Monday, 1 October 2012

The Crown Tavern on Clerkenwell Green

Away from the hustle and bustle of its main roads, Clerkenwell is home to a number of quiet, pretty squares: perfect for a drink in the sunshine or a bit of al fresco dining. The Crown Tavern is a case in point: situated on leafy Clerkenwell Green, this popular gastropub has plenty of outdoor tables - a great place to grab a bite to eat on a sunny autumn's day.

The menu changes with the seasons, and boasts a variety of more interesting options (asparagus, mushroom, pea and creme fraiche tart; cous cous and halloumi with a bean and avocado salad) alongside gastropub mainstays such as steak and chips, sausage and mash, and chicken and bacon club sandwiches. My boyfriend has eaten here a few times, and assures me that everything on the menu is excellent. However, on this occassion we were feeling pretty unadventurous and both opted for the same thing: beer-battered haddock with skin-on chips.

We were quickly served with two very good-looking plates of fish and chips. Succulent haddock fillets, encased in a delicious golden batter, were balanced atop a pile of excellent chips: piping hot, these were crisp on the outside, with perfectly soft, fluffy interiors. The mushy peas were also superb, enlivened with the addition of finely diced cooked onion (my boyfriend hates onion, so I got two portions!), while the tartar sauce was replete with chunks of gherkin and capers.

We were looking after my parents' dog for the afternoon, and the waiter obligingly brought him a dish of water with our meal. While most people were there for drinks with groups of friends, the relaxed atmosphere makes the Crown Tavern an equally good spot for families and dog-owners.

Archie the dog

And I couldn't resist including this last photo, taken later in the same day as we walked along the Thames. It was four in the afternoon and extremely sunny, but somehow everything looks as though it's bathed in moonlight.

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