People from Islington always complain that people from Notting Hill never leave their borough (the East/West divide rages on.) But, last night, for the third time in two weeks, I proved them wrong by yomping across town (a walk, a tube, another tube, a bus, a walk – no less) to join some friends for a birthday dinner in The Scolt Head, a good, cosy pub with open fires, candle-lit wooden tables, traditional ales and a simple, unpretentious decoration and atmosphere that inspires confidence the moment you enter.
The menu for the evening was admirably short with four options for starters, mains and puddings that kept things nice and simple. Beef cheek stew with mashed potato seemed like a good, warming winter option, but the kitchen said they’d run out of mashed potato and would have to serve it with roasted potatoes instead. A bit lazy considering that they obviously had potatoes and we all know how easy it is to make mash, but never mind. I swapped and had the pollock with butterbean and tomato cassoulet instead, which turned out to be delicious, served, as it was, in a herby crust that went down a treat with the tomato sauce.
Pre-pollock and beef cheek, we pulled Christmas crackers (rubbish presents, worse jokes – but isn’t that the point?) and demolished a plate of warm, brown apricot bread (inspired!) that the friendly waitress brought over, though she forgot the butter. This, of course, is an unforgiveable crime unless one’s jeans are too tight (as mine are) and the Christmas scoffathon hasn’t even started yet – yikes!Being new to food blogging, I forgot to take any pictures of the actual food but I did get a snap of my friend and me in our matching thick-rimmed spectacles and furry hats. Perhaps us East and West London dwellers aren’t so different afterall?
The Scolt Head
107A Culford Road
T: 020 7254 3965
P.S – Watch out for my friend Robbie, who often plays with his band Maybe Myrtle Turtle at The Scolt Head’s Live Music nights – they’re very jolly indeed.