Sophistication and pubs/bars are not generally comfortable bedfellows, but an excellent example of how this could work is in evidence at The Alfred Tennyson in Belgravia. It is on Motcomb Street, which is one of the best-kept secrets in London with beautiful boutique shops and understated restaurants.
On the ground floor is a bright, relaxed bar offering an all-day menu and their recently revamped menu means they offer an even larger selection of fine wines, special signature cocktails and beers on both tap and bottle. However, it was the first-floor dining room, that we were particularly impressed with. The large sash windows make great use of natural daylight, whilst the open fireplaces and pastel-coloured furniture made for a relaxing environment.
Their revamped menu has an even stronger emphasis on using seasonal British ingredients (bar the odd dish that needs to be imported like burrata). They have a lengthy list of daily specials to guarantee there is always something new to try even on repeated visits.
I started off with Middle White pork scotch eggs and then moved onto Middle White pork cutlets. You might wonder what is so special about Middle White? They are a medium-sized pig native to the UK; they tend to accumulate fat quicker than other breeds, but produces a well-marbled meat which is tender and succulent. The scotch egg casing was indeed juicy and crispy whilst the egg had a deep, orange yolk. The pork cutlet was substantial and firm, although in parts it was overly fatty. It did come with well-matched celeriac puree, choucroute, shallots and quail scotch eggs.
My guest did opt for one of those rare non-British items on the menu: burrata with San Marzano tomatoes. It was elegantly presented and they sourced high-quality burrata which was creamy and firm, whilst the Italian tomatoes added welcomed sweetness to the dish. There were also red onion marmalade, fig and crisp bread.
They prepared a special dish of roasted butternut squash with wild mushrooms and crispy kale. It was a very earthy and hearty dish if slightly ‘repetitive’ and the kale wasn’t uniformly crispy.
We finished off by sharing a Bramley apple pie, which got a universal thumbs up from both of us. It had a firm, crispy outer layer which contrasted well with the soft, tart and tangy inner core and you can’t really go wrong when you combine this with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream.
Even though it might not be my local, this is one bar/pub I will be visiting on a regular basis.