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260-262 Merton Road
One of the first big successes of the gastropub movement, The Earl Spencer displays its big wood-lined bar, its ceiling fans and its chalked-up boards with pride. The kitchen still hasn’t taken its eye off the ball, producing a vibrant menu that changes every day and is full of seasonal interest. In summer you might find asparagus and poached eggs or strawberry Pavlova; in winter, daube of beef and sticky toffee pudding. There’s a thought-out wine list for accompaniment, but also plenty of interest for ale drinkers and those on the wagon, all fairly priced. A separate entrance leads to a function room for up to 100 people; given the non-corporate, individual nature of the pub, it’s hardly surprising that praise has been unanimous for events held here.
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260-262 Merton Road
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Mon-Sun 11am-11pm (Fri-Sat -12M Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
It was only after three visits that someone told me what had happened! Living locally, it was my preferred place for years - but the change of hands has resulted in indifferent service and very poor cooking. Flacid pale chips. rubbery food, poor wines. The menu looks similar, but this place is not a shadow of its former self. Very, very disappointing.
Food + drink: 5
The Earl Spencer is a real find, and one of the few credible reasons to venture down Southfields way. The food is simple, but a testament to the virtues of first-class ingredients cooked by people who know what they're about. For my visit, I had the atlantic prawns (I'm a sucker for seafood) followed by the pigs cheeks (likewise, unusual cuts of meat).The former were excellent, juicy,succulent and well-prepared, and went splendidly with a pint of real ale. The latter was a revelation. The pork was full of piggy flavour, and the accompanying sprouts left me mystified why these vegetables attract such derision and venom; they were delightfully fresh and juicy as well. Top place, attentive and charming staff, well-kept beer, and all in all I floated home on a cloud of wellbeing and conviviality. Well worth the trip.
Food + drink: 4
The Earl Spencer is a real gem of a pub. A great selection of wines and the food is excellent – definitely not your classic pub fare. A great menu of tasty, hearty food with home made bread and delicious puds. I shared the chicken terrine – there was plenty for the two of us. Followed by a generous portion of tender roast duck breast on creamed swede mash with cabbage and red wine sauce. Already full, but unable to refuse pudding, I settled on the panna cotta with rhubarb – a perfect ending. I get the feeling that there are plenty of regulars but the staff were very friendly to us newcomers and we will definitely be making this our local.
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