A Kew institution for more than 200 years, the venerable Coach & Horses recently underwent a major makeover and has emerged as hybrid mix of neighbourhood boozer, restaurant and 51-bedroom out-of-town hotel. It’s a big operation, with the horticulturally themed interior paying homage to nearby Kew Gardens – from the illustrations in the book-lined ‘library’ to the tree motifs on the walls. Given the potential number of mouths that need feeding, the kitchen has kept the menu uncomplicated, but varied – simple salads, terrines and soups precede pies, steaks, burgers and a few flashier items done by the book (try the lightly seared beef carpaccio or Helford mussels steamed in cider). Lunchtime sandwiches with chips are guaranteed to set you up for the afternoon, while a full roster of Young’s ales is bolstered by a serviceable wine list.
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