Little Nan’s: Deptford’s newest bar

A new bar! In Deptford! 10 minutes walk from my front door! I am inordinately excited; there’s a bit of …

Image: by Little Nan's Bar
Image: by Little Nan’s Bar

A new bar! In Deptford! 10 minutes walk from my front door! I am inordinately excited; there’s a bit of a dearth of decent drinking places round my way – not surprising considering I only drink cocktails (this makes me sound fancy, but I assure you a cocktail to me can constitute a shot of port in a pint of blue WKD; delicious incidentally). The launch was a few weeks ago and in the run up to opening night the Facebook page ran a stream of teasers about vintage-ly priced booze, cocktails served in teapots (I can’t believe I never thought of this before) cakes and mysterious hints about welcoming us into their “Nan’s front room”. All very appealing and worth a look, especially if it was indeed someone’s front parlour.

little nan's deptford 2So along Mr Abi and I went for an exploratory snifter. The auspices were not good when we found number 46; a grubby blue door with an old Tory party logo above it; I became concerned for my Guardian reading credentials but the mister dragged me inside and after trotting along a dank passageway we did indeed end up in the eponymous Little Nan’s.

And it’s all a little bit bonkers – like a living room circa 1982, with the whiff of a staunch monarchist about it. The interior design alone is worth a visit: lots of cool/naff wallpaper (Pierrot missing Columbine), large teddy bears, mix and match chairs and tables in a variety of rich fabrics, heavy curtains, false drop ceiling with added flock, and lampshades aplenty. The bar is a delightfully easygoing affair behind three massive picture frames, the barman chatting happily and serving up mugs, teacups and teapots of cocktails with names like Duchess Kate and Prince Harry. I was rather taken with the Paddy Ashdown – an extremely drinkable mix of Rum, Midori and ginger beer. Cheap too – at £4 a pop they went down super easy.

little nan's deptford 6

You can play games like Kerplunk, choose the music you want (the sound system is endearingly lo-fi: an old record player in the corner with a pile of vinyl beside it; we like the BeeGees), and nibble on cakes and cheese straws. It all a bit odd but after a few mugs of goodness knows what, but it has potential to be a lot of fun. The postage stamp size of the room means it’s very cosy-close so I recommend going with a gaggle of friends to recreate that front room vibe and avoid feeling like you’ve gatecrashed your mum’s coffee morning.

Owner, Tristan
Owner, Tristan

It’s all the brainchild of local chap Tristan Scutt. And Little Nan’s is indeed inspired by his nan and, as he puts it, “her constant obsession to make people happy”. He worked with interior designer and artist Matt Sargent to come up with the interior: “we wanted to give it that ‘nan’ vibe, but with a modern twist…we are defiantly NOT going for shabby chic, more for shabby splendour. My nan didn’t drink out of jam jars or have beaten up furniture in her house, so you will not find this in Little Nan’s bar!”

“Many of the products we sell are her own old recipes,” continues Matt. “She passed away aged 104, so she had many, which she only gave to me and my mum. Her 103-year-old recipe for hot spiced mulled apple juice is our signature drink.”

little nan's deptford 1

I don’t think I’ve heard a more lovely reason for starting up a bar, and Tristan promises to release a new recipe of his nan’s each month. I can’t wait…

Little Nan’s is open Thursday-Saturday 5pm-11pm.

Words & photography (except main image): Abi Zakarian

  • Show Comments

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been here. For one thing, it’s an absolute shithole. The room smells faintly of damp, and it is in the middle of an extremely rough area. The staff are horrifically rude. I mean just horrendous, not just bad service but veiled abuse. Really nasty, to the point of being intimidating. Yes, that bad. We were strangers to the area but we walked in with a warm, open and friendly demeanor, and we were met with the worst attitude.

    The drinks are vile, and while they may seem quite reasonably priced compared to most drinks menus in London, when you taste them you realise how overpriced they are, especially when you consider this bar is slap bang in a very, very scary part of London.

    Overall it is completely grim – avoid, avoid, avoid!

  • Anon

    Fair enough; you didn’t like it, but to label it as ‘in the middle of an extremely rough area’ and then to reiterate ‘especially when you consider this bar is slap bang in a very, very scary part of London’ suggests you perhaps are more used to the leafy confines of somewhere more gentrified. What exactly are you basing this knowledge of the area on? How it looked? The people? I’ve lived in Deptford for 18 years and, like most parts of London, it is a diverse and sometimes challenging place but it is also friendly, easy-going and fun. To damn it as ‘very, very scary’ and ‘extremely rough’ because you had one bad experience in a bar seems a little narrow-minded.

  • Below The River
  • maxineclaymanMaxine

    Are you sure you went to the right place? I find it very hard to believe the staff were even remotely rude, never mind horrifically so. Tristan and the rest of the guys behind the bar couldn’t have been more accommodating.

    And no, they didn’t know I was planning to review it either.

  • CW

    If you call “a shot of port in a pint of blue WKD” a cocktail, maybe you should stop writing about drinks. Thanks for pointing out a Tory-cum-monarchist-cum-shitty-drinks den, I’ll be very happy to avoid it.

  • Maya

    Well! Totally shocked by a couple of the reviews on here – my experience of Little Nan’s and the staff couldn’t be any more different. It doesn’t sound like ‘CW’ has actually been to Little Nan’s – it all smells a bit troll-ish to me… Anyway, I’ve got a local start-up business and have had various events at Little Nan’s to help launch my brand and products. Tristan has been extremely encouraging from the very start – it’s not often that you meet people so genuinely warm and supportive. He brings energy and enthusiasm in helping you organise your event – and ensures you have a good time along the way! But this would all be irrelevant if it wasn’t for the fact that the cocktails are delicious. They make all of their own unique recipes and they have a fantastic hit rate, even with some of the more interesting ingredients! Cosy and homely seem to be the best words to describe the bar itself. The staff add to this by being really friendly and accommodating – they’ve always found a table to squeeze us on to when we’ve visited, even when it’s busy. It’s got a great atmosphere in the evenings, lively but also relaxed – it’s definitely the best place in the area for a night out!

  • Fuschia

    I also loved Little Nan’s. Such a unique concept that I think so many would not dare to do, but they pull it off. I loved it!

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