Three local tradesmen recommended this pub as the best in the area, and I often walk past it on weekdays and see how lively it is. It is a Fuller’s pub, selling beers brewed just a few miles away in Chiswick. I was looking for a Sunday roast in the vicinity and a local paper rated it as one of the best seven places to eat roast dinner, so I thought I would try it.
On a Sunday, the Builders’ Arms (the apostrophe is fairly mobile, but I prefer this) seems to be a lot sleepier. There was a small crowd of, let’s say, mature regulars (it isn’t often these days that I am the second youngest patron of a pub), but none of the young families I was accustomed to seeing. However it did have a friendly atmosphere and felt pretty traditional. We sat in the restaurant area at the back, but if it had been a little warmer we would have risked the beer garden.
The interior is standard British pub with dodgy carpets, mismatched furniture, and odd to interesting pictures on the walls. I did like the old photos of Croydon past. There are also big secrets and a dart board. When we first arrived there was only one chirpy and effective member of staff, but she was joined by more people as it filled up.
They didn’t have a vegetarian roast, so I went for a felafel burger. The large patty itself was a little dry, but the tomato and gherkin helped with that. Quite enjoyable, and served with a small portion of slightly soft but still tasty chips.
Fiancée had the beef roast. This consisted of three big bits of beef, served with gravy, a Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and peas. While the beef was only alright rather than good, with the exception of the cauliflower cheese (which was a little bland, though firm enough) and the not crispy potatoes, she really enjoyed the rest of the meal and was impressed with the large portion. The Yorkshire, gravy and parsnips in particular were high quality.
Overall we thought it was a good visit and reasonable value for money, and would be happy to head back and enjoy the outdoor area on another day.
Address: 65 Leslie Park Road, Croydon CR06TP