Posh Pub Crawl in Central London
I went on a posh pub crawl not long ago as part of the London Restaurant Festival week. 5 pubs owned by the EMT Group, starting at The Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, off to the Hat and Tun in Farringdon, followed by The White Swan, The Botanist for dessert and The Cadogan Arms for a night cap.
Chiswell St. Dining Rooms in Barbican had a tasty selection of canapes, including mini beef wellingtons, foie gras ballotine and seared Isle of Man scallops which were matched with a few fruity cocktails. Chiswell St. specializes in British classics devised by Head Chef Richard O’Connell formerly of The Groucho Club.
Then it was off to the people carrier we had for the night to the Hat and Tun in Farringdon for our first course of Hertfordshire snail smoked bacon pie. Meaty and smoky but with a light and flaky crust, the pie was paired with the white Burgundy 08 Montagny, 1er Cru le Vieux Chateau by J M Boillot and a red Burgundy, a 08 Savigny les Beaune, 1er Cru Fourneaux by Jean J Girard. It was nice to see reasonably priced Burgundies on a pub wine list and not only that, they were also quite good quality.
The White Swan on Fetter Lane served Cornish line-caught turbot which was, as their site states, hand-selected that morning at Billingsgate Market, and was accompanied by Dorset crab beignets, braised young turnip tops, salsify, and bisque butter sauce.Hearty and rich, the dish was accompanied by a South African semillon which I was not a big fan of, luckily, I had brought along an unfinished bottle of the white Burgundy (from the Hat and Tun) which was a much better match to the fish.
Hopping onto the van, we speed across town to The Botanist on Sloane Square for dessert canapes. More a trendy nightspot than a trad pub, I suppose it’s to be expected on Sloane Square. A plethora of yummy desserts awaited us along with some sparkling wine. The standouts included fig pudding with Port roasted figs and caramel custard, and the chocolate and pecan brownies.
As we made our way to the last stop, I was flagging but I made it to the Cadogan Arms for a night cap of armagnac and some late night music. At this point it gets a bit hazy but apparently rounds of pool were played and I even played against one of the chefs of the ‘Arms. No word on who actually won the game
They were definitely posh pubs and the food and drink could certainly qualify as such. A good night out. EMT Group put on this event as part of London Restaurant Festival but it could become an ongoing event. If it does, be sure you don’t miss the bus!