Do you support the grow local theory? You know, less food miles, supporting community producers. I hope my local pub does, as lately I’ve been going with the ‘eat out local’ approach instead.
The Britannia was taken over about a year ago and changed from a dodgy old men’s pub, inhabited by squatters and terrorised by squirrels, to gasto-bistro-bugabooland. Don’t let the family-friendly policy put you off though – it’s fairly cavernous and there’s room for kids to tear about without unduly bothering anyone. Even me, with a famously low patience threshold.
It’s best to check the website to see what’s on offer day to day and visit during the week if you can as it’s chock-a-block at the weekends. When the new menu came out last week, we picked a selection of starters instead of mains:
:: Winter Roasted Vegetables with Poached Egg ::
Only comment is that the squash could have been cooked slightly longer. Coming from a culture that boils veg into submission, this could be a personal preference.
:: Venison Terrine ::
Dense, meaty, unctuous.
:: Chicken Tortellini in chicken broth with pearl barley ::
My personal highlight of the array of starters and I’ve since ordered it as a main. The tortellini are heavy little parcels, herby and delicious.
:: Butternut Squash and Cashel Blue tart ::
Buttery pastry and my favourite Irish blue cheese. Ok, I have no idea how many Irish blues there might be. This one is good, very good.
Although it’s definitely getting better, the service is the only reason that the Britannia loses a star. They seem to juggle about with the numbers of staff, particularly at the weekends but they’re generally pretty affable. They fire up the grill at the weekend and held a series of BFI screenings during the summer. All in all – it’s everything you could want in a local.
The Britannia Pub, 360 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7BT. 020 8533 0040