The Eagle Farringdon
The Eagle is the pub that other pubs had on their bedroom walls growing up. This was the UK’s VERY FIRST gastropub (a trend we’re tipping to take off any day now), and it’s still setting the bar insanely high with a half classic pub, half bistro cafe vibe, doing a fine line in food, drink and all-round ambience. The adventurous menu, always scrawled in chalk above the kitchen, does quality European dishes that hit the belly like soul food, and the iconic steak sandwich has become a celebrity in its own right with over 50k followers on Insta*. But it’s not just about the cuisine - it’s the buttermilk walls, the panoramic windows, the solid ash floor and mismatched furniture; the eclectic mix of locals and workers knowing they’re in exactly the right place to ride high on the nice stuff in life. *Not factual.
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If tradition's what you want, tradition's what you'll get at Anglesea Arms. The building dates back to 1712, and it shows; it's all wall-to-wall mahogany here. Apparently Charles Dickens used to be their neighbour. That's how old it is. The food is posh pub fare, and is definitely worth a dipping into. Ham hock terrine and whole sea bass are great, but If you're feeling audacious, get the 28 day-aged rib eye. Come Sunday, there are three types of roasts - a pub after our own hearts.
The Royal Albert
This is the local to end all locals. Good food, frothy beers, fairy lights set against a Victorian interior - what more could you want? A billiards table? 'Cause they have that, too. The beers are sourced from local breweries and change frequently. The menu is seasonal and always delicious - you'll find your standard pub fare with a twist, like pork and leek sausages with cider and onion gravy. One mainstay is their sticky toffee pudding, which we'll be going back for.
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.
The Queens Arms
You’ll find this cosy pub at the end of a delightful, cobbled mews in South Kensington. Expect to feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the West End and to fill your belly with beer and food to your heart’s content. The taps here aim to showcase all sorts, from small brewers to international beers and everything in between. Food offerings at The Queens Arms take the form of traditional British pub grub. You can tuck into the likes of sustainably caught hake; steak, pancetta and porter ale pies; fish and chips and, of course, a big ol’ Sunday roast. There’s a “how to distill your own spirits” diagram up in the bar so be sure to bring your notebook.