On first impressions, The Driver seems like just your standard pub - albeit a large, 4-tiered one - doing the usual gastropub thing. The decor is kinda boutiquey/chic and the lighting is the appropriate dimness we enjoy. But we've not had food as good as this at a pub for quite some time. It was delicious, we can tell you. The menu is fairly straight forward: pub gastro classics but done exceedingly well. We'd recommend the duck for starters, with pea-shoot and mango offering a rare combo of flavours. For mains, both the lamb and the fishcake hit the spot. And the pecan pie dessert was one of the best treats we've ever come across. Basically, you can't really go wrong. There's a cocktail bar on the first floor, then a couple of function rooms, until you finally reach the intimate surrounds of the rooftop. Here, if you can manage to see above the high wall, you'll see the delights of North London. But really, it's all about the food at this place.
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A prominent, red-bricked gastropub well worth coming to Tooting Bec for. Decked out with a chilled bar area, a "secret" garden and a dogs-are-welcome policy, there's nothing not to love here. You'll find the bar upfront serving up some quality lagers and ales with the restaurant area behind. It's spacious, has grand Victorian windows plus an open kitchen that sets the scene. A nice mix of classic pub grub with fine dining, their menu is well crafted and does not disappoint. Menu highlights include their prawns in chilli garlic, a classic Sunday roast and, if you must indulge, try out their warm chocolate Brownie for size.
The Windsor Castle
***Permanently Closed*** With all the fairy lights, candles and rustic tables, this cosy Victorian pub is giving us the romantic feels. Perfect for a date but equally an ideal place to take your mum. As for the food, we'd say it's somewhere between standard pub grub and fine restaurant dining, so everyone's satisfied. We went for the Bavette Steak and Stuffed Butternut Squash for our mains, but the menu changes seasonally so we can't really recommend something even if we wanted to. A spacious bar and sweet beer garden makes the Windsor Castle a perfect place for a pint, too.
Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green
Like some sinful run-down country mansion, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green is one good-looking spot. The chandeliers, velvet curtains and dark corners make it feel dead gothic, and perfect for the live music, cabaret, and club nights it puts on at the weekend. It doesn't cut corners with the menu either, and flies the flag for British recipes like slow roasted lamb shoulder with parsnip puree, spiced swiss chard & marsala jus. A fine all-in-one community institution.
The Clock House
Opposite the Rye, the Clock House is a large, stylish and cosy pub and restaurant that makes a pretty perfect place to while away a few hours. The usual suspects can be found at the bar (craft beers, unique cask ales and fine wines) but we reckon the food is the selling point to this place, with plenty of experimentation going on in the kitchen. Our pick for the starter was the pulled pork and fennel seed croquettes with tarragon crème fraiche and apple - and that was followed by Catalan style sea bass fillets with Suffolk chorizo, chick peas, spinach and tomato. Combinations that seem carefully put together and tasted excellent. This place isn't too noisy either making it a safe bet for a catch up or date.