By Jonathan Hatchman
Situated just off Kensington High Street, The Britannia can be traced all the way back to 1834. Perched atop the original Britannia Brewery site, the pub was bought by Young’s in the 1920s having sold off the brewery while keeping the pub itself. Now having undergone even further recent renovation in order to maintain the real original fire place as well as adding a stylishly quirky decorative touch, not forgetting the addition of an upstairs meeting area and private bar that’s perfect for parties. The Britannia has also put more of an emphasis on their food menu that consists of a selection of delicious sustainably sourced, quintessentially British produce that’s prepared by Head Chef Dean Bradley and his team.
So, heading along to the restaurant on a surprisingly busy mid-week early evening we found ourselves seated by the incredibly friendly staff before steaming straight in to the pubs menu that would be capable of transporting any diner from Central London into a hearty Country pub set in the middle of nowhere. Beginning with a pleasant winter warming Carrot and Coriander soup (£6), accompanied by a slice of toasted artisan bread, while the Baked Camembert starter (£10), accompanied by a mountainous heap of sourdough toast and a handful of zingy pickles, was easily plentiful for at least two diners as an entrée, albeit too good to leave unfinished.
And as if the Camembert wasn’t quite filling enough, the Beef rib main (£14.50) sounded so appetizing that both members of our party felt obliged to order. Braised slowly overnight in a red wine jus that’s served alongside the gargantuan slab of meat that looks as though it has been animated by Hanna-Barbera, perched upon a bed of buttery mashed potatoes and a generous helping of kale. It was undoubtedly the most delectable short rib dish I have tasted in quite some time, involving a range of textures, falling away from a clean bone similar in size to the adult human’s humerus bone.
Bringing us to the finishing touches, somehow finding room to indulge upon one of the tempting desserts on offer. The typically rich Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6.50) was, most probably, a slight faux pas decision as a follow up to two colossal sized former portions, albeit boasting a delicious balance of sickly sweet flavours delivered through the moist sponge. The Kensington Mess (£7), on the other hand, provided the most perfect of finales. Essentially a de-constructed Eton Mess, arriving at the table with each element presented in separate containers, allowing our inner child to flourish as we compile the chewy meringue pieces, the sharp coulis, thick cream and replenishing berry selection to craft an astounding dessert.
Boasting a simply enthralling seasonal menu of great British pub food, including an exceptional Beef Rib, paying a visit to The Britannia’s dining room is a real must for any food lovers.