Just a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden, hidden down a quiet side street, you will come across a traditional pub and gin bar, that also happens to have a restaurant upstairs.
The restaurant has a lot of history, it was originally established in 1549 and its kept its traditional layout since this period. The upstairs restaurant is covered in dark woods and candle light, giving it a romantic, traditional air that is warm and cosy. If you want to see what London was like in days gone by, this probably gives you some indication. It has its own varied history to boot, including the fact that it was used as a secret place for Catholics to take mass during the reign of Henry the VIII when it was forbidden to do so. There are even ‘hidey-hole’ hidden throughout the tavern, which was used for priests should the palace officials come around. However some were not so lucky, and were executed on the spot. The Ship Taverns website claims that it is haunted, and that some of the chilling screams can be heard to this day! Luckily none of the ghosts seemed to be around when I took a visit last week to check out the Sunday menu.
We started off with a couple of drinks, I plumped for the Sloesecco, a mix of prosecco and sloe gin, while Harry chose the house ale. Both were recommended on the menu so we were sure they were a safe bet. I’d never tried sloe gin before so I thought it was a good chance to try it. The drink was sweet and spicy, reminding me almost of Christmas. The house ale was a ruby, slightly smoky and not too bitter. I think we would both order these again.
Unfortunately as I went to order my starter we were told that several items throughout the menu were sold out, including what I was going to order as a starter. This was unfortunate, but instead Harry ordered the Salt and Pepper Calamari, and I opted for the fried Brie.
The salt and paper was a nice addition to the calamari, and really helped to enhance the flavour. The portion size was very generous. I personally found the batter a little sickly and wouldn’t have been able to finish more than a few for that reason, which is a shame because the calamari itself seemed fresh and the mayonnaise was a nice touch, if possibly a bit too strong, masking the flavour of calamari.
The brie was beautifully presented, and tasted very nice, although it’s hard to go wrong with fried cheese! The salad was fresh and dressed well. The cranberries were fresh and enhanced the brie.
Unfortunately again, both Harry’s and my first choice for main course wasn’t available, and neither were my second or third choices. Instead we both opted for the traditional Sunday lunch, Harry going for lamb, while I went for chicken.
The lamb dinner was beautiful on the whole, although unfortunately a bit cold. The chicken was huge, which was great, but had the unfortunate side effect of being rather dry, making it hard to eat much of it. The vegetables on both our meals were cooked perfectly, and the goose fat potatoes were a great treat. Speaking as a Yorkshire girl, I can also commend them on their Yorkshire Puddings, which were light and crisp, definitely one of the highlights of the meal
Lastly it was time for pudding, Always hard to choose but Harry decided on the lighter option of the sorbet, while I choose one of my all time favourites, sticky toffee pudding. The three sorbets were all delicious and tangy, the perfect end to a heavy meal, very refreshing. The sticky toffee pudding was nice, but was a bit dry, which the ice cream helped balance somewhat.
Thank you to The Ship Tavern for inviting me to review, and for being so welcoming. When you’re done eating, there is also a gin bar downstairs to complete the night.