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The Queen's Pub & Restaurant, Primrose Hill NW1

The competition amongst North London gastro-pubs is intense!

I'm always pleased to see a variety of seasonal produce incorporated into a restaurant's menu. The Queen's Pub and Dining Room in leafy Primrose Hill offers a plethora of autumnal treats, including oysters, quail, pumpkin and quince. This has to be one of my favourite times of the year as a foodie: when the weather has turned cold and dark, what better way is there than to spend an evening than over a fine meal in convivial surroundings.

The Queen's Dining Room is situated upstairs above its pub. The atmosphere is slightly scruffy but fun, with whacky, loud wallpaper, mismatched chairs, and a huge, cheeky photograph, all-adding to the bohemian ambience. In the summer months there is a terrace with a great vantage point for celeb spotting, after all this is Primrose Hill, the home of Sadie, Jude, Gwyneth, Chris and Apple…if you know who I mean!

The menu begun with a choice of six starters, and two blackboard specials - roast pumpkin soup and barbecued quail on the night we visited. My salt and pepper squid with coriander, tomato and chilli jam was all it should have been: spicy, tender, with a spicy coriander kick. My guest said the quail was fabulous; it was served off the bone, on a bed of mashed potatoes with a good jus encircling the tender meat whilst being beautifully presented.

The main courses included a confit duck and quince pie, whilst the daily special was pan-fried bream served with an anchovy stuffed pepper. The grilled, corn fed chicken breast scored highly on presentation. It came served with French beans, pine nuts and feta salad, lemon and olive oil and was moist, succulent and cooked to just the right degree, the portion size being just right. My roasted rack of lamb was pink and tender served with the added bonus of a lamb's liver, making an enjoyable contrast to the meat with its intense flavour. This came served with a very novel velvety green pea custard, which was full of flavour and refreshingly different.

Puddings were of the calorie laden, yet highly tempting, variety. I chose the golden syrup pudding with vanilla ice cream, which was rich and gooey. (How Louise remains so sylph-like beats me - Ed) The English cheese plate was served with plum and rosemary bread and a quince jelly and was washed down nicely with a glass of Spanish Rioja from the carefully thought out wine list. This had been divided into selections, with helpful titles - such as 'Silky Sumptuous Reds' and 'Bold Classy Reds' for those who don't know their Merlots from their Malbecs.

By the time we had finished eating, every table in the forty-two-seater dining room was full. The management behind this gastro pub seems to understand what its customers are after, good quality food in relaxed surroundings, and, at around £70 for two, including several glasses of wine, this is another find in an area already spoilt for choice.

Louise Elgin. November 2004.

The Queen's Pub And Dining Room, 46 Regents Park Road, London NW1 Tel: 020 7586 5677

Starters: £5.95 - £7.25 Mains: £9.95 - £11.95 Puddings: all at £4.50
House wine: £10.80 Wine by the glass: from £3.10

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010


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