Serving genteel Kensington since 1835, this atmospheric pub is high on olde London charm under the auspices of English Heritage. Following a major refurb, its heated garden has been prettified and there’s also a handsome new wood-panelled dining room. Beer recommendations are now flagged up alongside every item on the ambitiously priced menu, although the results can be disappointingly sloppy: Curious Brew is suggested for a curiously over-sweet and under-seasoned pond of pea soup served with a pointless 'soft-boiled' egg and tired parmesan scones, while a bottle of Anchor Steam does little to redeem bland ham hock terrine with insipid piccalilli and alarmingly dressed seasonal leaves. By contrast, Meantime stout is the perfect match for an attractive rabbit and crayfish puff-pastry pie with mash and al dente green beans. ‘Sloppy’ might also describe the amiable, but profoundly amateur service.
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