Wednesday 12 March 2008

Duke of Wellington, Marylebone

Arthur Wellesley, AKA First Duke of Wellington has very kindly given his name and blessing to the best gastro pub in Marylebone. It has only recently become a proper foodie pub in the last 6 months having previously been ideal for a lager top to get a bit of colour back in your cheeks after a game of squash. Back then it was yet another unremarkable boozer filled with old men with marriage problems and jobs they hate.

It's had a changing rooms makeover complete with an eclectic selection of trendy art. Even Shepherd Fairey makes an appearance which I am very pleased about. They've got a signed print of the Obey image below above their door.

They've got a chandelier dominating the ceiling that looks like it was designed by someone with a lot of mental problems and a brass plate on the door that Oli and I agreed was the kind of thing we both wanted in our kitchens. In short it's got a cool vibe that I am sure will not be to everyone's taste. Certainly it seemed a bit out of kilter with their clientelle when we were there on a quiet Monday for lunch.

Not having much time and not wanting to get so weighed down that we wouldn't be able to run back to the office through the torrential rain, we just had main courses.

Oli's quails looked well cooked - possibly a bit overdone. But I wouldn't know because the stingy git didn't offer me any. Meanwhile my rump of beef arrived beautifully rare but wasn't quite as flavoursome as I expected. Don't get me wrong it was very good and came with an interesting cafe de Paris butter topping. It just didn't wow me. Chips and salad were excellent. But we weren't offered mustard or ketchup which was disappointing. Jenny's pollack looked excellent. Moist and flaky. Just like cod really.

The chap on the next door table had steak tartare which looked really good. And judging by the way he inhaled it he must have enjoyed it! He also had some ketchup issue. If you serve chips it just makes sense to deliver mayonaise and ketchup with it.

I'm very pleased to have dipped my toe the Duke of Wellington's water and am looking forward to returning triumphantly!

And I leave you with one of my all time favourite quotations, "being born in a stable does not make one a horse". This was the Duke of Wellington's response to horrifica accusations that because he was born in Ireland that made him Irish!


Anonymous said...

Speaking of gastro pubs, Mark Bittman went to The Eagle on his show "the Best Recipies in the World," to consume the steak sandwich. His description of their former clientele, pre-foodie days, was really similar to your write-up about the DoW! :)

Episode 7 recap here:

- Susana

PS. Just read about the explosive fondue! INSANE! Did people's laps actually catch on fire?! Glad you guys survived!

Browners said...

Hi Susana

Sorry for taking ages to respond... the fondue was ridiculous... so scary! We were lucky not to be very badly hurt!


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