trend

Tom Parker Bowles & Olly Smith: Eating out

57439403 0 The Pelican s daily specials offer carnivorous delight m 95 1651748505044

Tom is thrilled to find redemption in a pub that’s been pulled back from the brink

The Pelican's daily specials offer a

Pelican’s daily specials offer a “carnivorous delight” (@thepellican_w11)

The Pelican, perched at the end of All Saints Road in Notting Hill, is one of those pubs that never seemed to get it right. I lived about next door for six years and barely had a pint. It wasn’t rough, cheesy, boring, or grim. Just, on rare occasions, it was actually open, really, really shitty.

It started as the ‘abandoned’ pub, then became the ‘crack’ pub, the ‘burst’ pub, the ’embedded’ pub, the ‘squatter’ pub, the ‘ “bio”, then the “empty” pub once Continued. We walked away. And he was still sitting, lonely and unloved, less a hovering seabird than a great white pachyderm. The news of its reopening a few months ago therefore did not fill me with much hope.

Sure, there’s the pricey facelift, all buttery leather banquettes, gleaming mirrors, and a terse, St John-esque menu. Good luck, I thought. You’d have better luck opening a ‘Spoons at Clarence House than flying this particular Pelican. But then friends started singing his praises. And we were spending a night and we thought, go on, what is this.

READ MORE:  Crackdown on borrowers taking big mortgages and failing to clear debts

The place looks much better. Well, from what I can see, as we fight in a breathless melee of tongue-in-cheek spots and asymmetrical haircuts. But a mirror, proclaiming the daily specials, has a “stew/thin” section. That makes me happy. Especially since it’s “mince on toast”, in what seems to be a nod to the great Quality Chop House.

And what a hash it is, richer than a Ladbroke Grove trustie – a more sumptuous stew than those greasy, crispy granules we once forced at school – spilled on a slice of sourdough under a flurry of parmesan cheese. There’s more carnivorous pleasure with a ‘raw beef’ porridge, mixed with the anchovy charms of Gentleman’s Relish. Oh, and some crumpled chips to pick it up with.

The ham hock, fried in a macho wedge, is sweet and salty succulence, served with pickled red onions and a mess of splendid egg salad. Like a big British picnic, without the patter of rain on the car roof and the hum of the A303. A salad of butter lettuce is puffed up in all the right ways, smoothed with a tangy dressing, while the usually overcooked trout turns pink like a priest’s blush.

READ MORE:  Lib Dems admit it is 'rational' to give Labour a clear run in some seats

Everything is so English, but in the best possible way. Long may this pelican soar.

About £30 a head. The Pelican, 45 All Saints Road, London W11; thepelicanw11.com

Olly’s best wines under £15

I was recently blown away at a tasting – wines between £8 and £15 in particular beat almost every other price point, including a few bottles costing four to five times as much. I love being reminded that Stellar value is thriving, but it mostly strikes me that Portugal’s character superstars are remarkably memorable for under £15. With over 250 local varietals to explore and all climates from coast to mountains, Portugal is a world of wine to celebrate – and for a ten, my wine of the week is more than good value.

Harvest Nocturnes Cinsault Syrah Rosé 2021 (12.5%), £6.69*, Waitrose.  A zesty, zesty rosé with the right welly to sip alongside an early morning barbecue.

Harvest Nocturnes Cinsault Syrah Rosé 2021 (12.5%), £6.69*, Waitrose. A zesty, zesty rosé with the right welly to sip alongside an early morning barbecue.

Frog Elegant Malbec 2020 (13.5%), £8, Sainsbury's.  Floral and ripe aromas like a strawberry on a deckchair, this red is breathtaking value.

Frog Elegant Malbec 2020 (13.5%), £8, Sainsbury’s. Floral and ripe aromas like a strawberry on a deckchair, this red is breathtaking value.

Bosman Adama Fairtrade White 2020 (13%), £10, Coop.  Fragrant, aromatic, beautiful and bright: delicious with a freshly crunchy salad.

Bosman Adama Fairtrade White 2020 (13%), £10, Coop. Fragrant, aromatic, beautiful and bright: delicious with a freshly crunchy salad.

DV Catena Tinto Historico Cabernet Franc 2019 (13.5%), £12, Tesco.  Sleek and rich with laser-like flavor, it's a svelte stunner for your Sunday roast.

DV Catena Tinto Historico Cabernet Franc 2019 (13.5%), £12, Tesco. Sleek and rich with laser-like flavor, it’s a svelte stunner for your Sunday roast.

*On sale until 17th May – usually £8.99

Source link

Leave a Comment