Pete’s Mini Bar, Putney
118 Upper Richmond Rd
by Nelson Griddle
Putney is, without question, my least favourite district of London.
It’s inhabitants seem mostly to comprise of unfeasibly tall blonde women in padded waistcoats who spend the day trolleying their offspring around in prams only slightly smaller than the ludicrous 4-by-4s they drive. Around them are towering glassy yuppie flats and twee overpriced semis, and with a high street selling little more than frothy coffee, trinkets and tat, the whole place resembles nothing so much as an outsized branch of Accessorize.
What an oasis of peace and sanity, then, is Pete’s Mini Bar on the Upper Richmond Road. Pete’s is a cosy, old-fashioned greasy spoon. The eponymous owner is a cheerful Cockney who runs what would in a more exalted establishment be called “front of house”, while his lovely assistant Edna cooks up the breakfasts.
Everything about Pete’s is reassuring, from the long and tea-coloured interior, decorated by an aged painting of the Hammersmith Bridge, to a menu that is resolutely no-frills.
Pete’s does not seek to dazzle or intimidate. About the most complicated item available is a chicken sandwich. Egg, bacon, sausage, tomato, chips, black pudding with two slices of toast and coffee is my usual choice. Liver and bacon is another winner.
The only thing you should definitely give a miss is the basement room, which is dank, cold, and somewhat reminiscent of a scene from the League of Gentlemen.
My own association with Pete’s is longstanding. And when I was last in Putney (to file for divorce from the acrimonious Mrs Griddle at Wandsworth County Court) it was straight to Pete’s that I headed.
Long may Pete and Edna reign on the Upper Richmond Road!