The Cuckfield is a wannabe gastropub/bar on middle-class Wanstead High Street, where East London begins to turn very clearly into Essex.
It’s a hard place to like, exactly, but it is getting some things right.
First, the selection of la-de-da beer is pretty decent — all three Chimays; Duvel; Liefman’s Kriek; Meantime Chocolate Stout; Schneider and Erdinger wheat beers on tap; Budvar on tap; and Veltins pils. Nothing Earth-shattering, but mostly nice stuff, chosen (we suspect) by accident.
Secondly, it’s very child-friendly. Some people don’t count that as a positive, but we were with friends who have children and it’s nice for them to be able to come out without having to apologise all afternoon for the fact that their children are behaving entirely naturally, viz. laughing and getting up from their seats.
And the building is nice, too. It’s Victorian and, despite some stripped floors and 90s style gastropub decor, the underlying cosiness comes through. It’s easy to get sink into a big sofa and feel very relaxed.
On the real ale front, things aren’t so rosy: there are three pumps, for London Pride, Adnams Broadside and Bombardier. Only Broadside was on, and it wasn’t in great condition.
So, a nice place to pop into when you’ve been for a walk in Epping Forest, or to meet friends with children, but hardly a beer-lover’s paradise.