Sunday, 19 May 2013

Gastropub deliciousness at The Princess of Wales, Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is one of my favourite parts of London. In addition to the beautiful houses, fashionable boutiques and expansive green spaces for which it is famed, it also boasts a number of excellent gastropubs - perfect for a hearty meal after a stroll through the park or along nearby Regent's Canal.
So when my boyfriend and I were invited to check out The Princess of Wales last week, we jumped at the chance.

The weather was terrible, so unfortunately our plans for an evening wander through the park were scrapped in favour of a soggy sprint from Chalk Farm tube station, and by the time we arrived, we were cold, wet, and in need of some cheering up. Luckily our tasty dinner (and a few drinks!) did the job.

With a lovely menu of gastropub classics - from bar snacks, small plates and salads, to hearty mains and sharing platters - The Princess of Wales has something for every occasion, whether you're in the mood for something to nibble on over drinks, or looking for a slap-up meal.

After pondering the selection of starters - which included such treats as duck or smoked mackerel pate on toast, Welsh rarebit with crispy bacon, and crab cakes with apple and cucumber pickle - we decided to share the  squid with chilli salt and garlic mayo. This was a great start to the meal - chunks of tender squid in a crispy coating (with a gentle kick of sweet chilli), served with plenty of delicious mayonnaise and a tangle of rocket leaves.

For the main course, I went for the half roast chicken with summer coleslaw, chips and gravy. A delicious take on this pub classic, the summer coleslaw - sweet and zesty, and packed with freshly grated carrot - and the lemon thyme garlic butter took it to the next level. The gravy was excellent - thick and rich, it was the perfect accompaniment to the tasty shoe-string fries - while the chicken itself was cooked to perfection: crisp golden skin, tender, flavourful meat, and spot-on seasoning.

My boyfriend ordered the Princess Burger, which was also very impressive (in fact, he claimed it was the best pub burger he has had!). The fat beef patty was topped with roasted garlic mushroom, blue cheese and bacon, oozing juices from inside its shiny brioche bun. The combination of toppings were incredible together and I had more than a little food envy!

How fat is that patty? Mmmmm

If you're looking for something a bit healthier (although when the burgers are this good, you might want to treat yourself instead!) the salads here also looked great - summery pairings of mozzarella with courgette and broad beans or grilled chicken with avocado and home-made salad cream - while dishes such as the fillet of salmon with roasted root vegetables and seasonal greens provide further alternatives for anyone whose watching their waistline.

I kicked off dessert with a bellini, before asking for a second spoon with which to attack my boyfriend's chocolate and peanut butter brownie. Ordered on the special recommendation of our waitress, this nutty, chocolatey treat was served warm with a scoop of exquisite salted caramel ice cream - simply amazing!

Square Meal