From the outset, The Ship Tavern looks like an ordinary little London pub. It doesn’t ooze glamour or sophistication, it simply offers some great beers, some massive TV’s and a few comfy seats. However, if you head to the back and follow the winding staircase up to the top, you’ll come to a secret dining spot that does offer something rather special. Illuminated by candlelight, the small, but perfectly formed maghony panelled room is known as the ‘Oak Room’ and offers an incredible menu unrivalled by anywhere else I’ve been.
I had the pleasure of visiting a few Saturday’s ago, an escape from the miserable rainy London weather. We booked a quiet booth in the corner of the room and settled into the warm surroundings, feeling rather cosy among a crackling open fire and as many candles as one room could possibly fit.
With a drink in hand, we began perusing the rather varied, but well-thought-through menu, which offers something for everyone – even if you aren’t a fan of traditional ‘pub classics’. Among an assortment of pies, steaks and meat dishes, there are delicate fish offerings, venison and goat’s cheese tarts. Even dairy-free me had an array of choices – and any I wanted to try I was told – could be tailored so that they suited my intolerances.
Eventually, I opted for the Seared King Scallops to start – a dish which is notoriously difficult to master (in my opinion) but The Ship Tavern’s version ticked every box. With a melt-in-the-mouth texture, I savoured every mouthful. I wasn’t overly keen on the smoked sea trout accompaniment, however since it was a tiny piece of the meal (and something you could take or leave) it didn’t taint my view of the dish whatsoever.
David chose the Crumbed & Deep Fried Brie (with gentle persuasion on my part) which looked absolutely incredible. I’ll let the pictures do the talking on this one…
The main affair was a mix of pan-fried sea bass (for me) with samphire and hand-cut chips. This is one of my all-time favourite dishes and it didn’t disappoint.
Also on the agenda was a steak and ale puff-pastry pie with mash potato and vegetables.
No meal is complete without (at the very least) a look at the dessert menu and luckily, The Ship Tavern’s didn’t let us down. Chocolate brownies and cheesecakes were featured, alongside a very delicious sounding cheese board and an assortment of ice creams and sorbets.
I went for the raspberry sorbet, although I was very enamoured with the look of this peanut butter jelly cheesecake (with an Oreo cookie base).
If you’re looking for a secret venue for a real English (and delicious) feast, The Ship Tavern is certainly one to check out. It’s inviting, friendly and oh so homely in among the hustle and bustle of the capital – and the food is incredible.
Have you ever visited The Ship Tavern? What do you think of the sound of the food?