If it wasn’t for the fact The Lord Palmerston is in Tufnell Park, tourist would be flocking to visit this welcoming, traditional British pub as an example of the “London experience”. It feels like the classic, quintessential representation of what you would expect for a British institution except everything is that slightly better than how you remembered from your previous experiences at other venues.
The elegant wooden bar top is perfectly polished with friendly staff poised to serve and offering one of the most extensive selections of craft beers you will find in the local area. It has an immaculately old-school feel that exudes warmth and familiarity as soon as you step through the door.
Thankfully, during our visit, there was no tourist in sight but just the pub cognoscenti from the local area. Most were gathered in their dining space with the retro, mismatching furniture and the warm, cosy fireplace.
The menu offering was a case of the best of British seasonal produce. The Cornish mussels I had for starters were a little smaller in size than I would have preferred, but there were suitably smooth in texture and came served in a pool of tasty Dorset Nduja, cider and shallot. The waiters here clearly now their menu extremely well, as they offer a spoon knowing that resistance would be futile when it came to devouring this addictively tasty sauce.
I was pleasantly surprised with their “In season section” with wintry delights such as venison faggots and turkey pie served with Jerusalem artichoke and king cabbage. Although, the staff sensed doubt that I might not have chosen the latter dish as he politely offered a beef version of the pie. In reality, I was fascinated with this rather unusual but seasonally appropriate offering. The final product had a real homemade, rustic quality which I enjoyed and the meat was unexpectedly moist supported by a sturdy meat gravy. If you are not normally a fan of pies, this would be the venue to break your habit and give this twist on a British classic a try.
I finished off with a dessert which just demands ordering on a cold, wintry night: comice pear and granola crumble with crème fraîche ice cream. There was a pleasing variation of textures and the presence of granola always lulls you into a sense of healthiness. The comice pear’s flesh was soft and creamy and really contrasted well with the fibrous texture of the granola.
The Lord Palmerston can rightfully claim to be a shining, prime example of the best of British pubs