At first glance, we were disappointed, because it was deserted. There were two people at the bar, and only a couple of tables filled. So it wasn’t exactly banging. But everyone there was very nice – the guy at the bar even let us try his crisps to see if we wanted to order them or chips. And to be fair, it has only just opened, and the people who know about it are probably still recovering from the opening bash on Monday night, when it was, apparently, packed.
Decor: fab. There’s a great backdrop of the London skyline along the “window”, there are England flags up everywhere (which presumably will come down once the World Cup is over), and we loved the touch of the white walls/fake beams (what a pub should look like, even if none of them do anymore).
Staff: all charming – we were served by an American girl, but apparently all the others are Brits (let’s just hope they’ve been trained to American standards of service – ie, mouths that smile). Also, nice t-shirts.
Menu: awesome, authentic, obvs designed by natives. Lots of choice. We particularly liked the idea of the “colonial specials”: aussie meat pie, lamb vindaloo, chicken tikka etc.
Food: We plumped for the Berkshire ham sandwich with chips (English chips, AKA American fries), which, according to the menu, would have
Shaved Berkshire ham with cheddar cheese and coarse grain mustard
Yum. Except what arrived was a bacon butty: four thick slices of bacon (proper English bacon, delish), no cheese, no mustard, with onion, lettuce and tomato in a burger bun. Ummm.
Seeing as we were going for the full English experience, not only did we not complain, but we even told the lady it was very nice.
The chips, btw, were nice fat English ones, but way over-salted – so again, pretty authentic. But what we loved was the fake newspaper they came wrapped in. Inspired, and like the chip wrappers we used to have as children.
As we left, we got talking to the owner, who is English, and broke the news to him about the MIA ham/cheese/mustard in our ham/cheese/mustard sandwich. He apologized and said the kitchen was still learning the menu, and must have confused it with a bacon butty. He was very nice about it, so we forgave them the slip up. And we’re going to go back on a weekend when it’s busier to check out the vibe and have another crack at the menu. Once it gets properly up and running, we can see this being properly fun. The Crown & Anchor better keep a tight hold of its, um, crown.