The Duchess

So – the Ship and Billet is to be reinvented once again. I just walked past and workmen are going nineteen to the dozen fitting it out as a pub/winebar/food place. Poking my head round the door it looks quite ‘traditional’ in feel with a classic bar in the middle, and it looks pretty smart, though I don’t know how far along the bar between old-fashioned boozer and gastropub it’s going to be.

I have no idea why they’re changing the name yet again (unless its the folks from the Duke in Deptford expanding, I guess) but while I’m not wild about the name (or the exterior colour-scheme – 1970s maroon and brown) all I have to do is remember the Frog and Radiator and my blood pressure calms down.

Anyone else know anything about this? All I can say is that if it’s going to help to bring Traf Road/Woolwich Rd back to life again then I’m all for it. I just hope it sets the bar nice and high. Sorry – no pics – I didn’t have my camera with me.

16 Comments to “The Duchess”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Oooh a winebar, a gastropub… in East Greenwich? The closest I ever got to the Ship and Billet was holding my breath scooting past all the smokers outside on my way to Manchester’s. First the Pelton Arms revamps and improves and now this? We can but hope for this place. That and frequent it so it stays

  2. Simon says:

    When I went past it on Monday, it was called the Frog and Radiator again….unless they had just removed the old Ship and Billett signage to reveal that.
    I thought it looked like they had spent a bit of money on the fittings when i had a look.
    Will be interesting to see the food/drinks menus and what sort of crowd it attracts.

  3. will says:

    Good luck to them. Anyone opening a pub these days is going to need plenty of luck!

  4. Mazer says:

    We just need the William IV to be next please ! Does anyone know what is happening with it ?

  5. Jen says:

    Would love it to be a Meantime venture!!!

  6. Oh – wouldn’t that be a good thing. Somehow, though, it just doesn’t look like a Meantime place. We just have to wait and see.

    I have no idea about the William IV. My gut is that it is being turned into accommodation (after all it is the King William IV hotel) ready for the Olympics. Whether that accommodation will take the form of bunk beds in a dorm like before or proper rooms is anyone’s guess, but if nothing else it is at least being spruced up (good) and isn’t being knocked down (even better.) To turn it into a decent boozer would be the icing on the cake.

  7. Darren says:

    Talking of Trafalgar rd – have you visited the new French Deli near the junction of Maze Hill? The owner is really friendly bringing a slice of the Dordogne to Greenwich.

  8. Rod says:

    The Ship/Frog/Duchess is not going to become a Meantime-owned house, though, of course, the owners may perhaps choose to keep one or more of our beers

  9. Darren – yes, I’ve seen it and heard excellent reports. I confess I’m a little put off by the produce left in the sunny window all day – and I once passed by after closing and the olives were STILL there. But I have heard many good reports and it’s a brave thing to do opening up there. Must go sometime.

  10. Darren says:

    So far I’ve tried his goats cheese quiche, pork/duck rillette and French ham – all were excellent. He’s talking about collaborating with Theatre of Wine to bring in some other wines from the Dordogne. So far his pricing has been reasonable as well.

    I’m committed to trying to support him (as far as I can by at least purchasing produce) – as I do with Theatre of Wine. If we want these kinds of shops along that stretch of road we have to support their businesses.

    It needs a tipping point where there’s enough variety and quality for people from other parts of Greenwich to visit so the business models can be sustained.

  11. Yes – indeed – and it could just work. I’ll try and get there at the weekend.

  12. Darren says:

    Let me know you get on twitter @dsyzling

  13. scared of chives says:

    I’ve bought a few things and liked them – very friendly owners – waiting for some soup de poisson (rubbish french, is that fish soup?!) the ochre-coloured stuff in a jar….

  14. Harveyrabbit says:

    I thought the same about the olives! But glad this sort of shop is opening. Can I just give a cheer to Theatre of Wine? Sick of having to pay up to £8 for a bottle of rubbish wine in a fast supermarket (won’t name them!) on the same road, I popped into theatre of wine for the first time. They are really helpful and I not only got some great Breton cider (do they put halucinogens in that stuff?!) but also a bottle of wine for £1 more but was one of the best white wines I’ve ever had. Well worth a visit!

  15. Donovan says:

    Yes, big thumbs up to L’Artisan. I’m making a point of going in so that he doesn’t go the way of the farmer’s market. The pastries are nice, the pear tart particularly delicious, and he’s very friendly. Plus he seems to work like a beast. 8-7 every day during the week, except Tuesday when he does a trip to France. And I’m told he does requests…

  16. Mazer says:

    Aaah theatre of wine..walked past earlier and envied the folk inside enjoying their frequent wine tasting evening. Last time I went it was a brilliant evening, treasure that place.