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Oct 8, 2010 06:22 AM

Fulham and Primrose Hill, weekend lunches, pleasant pubs?

I'm dragging my husband on what hopefully wont be a wild goose chase in neighborhoods we rarely frequent. Can you recommend any vegetarian friendly, reasonably priced pleasant weekend lunch spots in Fulham and Primrose Hill. Good Sunday roast in Primrose Hill might be quite useful, too.

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  1. Can't offer too much help for Fulham (aside from Harwood Arms of course) but there a few good spots in Primrose Hill. The Engineer is an upmarket gastropub - breakfast is worth checking out though I would say the lunch/dinner is a little over priced. The Lansdowne is a similar vein though slightly shabbier - their rep is for good pizzas. Not sure they match up to Franco Manca but not bad. Odettes in on the high street in PH and caters for the ladies what lunch brigade around there - a step up from the gastropubs in decor/formality. On the edge of PH is Sardo Canale - a great rustic Italian spot with a lovely outdoor seating area. If you venture into the darkness of Camden then Market on Parkway is a great spot for St Johnesque british food (though not quite as hard line) - Hope you enjoy!

    1. Also the York & Albany - Gordon's place, but don't let that put you off. You can eat in the restaurant, in the bar or in the deli. We had pizzas, which were spot on, and other bar meals like steak sandwiches, which were also pretty damn good.

      1. I've never done Sunday roast in Primrose Hill, but I understand that both the Lansdowne Pub and the Engineer do a nice one. Both are lovely for brunch/lunch, but I'm not sure if they count as "reasonably priced" (kind of depends on your definition of reasonable). You could expect £20-25 per person minimum with one drink. Perhaps a bit less at the Lansdowne if you go with their lovely £10 pizzas.

        L'Absinthe at 40 Chalcott Road, a lovely little French place. They do a fixed-price deal for around £10-12 at lunch, though not sure if the offer is good on the weekend. Also not sure how vegetarian-friendly, unless we're talking pescatrian.

        I've heard nice things about La Collina at 17 Princess Road. Northern Italian specialties. Especially nice if the weather is pleasant, as they have a nice heated garden round back.

        For full-on vegetarian/vegan, there's Manna at 4 Erskine Road, just north of Regent's Park Road in the village. They do lunch both Saturday and Sunday.

        I haven't eaten at York & Albany, but have been to Nonna's Deli next door for the pizzas, and I just want to say that it was a thoroughly awful experience, both food- and service-wise. The pizzas there cannot hold a candle to Franco Manca or even the very excellent Lansdowne version. They were excessively salty and greasy, using rubbery, poor quality mozzarella, and baked until the crust was practically incinerated. I don't think the staff running the cafe are properly trained to handle what should be very simple food. If you want pizzas, the Lansdowne is quite spectacular in this respect.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gemuse

          Wow - that's a really different experience to mine. My pizza was lovely and chewy, perfect amount of topping, and certainly not salty and greasy. I wonder if they had untrained/rubbish staff on that day? I have heard quite mixed reviews on their pizzas - some people having had really good experiences as I did, and a few who have had really bad ones. I don't think this is just down to different opinions of the same food, I reckon they must have consistency problems related to different staff being duty.

          1. re: Theresa

            Agreed, Theresa. I think it was probably mostly a staff problem. The two guys who were servicing the cafe that afternoon were both serving, bussing tables, and prepping food (without washing hands in between, I noted) and seemed to have no real system for managing any kind of flow as far as service and food prep were concerned. It took 40 minutes for our two pizzas to come, despite only a few other tables being filled. It was obvious to me that they were completely new to restaurant work and had not been trained at all. Considering it's a Ramsay venture, I was surprised. And considering what they charge for their pizzas, completely unacceptable.

        2. Be sure to stop by Lanka for their choux pastry (e.g. paris Brest or eclairs) -- but check that they were made the same day first.

          1 Reply
          1. re: limster

            Depending on whether price is an issue I've always felt the Queens on the edge of Primrose Hill does an excellent Sunday lunch. Eaten there 4/5 times and it was excellent until the most recent time when I felt they got the seasoning totally wrong.
            The Engineer is excellent but is very expensive even for a gastropub, I'm not totally sold on it being worth it.
            At the 'bottom' end the Princess of Wales on Chalcot Road has live jazz on a Sunday and when you've managed to squeeze into a corner they will do you a huge Sunday roast with brilliant classic puddings and it will feel fantastic value.