Posh Pub Crawl in Central London

Nov 03, 11 Posh Pub Crawl in Central London

Posted by in Food and Wine, 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....

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Good grub at the Fox and Anchor (& the wines are pretty good, too)

How can you dislike a wine list that divides it’s wines into amusing descriptions like these? I came across that saucily titled winelist at the Fox and Anchor, a pub in Smithfields that wants to be more then a boozer but less then one of those chi-chi gastropubs that seem to have taken over the capitol. As Scott Malugh, general manager, explained to me, he wants to the Fox to go back to it’s roots as a place where you can go and relax with a pint. Where, cliched as it may be, “everyone knows your name” But Scott not only wants to make his pub friendly and personable, he also wants to offer patrons, both regulars and passersby, good British food and not charge an arm and a leg for the pleasure of dining on local produce. The pub is divided in two with the front half having a traditional bar on one side and tables lining the wall opposite. It’s only when you pass by all that into the second room that it you walk into a small dining room surrounded by cozy dining “snugs”. Semi private small rooms that seat from 2 – 4 people, perfect if you want to have your own little party while still being able to look out the doorway and see all the action. While I was waiting for my dining companion, Ms Fundamentals to arrive, Scott suggested I try one of their real ales. The Fox has an extensive list of real ales both on tap and in bottle, mostly from the UK but I did spy Sam Adams from the good ol’ US of A on there. I wanted something different so asked Scott to surprise me. Chalky’s Bark, bottled ale from Sharp’s was duly poured. An ale with real ginger added for a bit of a kick. Not exactly your traditional English ale but it was tasty and I could certainly get used to drinking it. Not too heavy either, I sometimes find...

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