Flats in areas such as Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge typically sell for several million pounds, so you might wonder what their local neighbourhood pub might look like? The Alfred Tennyson is only a stone’s throw away from the upmarket square. It was formally known as The Pantechnicon Rooms, but the name was changed after their owners, the Cubitt House took a lease out for the ornate Grade II-listed Pantechnicon building nearby and no doubt they will be launching exciting new culinary ventures there soon.
This gastropub is divided into a welcoming, informal bar area on the ground floor, an elegantly decorated first floor dining room and then areas for private events including an intimate and trendy loft bar. Colours are mellow and muted throughout, a touch of class evident throughout the rooms with giant sash windows overlooking Motcomb Street making abundant use of natural daylight. The carefully crafted oak tables and luxurious leather chairs are more Michelin starred restaurant variety rather than your average pub furniture.
Their brunch menu is an extensive collection of mouth-watering dishes, even the most demanding mother-in-law would be satisfied by it. Your dilemma might be to decide whether you opt for the early breakfast options like free range eggs Benedict or a full-blown dry-aged Aberdeen Angus beef rib.
I opted for the salmon and crab fish cakes; it was cleverly combined with pickled vegetables which helped to cut through the savoury flavour. The complexity was added to with spiced saffron mayonnaise.
With the autumnal weather, ordering a dish like smoked pork fillet, braised cheek & black pudding, sweet potato, pickled red cabbage and crab apple is the ideal heartwarming way to start your day. It is rare in any pub to prepare dishes like this which has so many components, yet here they’ve managed to combine it all together in a delectable manner.
If you are a coffee lover, then there dessert: coffee custard tart, banana, malted tapioca is really a dish you need to save room for. This playful take on the custard tart is full of flavour thanks to the concentrated coffee used. It is clear they’ve been using high quality coffee beans, as it’s very easy to get a bitter taste from such a dessert. Although they should have soaked the tapioca in strong coffee as well, because it came across slightly tasteless.
Their sister restaurant and bar, Percy and Founders offer a bottomless brunch option, but not here. Perhaps the Kensingtonites like their Prosecco a little too much? Nevertheless apart from the standard mimosa and bloody mary, they have an array of healthy options. A glass of apple, carrot and ginger will no doubt help to ward off those winter ailments.
As the great man himself, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “I will drink life to the lees” ; you should follow his advise and treat yourself to a relaxing and all-encompassing brunch at the Alfred Tennyson and leave the home cooking for another day.