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Jul 16, 2011 08:22 PM

Gastropub in Mayfair?

I will be in London for a wedding in July and will have one night free. I will be staying in Mayfair and my friends all say I should go to a Gastropub for dinner. I'm not even sure what that is but can anyone recommend one for me. Thanks in advance.

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  1. London is very easy to get around so don't confine your search to the Mayfair area. Gastropubs are really just restaurants that often have a bar scene, too, but not always. They serve (hopefully) delicious, modern British cuisine. Most websites for them will have menus, so you can look and see the sort of choices there are. Some names are the Bull and Last, Anchor & Hope (not far at all from Mayfair), Hereford Road. I'm sure others will send more names. You might also consider Great Queen Street (strangely located on the street of the same name). It's a good restaurant serving that sort of food - near Covent Garden.

    Hereford Road
    3 Hereford Road, London W2 4AB, GB

    10 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      I have got to disagree with the definition. A "Gastropub" is a pub that sells good food, not a restaurant with a bar. OK some have gone so far they are no longer really true pubs, but all should still sell draught beer in pints. If it doesn't it is a restaurant. Hereford Road has never been a pub it is a proper restaurant. The Anchor & Hope is not too far and a good bet - but not Sunday's. The "Only Running Footman" off Berkley Square sometimes gets a mention, but I never thought it was a good pub let alone a great place to eat. If you want the Gastropub type of food and want to try something new and well thought of try St John Hotel in Soho, a short stroll from Mayfair.

      1. re: PhilD

        I don't want to seem picky, Phil, but I don't like your definition either. Some 'gastropubs' serve terrible food so that's not a great way to classify them either. :-)

        1. re: zuriga1

          The Guinea Grill on Bruton Place just off Berkeley Square in Mayfair does some mighty fine pies and is olde worlde English, which you might find fun, as is the Grenadier in a mews just off Knightsbridge - Madonna used to frequent it in her tweed wearing period, and then there's always the Punchbowl in Mayfair run by her ex.

          The best though, as Zuriga suggested, are the Bull and Last, Anchor and Hope and Great Queen St - to that I would add the Harwood Arms, the Eagle in Farringdon (the one that arguably started it all) and the Canton Arms in Stockwell (they do foie gras toasties! which kinda typifies the whole gastropub movement - trad pub food tarted up, so we can feel we're being authentic, no airs and graces, but the meat in our bagers and mash is wild venison and Gloucester Old Spot...but we love it, especially posh Scotch Eggs and scratchings!)

          1. re: helen b

            Helen - the Grenadier is a fine pub for a beer (although often rammed with tourists) but its food is pretty ordinary - a typical pub with food.

            1. re: PhilD

              Phil, ah, but their 'sausage on a stick' is truly the Ronseal of bar snacks! The restaurant at the back was always a hit with visitors...I think it does the officers' mess thing rather well. Or maybe that's because beforehand I tend to have had one or two of their wonderful Bloody Marys ;)

            2. re: helen b

              Coach and Horses in Farringdon (near the Eagle) is also excellent.

            3. re: zuriga1

              Zuriga1 - Again I disagree, if the food isn't great it isn't a Gastropub, it is simply a pub with food, and there are lots of those. They may want to call themselves a Gastropub but that doesn't mean they really are one, that comes from the judgement of the punters.

              1. re: PhilD

                I don't mind you disagreeing. The term has become something it probably wasn't in the beginning of that movement or change of fare to something more excellent. We probably need a rating system with judges to authenticate the real stars.

                1. re: zuriga1

                  I have to agree with Phil. The gastropub thing started with The Eagle, which made its mark by serving food that was several cuts above the usual "pub fare" in the confines of a bare-bones pub. Since then, as already commented, some places have become more restaurant than pub, and some restaurants have started serving "gastropub" type fare. I also agree with Phil, that they have to serve ale in addition to anything else.

                  1. re: Joan Kureczka

                    OK - I stand corrected. It's probably that where I live, what's called a gastropub is a bit different than in London proper.

        2. How about the Punchbowl ? I know Guy Richie is sort of a toss, but it's a nice enough spot and I imagine the food is ok. Last time I went I think there was a sort of chav wedding upstairs with little monster children running around the pub in mini tuxedos and Carphone Warehouse-esque haircuts (think mullets combined with mohawks). Horrific, but that certainly couldn't be the usual clientele.

          1. Do try to take these recommendations on board and don't 'wing it', it's not worth the risk. A lot of pubs, particularly in the West End may have fairly enticing menus but are part of a chain and their cooking consists of heating up pre-delivered food in the microwave.

            Whilst not strictly a gastropub, the Newman Arms up in Fitzrovia has excellent pies and serves a good pint.

            And as Zuriga pointed out, Great Queen Street is about a 10 minute walk from Mayfair so perhaps try that.

            6 Replies
            1. re: pj26

              Great Queen Street was my husband's favorite restaurant on our last London visit.
              We'll be returning to London in September, and it's at the top of our list.

              1. re: pj26

                Newman pies are indeed rather fine. But not sure how it would be for a solitary female diner...I think Great Queen St is probably your best option - gastropub food but restaurant atmosphere so you'll feel comfortable (not that the Newman is rowdy or anything but it is quite pubby) and you can always Tube it from Green Park to Holborn OR if you can't face the schlep then I'd do Guinea Grill.

                1. re: pj26

                  Which Mayfair is 10 minutes away from Great Queen Street? The furthest Mayfair could extend to is Bond Street and you're still 25 minutes minimum unless you're 8 feet tall and take life in major stride!

                  1. re: brokentelephone

                    It's really not that far, cross over Regent St, through Soho and Covent Garden and you are pretty much there. Ok, maybe 15 minutes! People really don't realise how small London is and the Tube map is very misleading.

                    1. re: pj26

                      It really isn't a 15 minute walk from Bond St to Great Queen Street!

                      The Duke of Wellington on Crawford St is also an option - more Marylebone than Mayfair but not far at all.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        ok,ok for you slow walkers, get on the tube it's only three stops!