London gastropubs - reviews and opinions
As there are so many questions about gastropubs in London, I thought I'd start a thread. :-)
Anyway, I went to the Coach and Horses in Farringdon at the weekend. I was intrigued to go, because it was my local years ago when I was a student at the London College of Printing, and it was pretty grotty. It was "gastrofied" a few years ago now, and is apparently the unofficial canteen of Guardian journalists (who've decamped from The Eagle - how fickle!).
Anyway, it was pretty quiet, being a rainy Saturday night in August, but we enjoyed the food. There were lots of things I wanted to try - always a good sign. After much deliberation I plumped for mussels cooked in garlic, sherry and cream which were sweet and delicious, with not a touch of grit in sight. The accompanying chips were soft on the inside, crispy on the inside and a green salad was appropriately dressed and simple. My friend really liked her salmon fishcakes. I'm not really a pudding person, but I shared an apple tart with my sweet-toothed friend (I only got a couple of mouthfuls!) and it was a good version of an old favourite. The wine list has a "special offers and bin ends" section, from which we had a good value, soft French red.
All in all, a pretty decent meal, and probably better that The Eagle, which is rather resting on its laurels these days. Pretty fairly priced too. I'd go back.
I wouldn't count the Eagle down or out. When we were there in May, 2 of 3 of us had one of the best meals ever -- which was also better than the meal we'd had the day before at the Anchor & Hope.
The Coach and Horses looked more restauranty than pubbish the one time we went by soon after it became a gastropub. Is that the case? (I've got no issue with that but DH does),
Down here in the far south-west, I have just discovered the Prince of Wales, in Upper Richmond Road, just east of Putney High Street. Very English, with a blackboard, not of specials but of the suppliers of their meat, fish and veg. The bread - sourdough and soda - was exceptional, and when I commented to one of hte chef proprieotrs that when I make white bread it turns out a bit cakey, he not only spent five minutes with me discussing why, but later brought out a bowl of rising dough for me to look at and prod (my fingers were fairly clean, I promise). They take a huge pride in their food, and so they should. Crab on sourdough toast had lots of brown as well as white meat and was flavoured with tarragon. Breast of lamb with roast sweetbreads, new potatoes and minty peas was rich. The chips were good. Only the pork and prune pate disappointed,, being a bit dry. No room for pudding, but I fancied the apple and blackcurrant jelly. A very nnice bottle of Gaillac for £16, though most of the list is over £20.