I still find it hard to believe that just one bus stop beyond Blackhorse Road or Tottenham Hale station is the Walthamstow Wetlands – Europe’s largest urban wildlife and wetland area, an amazing ‘get away’ to nature right on our doorstep. So, if you fancy a pint after all your muddy wanderings around the Wetlands, just across the road is the Ferry Boat Inn. The old inn (think log fires and oak beams) has been trading for over 250 years at the crossing of the River Lea. These days it’s full of locals and Tottenham Hale students making the most of the cheap beer prices.
We were invited this week to review their time-limited ‘Try January’ menu. They’re offering a range of new dishes aiming at the vegan / dry / healthy / skint January trends, with low calorie / alcohol drinks to match. There’s a grilled seabass superfood salad, a quinoa chilli, and a sweet potato topped cottage pie – all for £6.99. There’s also mini puddings tempting you at only £1.49 each.
We ordered off both the ‘Try January’ and standard menu. Starters were panko-crumbed calamari and a ham & pea terrine, both less than a fiver. They were ok – kind of what you expect from pub food, but served promptly and presented well.
Off the ‘Try January’ menu we had the quinoa chilli – butternut squash, quinoa and black beans served with rice, nachos, salsa and guacamole. It was a very tasty veggie chilli, and a good sized portion for the price. Definitely worth a stroll over at lunchtime, they also do sandwiches (including the mighty-sounding Fish Finger Focaccia) for £5-6, which even with chips would be less than a tenner.
Our favourite dish was the 8oz rump steak, cooked just how we wanted it – rare. It was full of flavour, which is unusual to find at £10.99 (but the chips and mushrooms weren’t up to much). We also loved the beer-battered onion rings! Proper pub-grub. They offer all the classics including sausage & mash, burgers, pies and fish & chips.
Drinks include craft and real ales, a wine flight for £8, and soft and no/low alcohol drinks including Becks Blue, Fentimans, Bottlegreen, and Rekorderlig Cider. There are daily deals such as cheap real ale Mondays, burgers on Wednesdays, steak night on Thursdays, and of course Sunday roasts.
Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying the hot triple chocolate cake…
Ferry Boat Inn, Ferry Lane, London, N17 9NG