The Princess of Shoreditch

British, Gastropub·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of The Princess of Shoreditch

Gold Award

It’s not easy to stand out as a pub in East London. The competition is rife, with busy boozers sat on practically every corner, and hipster food joints popping up anywhere and everywhere they can. Gastropubs particularly need a sprinkling of magic to make themselves a go-to spot. Luckily, the newly revamped Princess of Shoreditch has exactly that and more than just a sprinkling.

Having pressed the reset button during lockdown, the pub’s upstairs dining room, accessed via a spiral staircase in the corner of the main bar area, now serves a food menu focused on British provenance, courtesy of exciting new head chef Ruth Hansom. At the age of just 25, Hansom has already been on a lot of people’s radars for a while thanks to an impressive few years culminating in reaching the Great British Menu final. However, on the evidence of our visit, it could be her food here at the Princess of Shoreditch that cements her as one of the finest young chefs in London.

An array of dainty snacks arrive first looking almost too good to pop in our mouths; a crispy tube of light chicken liver parfait came dotted with a sour cherry gel, while a cylinder of goats cheese was wrapped in a thin layer of heritage beetroot and balanced with a gentle honey sweetness. Triumphant starters included a gloriously tender black pudding and walnut crumb-topped veal sweetbread sat in a smudge of spiced carrot puree, offset by the gentle bitterness of pickled plum slices. Seeing offal done this well almost makes you wonder why ever bother with the expensive cuts?

A main of mallard was perhaps our highlight though; cooked to utter perfection, the depth of gamey flavour in the meat was complemented wonderfully by the sweetness of the caramelised Roscoff onion and lifted further by a prize sauce. There was no let-up on desserts either, despite the approaching 10 pm curfew (which, it must be said, was calmly negotiated by the fantastic staff) - an impressively risen greengage and almond soufflé proving to be a real showstopper.

Drinks-wise the cocktail list makes for intriguing reading, with a number of unusual house combinations on offer; we particularly loved the delicately balanced Scotch Violet which had just the right amount of violet liqueur to stand up against the peatiness of the Laphroig. Meanwhile, a fantastic and not overly long wine list sensibly avoids the current obsession with going all-natural and provided lovely options to complement every dish.

What adds to the sheer delight of this new chapter for The Princess of Shoreditch, on top of Hansom’s food mastery and the awesome array of drinks, is its complete unpretentiousness; all the elements of a traditional pub are still at play here but have been elevated to dizzying heights. You’ll be hard pushed to find pub food both as special and reasonably priced as this elsewhere in London.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
British, Gastropub
Cool, Cosy, Lively, Luxury, Romantic, Traditional
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About The Princess of Shoreditch

Just a short amble from Old Street station, The Princess of Shoreditch is an 18th-century boozer that’s all about serving great quality food and drink, while maintaining a traditional feel. Based over two floors, the downstairs area offers a more relaxed ambience where East London locals can pop in for a drink or two, and enjoy the odd bar snack; while the upstairs dining room is more of formal vibe offering high-level restaurant quality food.

Illuminated in the evening by the glow of various lanterns, the pub has an appealing facade which is bound to lure plenty of passers by inside. The open plan ground floor space has plenty of tables  and a well-stocked bar at one end, and is linked to the second floor via a discreet spiral staircase in the corner. Once upstairs, the décor is slightly grander yet the space still has a bright an airy feel thanks to the eggshell colour scheme and a number of oversized bulbs hanging from above.

When it comes to food, the menu has been designed by head chef Ruth Hansom, who previously worked in kitchens including The Ritz, and the now closed Pomona’s in Notting Hill. Downstairs’ bar snacks menu includes tempting treats such as truffle popcorn and chicken date and peanut terrine, and can accompanied by a cocktail from the appealing list.

The dining room’s menu makes for more serious reading; dishes on offer include a venison haunch tartare, with mustard seed, fennel, and nasturtium for starters, and main courses such as hake served alongside pickled grapes and confit artichoke. Meanwhile desserts range from a fig leaf and Earl Grey trifle, to a set garden ginger custard with gooseberry, rhubarb and sorrel. This all comes accompanied by a varied wine list covering a number of different regions, as well as a selection of other alcoholic and soft drinks.


Who is the head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch.

Ruth Hansom.

Helpful? 0

Are there vegetarian options at The Princess of Shoreditch?


Helpful? 0

Is The Princess of Shoreditch a pub?

Yes, but it is split into an upstairs dining room and downstairs bar.

Helpful? 0


76-78 Paul Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4NE

020 7729 9270


Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:00
Fri 12:00-22:00
Sat 12:00-22:00
Sun 12:00-21:00


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8 Reviews 

Lloyd S

31 August 2021  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Fabulous Tasting Menu

Having seen Ruth on Great British Menu we were delighted to hear the news that she was to become head chef of the fine dining restaurant upstairs at the Princess of Shoreditch in east london. This would also be a great location for us to be able to visit as it’s on Paul Street and only a ten minute walk from Liverpool Street station. Unfortunately due to the current situation we were unable to get here any sooner than on saturday. But I’m delighted to say it was worth the wait.


Now to the day itself which started as I said arriving into London on the train and taking the leisurely walk along paul street until we came to the pub. We entered to receive a nice welcome from Josh before taking a seat at the bar to enjoy some pre lunch drinks and snacks. These included a Gin & Elderflower Fizz , the Queen’s Negroni , Pork Scratching’s with Apple Sauce & Home Smoked Nuts. It was nice chatting to Josh who is the general manager of the group that owns four pubs as he gave us a good insight to how the Princess of Shoreditch is different to the other three.


Now it was time to head up the spiral staircase to the dining room on the first floor. You could see straight how they’ve put in a lot of work to create a lovely dining area where all the tables are nicely spaced out. We took our seats before being greeted by restaurant manager Hayley who it was excellent and a delight to talk to throughout our lunch. There are only two menu choices to choose from which are the short five course or long eight course Tasting Menu with the option of an additional Cheese Course and yes we opted for the eight course. We then chose a bottle of the 2017 Mirabeau Rose from the Cotes de Provence that paired perfectly with a majority of the dishes.


Our first course was a couple of fabulous little Snacks. A Mackerel , yorkshire parkin & gooseberry along with a Chicken Liver , yoghurt , pistachio & raisin. This was followed by a selection of bread , crackers and two types of butter marmite & tomato.


Now we moved to the second course British Corn which was a Charcoal and hazelnut praline with pickled mushrooms & nectarine. An interesting combination that worked perfectly and definitely one of the highlights of the day. We followed this with a delightful refreshing Red Mullet Ceviche with isle of wight tomato , yorkshire fettle , olive & fennel.


Our next course was the Cheese and Onion a Berkswell & Truffle Agnolotti with spring onion , kohlrabi & bacon foam which a fabulous rich and creamy combination. This was followed by the main event the Salt Aged Duck with artichoke , chicory , cherry , potato and a heavenly duck leg terrine and probably my dish of the day.


We then opted to have the additional Cheese Course to share which featured a Lyburn Gold , Kentish Blue , Bath Soft along with a malt loaf , carrot & fennel chutney & dried grapes. Our palate was then refreshed with a Gin & Tonic with elderflower , cucumber & dill.


Now it was time to finish with a fabulous dessert English Strawberry with goat’s curd , sparkling wine & basil. We ended our lunch with Petit Fours of cashew & miso choux bun as well as hand tempered chocolate with passionfruit. These were brought to us along with a little surprise by Ruth herself which gave us the chance to have a quick chat and personally thank her a for a fantastic lunch.


This brought to an end a fantastic lunch and one that I would highly recommend. If you didn’t fancy having a tasting menu then I would certainly recommend looking at the bar menu downstairs which also looked very appetising and by the sound of it a Sunday roast seems to be a good idea as well. This is something we’ll probably try on our next visit which I’m sure won’t be that far away.


Thank You Ruth and all the team for a fantastic lunch and look forward to seeing you all again soon

Kim W

17 October 2012  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
Great food, great service and good value for money. Will definitely visit again

Jamie F

15 May 2011  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
What a lovely place! Visited with friends from USA and they commented that the service was the best they've experienced in London! Food was also very good! The quality of the produce really came through with little mucking about from the chef! My starter of asparagus with breaded poached egg and fennel puree was sublime and main of sea bass on gazpacho really delicious. One of my American friends really wanted the fish and chips from the downstairs pub menu and that wasn't a problem for them at all – it looked amazing and apparently tasted so as well. Desserts were classics – creme brulee, sticky toffee pudding (wow!), chocolate fondant and all superb. Wine list touched pretty much all bases and we were very happy with the quality we got. The pub downstairs was extremely busy and the dining room full all night. The atmosphere was buzzy but fairly relaxed, helped by the great selection of music – jazz from the early 1900's I think. Pub and dining room both look lovely and the ladies were nice too although you have to negotiate the spiral staircase to the pub to get there…

Laura I

30 August 2010  
Food & Drink 4
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4
Visited with a companion recently with completely the wrong idea of what this place is! For some reason I had it in my head it was going to be very plush when in fact it's a thoroughly decent (almost down-to-earth) gastropub with very good food and possibly the best service I've experienced in a pub! In fact, the service we received puts many fine dining restaurants to shame! Good all round wine list, well priced but possibly a bit heavy on the French country wine? I know it goes very well with rustic cooking so maybe it's me being fussy! Don't let this detract from a very good experience though! A very slick operation and one that I am sure will be there for some time!


21 August 2010  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
I ate with two friends in the dining room after reading the reviews below and those from Time Out. We all had a lovely evening and The Princess is now very much on our ‘places to visit again list’. The dining room is a well decorated and cosy room with very interesting 'Princess's of old' artwork. The tables and chairs are comfortable with plenty of space for glassware and side plates. The feel of the place was very much ‘polished rustic’. We went on a Tuesday evening and it was full. The pub downstairs was jam packed when we arrived and it had a very bustly atmosphere. Not sure if I'd enjoy eating in that environment but plenty of people were… Up in the dining room the service was warm, friendly and very efficient. The style was quite relaxed but we never wanted for anything the whole evening. The food was every bit as good as the reviews say. We were all very pleased with our choices and there wasn't a duff dish among our choices although I suspect this is the reason why the menu is the length it is – 6 starters, 7 mains and 5 desserts. Good, reasonably priced, wine list and very impressed with their selection of whiskies and brandies. Would definitely recommend.

Stacy H

05 July 2010  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Had a lovely evening here recently with a group of four old school friends. We had a nice bottle of Picpoul de Pinet (about £23 if my memory serves me correctly) in the downstairs bar before heading up the dreaded spiral staircase for dinner! The food and service were both second to none and all of us left feeling very satisfied indeed. The decor is very nice and the atmosphere bustling downstairs and a bit more relaxed upstairs. They seem to have removed the table clothes (as viewed in some pictures) and now have old rustic tables instead but the room was charming nonetheless and felt very cosy. Our waitress was charming and helpful and gave good recommendations for both food and wine. Highlights were the ham hock and pea shoot salad, rabbit terrine and carpaccio with horseradish mousse for starters. All very good indeed! For mains the scallops were sensational! Plump and perfectly cooked with just the right amount of caramelisation and served with a pea purree, pea shoots and broad beens. I was very impressed indeed! To finish off the desserts were OMG good! All in all, a very enjoyable evening and five new fans!

Emyr T

06 May 2010  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
The Princess has established itself as a top dining experience in Shoreditch, combining a gastropub, serving classic pub dishes, in the downstairs bar area, with more of a fine dining experience in the upstairs dining room. Book ahead for the fine dining, or turn up early for the walk in downstairs. The Princess has a lengthy wine list, with many by the glass and carafe options.

Daniel E

25 February 2010  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
This is a nice place on the edge of Shoreditch. Serve was very good and the steak I had was done to perfection. Go for dinner, upstairs for fancy and downstairs for more chilled. Then go onto the Hoxton hotel for drinks, they serve till very late!
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