It might be a ‘bit of a trek’ for non-locals, but this sympathetically restored Victorian gin palace is worth the voyage, according to impressed readers. Dark parquet flooring, Air Force-blue walls & a striking bar make a first-class drinking area, & the chandeliered dining room offers intimacy for those hankering after the ‘delicious’ food. Start with cured, pickled & smoked fish – from pepper-cured tuna to oak-smoked eel – or the gutsy pig’s head fritters with sauce gribiche, then rainbow trout with brown shrimps & almond butter, finishing with honeycomb ice-cream. Service is ‘pleasant & friendly’, & drinkers can choose homemade lemonade, regularly changing ales, or something from the stupendous wine list (majoring in Pinot Noir & boutique vineyards) – perhaps accompanied by a bar snack of chorizo Scotch quail’s egg.
This west London gin palace is that rarity: a gastropub that still manages to be as much pub as it is gastro. From a mixed area, the wine list reflects that well, with wines for those on a budget and some for those looking to spend a bit. It’s helpful and conversational, with good ranges from Burgundy, Italy and the Rhône.
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