located in Deptford Market bar (right next to Archie’s, Frankie goes to Bollywood and Mama’s Jerk) Little Nan holds its own. This bar has been on my radar for a little while and since its opening, it has been attracting crowds to its humble happy home with its colourful and quirky charm, while casually bagging multiple awards too.
The unique interiors no doubt sets it apart from other trendy bars and also the sheer dedication to the theme of a visit to your grandmother, even down to the hand-written menu in the style of a child, to the vintage English crockery. This concept is based on Tristan Scutt (owner) and his late Little Nan JoJo (who sounded like a legend by the way) and the recipes passed down via Tristan’s mother.
The teeny Little Nan’s space is kitsch and cute; the living room set up is brimming full of clashing prints and patterns, medals and trophies, crooked lampshades (no doubt due to naughty grandkids), as well as traditional teacups hanging by the window and an extreme amount of regal memorabilia. Our Lizzy (Queen Elizabeth) is literally everywhere from the walls to the menu which was fixed inside of a biographical hardback, this is sharply contrasted by the playful, glitzy ode to the likes of Pat Butcher with all the surrounding awesome animal print.
I wanted to spend the whole time taking photos of all the beautiful decor and mismatched furnishings but my rumbling stomach soon reminded me that I was there for the food! Let’s get to the nitty gritty.
Little Nan has a menu which offers childhood faves: fish finger sandwiches – with a twist (£4), beans on toast (£3), a pie (£2.50) and the famous Deptford disco fries – what bargain prices! We have however pre-booked the afternoon tea so will have to come back and try the rest next time.
I was delayed slightly and had to push my reservation back slightly however I felt the staff were a little rushed off their feet at this busy time. It took a while before we were able to order and then again for our drinks to come and a group that arrived after us were served before us, but this was met with a sincere apology and two teapots of very, very strong cocktails.
I don’t know why the concept of cocktails in teapots is still such a huge gimmick for me, one teapot serves about four teacups so it’s great value for money if you are planning on having a proper drink! I had the Detective Jessica fletcher (White Rum, Spice Rum, Fresh lime juice, Strawberry Purée, Prosecco -£7) and my guest had Dog the bounty hunter (White rum, Malibu dark rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream – £6). Both of our cocktails tasted amazing and packed a punch! No wonder this place has won awards. Little Nan is a bit of a party animal it seems. Not only does she have a cool but cosy home that she opens up to folks like us, we get to raid her drink stash and she plays some quality feel-good tunes! For a dreary Saturday afternoon, I’m certainly having fun.
Next arrives our three-tiered cake stand of afternoon tea much to my delight! Soft rectangles sarnies on the first tier, generously sized scones on the second and cubes of cake on the top tier. Sandwiches included: egg mayonnaise, salmon and cream, strawberry jam (so simple but perfect) and ham & mustard which were all made really well on soft bread and vanished very quickly. The home-baked scones are soft with a slightly firm texture on top, (as they should be) served with small pots of jam and cream for you to lavishly spread yourselves. I don’t know about you but I spread my scone with cream before the jam, isn’t that the only way??
If you’re gasping for a hot drink, they have everything from matcha tea/latte, hot mulled apple juice (105-year old recipe) hot chocolate, herbal teas, tea (the PG tips kind) is Little Nan’s preference) and coffee! Pssst if you are feeling particularly cheeky, you can add an alcohol shot to your hot drink for £2.50. Everything is so perfectly affordable!
The cubes of cake were light, moist and delicious lemon drizzle and sweet rich chocolate tiffin jewelled with marshmallows. I thought we wouldn’t be able to finish it but we did. We ate everything. And then there was the option to have a slice of home-baked Victoria sponge … no judgement please – you wouldn’t have turned it down either! When the cake arrived it was a plate of two of probably the biggest slices of cake I have ever seen. We attacked the doorstop slices and it was perfect, not too sweet and not too plain but alas we were defeated! We couldn’t finish the cake but we had very full and happy tummies and it’s highly likely that we skipped all the way home to tell our mums about our Little Nan experience.
Next stop, a Little Nan’s bar crawl of all four locations, well I’m up for it if you are, perhaps we won’t have cake at every stop though?
Happy Days (an hour simply isn’t enough) are everyday 3-7pm. Afternoon tea is currently only available in Deptford and Peckham branches, book ahead.
Address: Arches 13-14
Deptford Market Yard
Station: Deptford Rail Station
Locations: Catford, Dalston, Deptford & Peckham