We’ve come to expect a lot of the Martin brothers, Tom and Ed, whose family of gastropubs and restaurants includes the excellent Botanist in Sloane Square, The Gun in Docklands (a former Time Out gastropub of the year winner), and Victoria Park’s family favourite, Empress of India. Their new venture, the Hat & Tun, is very appealing on paper: a revitalised Victorian boozer with a lunch-only menu of pure and simple Britannia – Scotch eggs, potted shrimp, doorstep sandwiches, fish and cottage pies. Brews include the superb Adnams Broadside and bitter, plus Weston’s Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy Cider. It’s enough to get you singing ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’. So why did we leave thinking we should all go down the Strand and have a banana? It started well – friendly welcome, charming decor with fireplace and hunting trophies, a luscious half pint of sea-scented prawns. Pie and mash (there’s a choice of steak and ale, beef and onion, or chicken and mushroom) was generous and well made. But there is no place for immature, fridge-cold brie, or a chutney which tasted similar to Branston’s in a £7 ploughman’s. The ‘Londoner’ sausage roll, although nicely seasoned, was a smallish, lightweight affair ridiculously charged at £4 – you can get better at the Bull & Last in NW5 for just £2.50. If the Martin brothers want to reflect the ‘New Austerity’ – or indeed the local market – they’ve got some tweaks to make here. It’s Leather Lane food at Chancery Lane prices. But while the Hat & Tun seems at odds with the economic climate, it’s a sure salve against the natural one. When grey days have you hankering for a pint and a game of darts in a lovely refurbished pub, this is a fine destination. You can grab a banana down the market afterwards.
|Venue name:||Hat & Tun||Contact:|
3 Hatton Wall
|Opening hours:||Open Mon-Thur 11am-12midnight, Fri 11am-1am. Lunch served Mon-Fri 12noon-3pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Farringdon tube/rail or Chancery Lane tube|
|Price:||Meal for two with wine and service: around £55|
|Do you own this business?|