The Lamb and Trotter – Barbican, London

Although The Lamb and Trotter Pub upstairs has been open for about a month, the restaurant downstairs officially opens this coming Monday 1st October!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the pre-opening event for the restaurant last night where we met the Head Chef Danny Burns. The restaurant has a luxurious yet relaxed feel to it with a tasting table and bar and an open kitchen to see what Danny and his team are up to.

We started with a taster of all the bar snacks and, honestly, we couldn’t help but devour it all. The bread was freshly baked and still warm, the sausage rolls still warm from the oven and the beer sticks were good quality meat (not oily, not sinewy, just perfect).

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Bar Snacks Taster
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Bar Snacks Taster
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The Menu

The menu looked great and we were not really sure what to order but decided on Danny’s take on the traditional 1960s Prawn Cocktail as a starter. It was more of a deconstructed version with a smokey flavour to the super large prawns resting on grilled baby gem with an avocado puree and bloody Mary sauce on the side.

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Atlantic Prawns
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Atlantic Prawns
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Pearl Barley Risotto
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Cauliflower Cheese
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Our mains
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Whole Cornish Plaice

For the mains we decided to share the Whole Cornish Plaice, the Pearl Barley Risotto and the Cauliflower Cheese. The samphire and brown shrimps worked incredibly well with the pan fried plaice in a butter sauce. Just thinking about this makes me want to eat it all over again!

The pearl barley was something a bit different for us – we have never had it in risotto form before. The flavours worked really well with the warm hug of the chestnuts, the sage and the butternut squash, I was just not sure about the texture.

The cauliflower cheese was lovely – not over cooked and just the right amount of cheesy goodness.

For dessert we shared the Lemon Posset, which was a fabulous way to end a big meal. It was fresh and light and the blueberries gave a bit of something extra to the taste.

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Lemon Posset
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Lemon Posset

The service was fabulous and it really is a great atmosphere. One to try once it opens. Not long now!

http://www.lambandtrotter.co.uk/

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Faltering Fullback – Finsbury Park, London, UK

Hidden away on a residential street and covered in Ivy and other plants, is the Faltering Fullback Pub.

As you walk in, there are two bar areas and seating areas like any normal little pub (although there are loads of random trinkets hanging on the ceiling), but as you continue your journey through the pub you find yourself in a large open plan room full of picnic benches, a stage for a live band, a little kiosk for Thai food served by a lovely Thai family, a pool table and then beyond this is the beer garden which is like a tree house and goes up on lots of different floors. One of the Harry Potter films was apparently filmed in this beer garden (beer tree house?) – if it wasn’t, I believed it.

I love how hidden away and surprisingly large this pub is and I love that it is really well priced, there is a pool table (hard to find a pool table in a London pub because of space) and there’s decent food.

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Vegetable Spring Rolls
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Thai Chicken Red Curry
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Prawn Kwey Tiew

The food is decent if you are in the area and craving some well priced Thai food – it is a fairly simple menu and they serve all the popular Thai dishes that we are used to in the UK. From the menu, I would recommend the Kwey Tiew noodles, which are surprisingly really really good!

http://www.falteringfullback.com

The Hops & Glory – Canonbury, London

If you are looking for a Sunday Roast in Islington – The Hops and Glory serves a great one! You would never really notice this pub or know it exists as it is quite hidden away from the busy streets. It has a cosy, rustic vibe and they have their own craft beer brewery as well as their Gastropub.

We went on a late Sunday afternoon last December for a tummy warming Roast Dinner.

We shared a couple plates of sourdough bread soaked in beef dripping and gravy while we decided on what we wanted for our mains. It was actually full of flavour and a great start to the meal.

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Toasted sourdough, dripping & gravy (£3.50)
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Hampshire pork belly w/apple sauce (£16.50)

For my main I went for the pork (I will usually go for the lamb or pork when I am out for a roast) which came with some gorgeous roasted veg and some apple sauce. I did add some more gravy as well! I have had some bland roasts before and this was NOT one of them – It was all full of great natural flavours.

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Spiced Cider (A December Special – yes this is a bit of a late post)
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Rice pudding with pistachios and dates (a winter special – £5)
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Cheese Board with Berkswell, Tunworth & Brighton blue. Oatcakes & malt chutney (£7.50)

For dessert we all shared the rice pudding and a cheese board as we were very full but wanted a little something to end the meal.

Great English food, lovely pub, and fab service. I am coming back this winter for more roast dinners!

http://www.hopsandglory.co.uk/

The Stag – Hampstead, London

One sunny weekend recently we went for a walk, a very long walk, from Finsbury Park to the top of Hampstead Heath and down to Gospel Oak. Towards the end of our walk we ended up in a pub called The Stag for a late lunch/dinner.

As it was a sunny day – the large beer garden in the back was heaving with people and so we sat inside which was also buzzing with people at the bar coming in from the garden to order drinks etc. We chose a little booth and table (the only free space as it was rammed).

We shared the Scotch Egg, the Beef Carpaccio and the Beef Rib with Slaw.

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We weren’t really sure what to expect as none of us had eaten there before and we were pleasantly surprised. The food was all delicious and presented very well.

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Definitely recommend if you are in Hampstead Heath and looking for a place to eat in the area.

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http://www.thestagnw3.com/

The Harwood Arms – Fulham, London, UK

My friend from school, Caroline, (who I have known since I was about 10 years old) came to visit London for work and so we decide to go for brunch. She was recommended The Harwood Arms in Fulham by a friend of hers and so we went.

It is a quiet, bright, airy pub with a friendly vibe. Great for a catch up with friends since you are able to properly hear each other without music blaring in the background.

We wanted everything on the menu, but decided to get three starters to share and then our own main each.

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The mini wood pigeon sausages with prunes which went surprisingly well together.
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The whipped chicken liver with crispy skin which was so smooth and creamy.
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The black pudding scotch egg was lovely and the yolk was still a little runny.
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Monk fish tail with white bean broth
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Roast lamb with broccoli and goat curd
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Roast duck breast with potato galette and wild mushrooms

We then ordered a main each. I went for the monk fish, Caroline the lamb and her friend the duck. It also came with a side of the creamiest, richest mashed potatoes to share.

Everything was cooked to perfection and you could tell the food was properly cared for and looked after while it was being prepared. It was well priced and the service was great. I cannot fault anything. Try it for yourself.

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Creamy mashed potatoes

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http://www.harwoodarms.com/

Madison – St Paul’s, London, UK

Madison is an absolutely awesome roof top bar in the city that has the best view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is perfect for a post work summer sunset drink outside.

We recently went for dinner there for Kuda’s birthday. It was my first time eating there and I was intrigued to find out what the food would be like.

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Burger and chips
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Lobster roll and chips

The bar is really nice but I think the set up of the restaurant is really oddly placed in the middle of the bar with people standing around waiting to order drinks or just standing and drinking around you. I feel like maybe it should be a little more secluded as a restaurant area.

The food was really nice and it was well priced – it was nothing mind blowing – but still really nice and I could not fault any of it. I think that maybe because it was all served on individual heavy wooden chopping board it gave a bit of a posh pub grub feel to it.

Most of our group ordered the burgers which were all cooked perfectly and the patty big enough for the brioche bun so it looked great too (my pet peeve if a restaurant serves you a shrived up, dried up meat patty hidden somewhere in the massive bread bun). I ordered the lobster roll and the lobster was cooked and sauced wonderfully and then placed in a brioche roll. Their chips are perfectly cooked but I think the obvious highlight of the side dishes was the mac and cheese. It was maybe my highlight of my meal. It was intensely cheesy with a crunchy top from being baked.

Unfortunately the service was pretty awful from seating us to serving us to billing us which was surprising as the restaurant wasn’t full.

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The cutest mayonnaise jar ever.
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Lamb wrap and chips
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The stunning view. This was a Friday night on a sunny day so it was incredibly busy and there was a DJ playing music out on the roof.

The views are so stunning and I think they definitely make up for the over-priced drinks. 100% worth a visit on a sunny day!

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Still a gorgeous view as we were leaving in the lift.

http://www.madisonlondon.net/menus/

The Thomas Cubitt – Belgravia, London, UK

The Thomas Cubitt, based in between Sloane Square and Victoria Stations, is named after the famous Belgravia Architect and is one of the four Cubitt House Group’s locally run gastro pubs which are famous of their seasonal dining room menus using and their vibrant pub atmosphere.

We had heard great things and as we were working in the area we decided to try it out!

It was a Thursday evening and the pub downstairs was packed with people chatting away excitedly to friends and colleagues. We walked through and went upstairs into the dining room where we were seated at our table.

The dining room was dimly lit and cozy. The menu had an emphasis on British produce and is it ever changing based on what is in season. Our waiter was fabulous. He talked us through the menu with a sense of passion (which I personally love in a restaurant) and he even recommended a wine for us that would go well with all of our dishes.

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The seabass with parsnip crisps
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The fillet steak with a mini scotch egg and pomegranate jus

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Pigeon

I ordered the pan fried seabass, Jack had the steak and Sandra adventurously ordered the pigeon and we shared some vegetables and fries between us.

The meat and fish were perfectly cooked and they each came with their own quirkiness which made the dish exciting and definitely not your usual boring-bog-standard-pub-grub.

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We ended the meal with a cheese board to share which we were talked through by our waiter and we nibbled on this as we finished the rest of our wine.

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We had a really great experience all around – A must try if you are in the area.

http://thethomascubitt.co.uk/