Gastro-pubs have been on the up in recent years in London. Whilst the standard of food at these pubs is higher than at your run-of-the-mill drinking holes (currently the trend being traditional British food) so are the prices. The menus at the following gastro-pubs have some of the tastiest dishes.
The Hackney Pearl
11 Prince Edward Road, London E9 5LX
+44 208 510 3605 www.thehackneypearl.com
The unlikely neighborhood of Hackney Wick is where this little pub/café is located. Bookshelves line one corner of the room, a blackboard with the day’s menu is on the opposite side. Food is freshly prepared and seasonal, the creamy cauliflower and fennel soup and the slow cooked shoulder of lamb being perfect winter grub.
As well as a good selection of wines which can be taken out there is an impressive array of herbal teas such as sage and jasmine. Cake lovers will be delighted with their upside down pear and ginger cake drizzled in caramel. The Hackney Pearl is a cosy, friendly East End gem.
94 Middlesex Street, London E1 7DA
+44 207 377 6860 www.thepipelinebar.co.uk
Billed as ‘the happiest place in London’ the meals here certainly do leave one feeling satisfied. While many come here for a post-work drink and a game of pool, The Pipeline is a destination restaurant in its own right.
The Swedish menu has traditional Scandinavian fare such as meatballs, rye bread with dill mayonnaise and caviar, and veal burgers with lingonberry jam. The homemade chocolate and cinnamon truffles are particularly special.
25 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8TR
+44 207 277 1806
Camberwell may be another area not usually associated with hip bars or restaurants, but Funky Munky is a cool, unpretentious little pub serving up tasty cheap food. Halloumi, mushroom and pepper tortillas and onion and feta tarts are on the menu, staff are chatty and drinks are well priced. Worth popping in if you’re in the area.
The Bedford and Strand
1 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HG
+44 207 836 3033 www.bedford-strand.com
This gastro-pub opts for a mixture of traditional English grub and French cuisine. Duck terrine and Bayonne ham, potted crab, a zesty salad with scallops, capers and sliced apple, and a selection of hearty pies are some of the menu offerings. The prune d’Armagnac ice cream is by far the most interesting dessert.
Food is wholesome here but not cheap, a meal for two with wine comes to around £70.
16 Balham Hill, London SW12 9EB
+44 208 675 8613 www.theavalonlondon.com
Gastro-pubs are 10 a penny in Clapham, thanks to the affordable house prices attracting young Londoners to the area. The Avalon stands out from the rest with its imposing, elegant dining room complete with modern chandeliers.
Food is of a high standard. The menu offers ambitious courses such as pigeon breast and trout with seaweed tapenade. The chicken cooked in truffle oil, crab and squid ink linguine and the fish pie with succulent prawns and thick chunks of salmon are especially good.
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