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Review of London Pub Grub

My husband & I just returned from a fantastic trip to London & Paris and so I wanted to post about the really great food that we ate in London, pretty much all at various pubs. In fact, we always ordered one meal & split it and there was plenty for both of us so we saved some money as well. Here are the pubs we visited while in London -

Princess Louise - This is a beautiful Victorian style pub on High Holborn near Holborn Tube. We stopped here our first day since we couldn't check into our apartment for a couple of hours. We chatted it up with Mimi who was so friendly & helpful. She recommended an ale for my husband and a flavored cider for me so we were both happy. Sorry I don't remember the brands. For a late lunch we went upstairs to the restaurant area & split an order of bangers & mash served with peas, which was delicious & filling. It was a really nice start to our London adventure.

The Swan - near Boswell St where our apartment was, about a block and a half away so very convenient. We went there for supper one evening. They didn't have cider so I had an ale and got a funny look when I asked for a couple of slices of lime for it but our waiter brought them & my ale was very good once modified. (Husband had his plain since real men don't fruit their beer LOL) For our supper we chose the steak & ale pie, served with mashed potatoes & peas. It was a delicious choice.

The Queens Larder is right next to the Swan. We didn't eat there but had ales & cider one evening. Like most of the pubs we went to, there were lots of people there, especially younger folks. Seems they like their pub time after work!

The Lamb - again near our apartment. Nice pub where we had an excellent meal of fish & chips with peas (what's up with peas for every meal? Must be a London pub thing LOL)

The Ship - near Holborn Tube. We liked this pub a lot. It was hidden away & we ran into a friendly fellow who was from the countryside & was taking his Mum out to London to celebrate her birthday with the whole family. Fun chatting it up with them. For dinner we went upstairs to the dining area and had duck confit, which was quite delicious.

The Ordinance - near Abbey Road. It was Sunday afternoon after we took the London Walks Beatles tour and our guide recommended this pub. We had Sunday Roast (we chose pork), mashed potatoes, peas (again) and Yorkshire Pudding. Again we split this meal and we both had plenty to eat.

St Stevens Pub - near Parliament & Big Ben. Our last night in London & we had fish & chips there. Not as good as The Lamb but good.

On our day trip with London Walks to Bath, we ate at The Crystal Palace pub where we shared a ham & cheese sandwich with chips. We sat in the garden area which was beautiful & enjoyed the sunshine, ales and our lunch.

Not a pub, but we had lunch in Borough Market one day. There were so many choices & they all looked delicious but we decided on pasties, one sausage and one chicken, along with an ale and sparkling wine.

Another food highlight of our trip was the Harrod's Food Hall. It was simply amazing! We bought some chocolates there which were very very good and also a Scottish Egg and a small chicken sandwich and some potato chips. We ate these in the garden area of Victoria & Albert Museum along with a couple of ales.

We loved London. It was very easy to eat there because all you need to do is find a pub & you're all set for lunch or dinner. We found that portions are pretty generous and no one was offended if we wanted to split our lunch or dinner (unlike Paris but that's another food post).

Posted by
14 posts

We, too, enjoyed good food in Pubs; we, too, often shared (but we are in our 60's, not big eaters).

LONDON:
The Jugged Hare -- (Victoria area) we had the Jugged Hare House Pie - hare with carrots, celery, onions, cooked in port & red current jelly.
Black Friar Pub -- (near St Paul's) - we just had sausages & mash, but the decor was wonderful in this historical pub.
The Queens Arms (Victoria area) - delicious duck ragu with papardelli, and excellent house-made lemonade, and delicious Banofee Pie for dessert (crust on bottom, bananas, cream, chocolate shavings). Youthful place but friendly to oldsters.
BATH:
In Bath, we too went to the Crystal Palace pub, where I enjoyed Wild Mushroom Ravioli with spinach & toasted almond butter sauce.
MORETON-IN-MARSH:
In Moreton-in-Marsh, we went to the Black Bear pub and I had parsnip & leek bake (my husband had the steak & ale pie).

Posted by
4806 posts

FYI: Peas are traditional in England because they were a cool weather crop with a short-to-maturity growth, and they dried well. Perfect nutrition for the area before freezing. My observation was that it wasn't just a Pub or tourist thing...go into a grocery store, the frozen section seems to be half peas.

Posted by
5239 posts

Yep, peas are a traditional part of English meals and on your next visit remember the proper term for potato chips, crisps.

Chips are fries, i.e. Fish and Chips. Pub grub is a great way to eat out in London. Usually my main stay when I'm in town. The concept of a doggie bag or splitting a meal isn't a European custom, it's an American custom so not surprisingly you will find resistance to the idea. Same with having an orange, lemon or lime slice with a cider or beer. Different country. Different customs. Refrigeration wasn't big in pubs for years so beer was often served warm. Still recall my first pint of Guinness in 1972. The Nectar of the Gods, was warm and smooth. Still prefer it that way. Did you notice that bartenders in London don't automatically expect a tip? Another difference, one I appreciate.

Posted by
5817 posts

Never really thought about the british taste for peas before!
I think the main reason they are so commonly served in pubs etc is that they are quick and easy to cook and serve with no washing or peeling. They are also cheap, available all year round and generally popular. Not much to dislike in a pea.
As has been said traditionally they were dried or tinned. I personally have a soft spot for tinned "marrowfat peas" . Tinned with both salt and sugar and dyed bright green! So healthy!

One minor correction, british beer has never been served "warm" it just wasn't served cold ie chilled. Traditional beers still aren't often chilled but lager is although it still isn't served as cold as beer in the US. What is it with the frozen glasses?! The drink is that cold you can't actually taste it.

Posted by
10244 posts

English pubs are the best, for beer afficionados.
I found that out 2 weeks ago. When you're not as young as you used to be, and you're putting in 8 miles a day on foot, English pubs in London are easy to find and offer a healthful chance to rehydrate.