In an area of Maida Vale needing fresh blood, theatre producer Andrew Fishwick and his wife have worked wonders by transforming the once-knackered Truscott Arms into a charming gastropub. Occupying a sympathetically restored five-storey Victorian building, the place announces itself with a light ground-floor bar dispensing London-brewed draught ales, American craft beers and a decent cocktail selection – think Earl Grey martini. Meanwhile, the first-floor dining room deals in simple Brit grub assembled from top-notch ingredients – witness a perfectly balanced starter of Hansen & Lydersen smoked salmon with cucumber and dill. To follow, foie gras burgers go down a storm, although plates of creamy cod with seaweed butter, cockles and violet artichokes are equally memorable. After polishing off, say, tonka bean pannacotta with strawberries, wander upstairs and check out the exhibitions by young UK artists in two private rooms.
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