So this is where it all started back in 1991 – the reputed birthplace of the gastropub. The scrawled blackboard menus, the open kitchen, the mix-and-match furniture and minimal service have been much imitated (and sometimes bettered), but this Eagle still soars high. The food has a sunny Mediterranean slant, and there's usually something new to discover – perhaps carabaccia (Florentine pea soup) or the joys of unpasteurised manchego with green plum jam. It can sound exotic, although the results are rather simpler on the plate: mutton tagine with apricots and couscous or sausages with polenta and cabbage are typically homespun and served in gut-busting portions. The wine list is short, good and cheap, while ale fans have Wells Bombardier and Eagle on draught. No bookings, but tables are easier to secure than they once were.
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