Sunday lunch at The Alfred Tennyson is something we had planned to do for a while. We had been to this gastropub a few times before, but usually just went for a quick burger or fish’n’chips.
The owners also run The Thomas Cubitt, The Orange, both of which we’ve been to before and liked (even though the staff at The Orange can sometimes be a bit snippy), as well as The Grazing Goat, which we still have to check out. It is named after Lord Tennyson, Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate and still one of the most popular British poets.
Formerly known as The Pantechnicon Rooms (after the nearby cinema), the restaurant stretches over four floors, with the upper floors being the more elegant ones. We chose the ground floor bar, which has precisely the same menu as the other floors, but a much more relaxed pub feel to it and some pleasant outdoor seating. We went for a table inside, as it looked like rain.
The service immediately struck us as unusually professional, knowledgeable, quick, and pleasant.
The menu includes a number of dishes we would have loved to try, but in the end we decided to go for loin & leg of rabbit, heritage carrots, & pickled morel mushrooms (£19), and for the Castlemead chicken breast, girolles, baby onions, English peas, and tarragon voloute (£19.50), named after the well-known Somerset free-range chicken farm, that supplies the meat. My wife followed the waitress’s recommendation and ordered a Mango Martini (Sipsmith Sipping Vodka, mango puree, lemon balm, apple & lemon juice; £11), while I opted for a cider.
The food arrived much quicker than anticipated and was truly delightful. My wife, MsB, enjoyed her terragon chicken.
I was completely blown away by my rabbit dish, which included bits of loin and leg of rabbit wrapped in delicious bacon and two unbelievably tasty rabbit faggots (meat balls). They were accompanied by a lovely light brown sauce, puree made of yellow carrots, and carrots ranging in colour from pure white via orange and red to purple/black, each with their own, distinct taste and texture, a perfect combination of tastes and colours. The pickled morel mushrooms were rare and few, but added a nice zing, where you managed to get one onto your fork.
Both meals were extraordinarily generously sized (which is a rather good thing in our book). Considering the expensive location, we found the chicken still rather overpriced but the rabbit extremely good value. The martini wasn’t particularly nicely presented, but MsB enjoyed the taste.
We’ll be back for a Sunday lunch at the Alfred Tennyson sometime soon. 5 out of 5 on our gastropub scale. For our review of Tennyson’s sister gastropub, The Thomas Cubitt, click here. For further recent restaurant reviews click here (Hai Cenato), here (Rail House Cafe), here (Sacre Coeur), here (Benares), or here (Ekeberg Restaurant, Oslo).