Overlooking Acton Green and with a substantial beer garden at the rear, the Duke of Sussex is a handsome 1890s Victorian boozer that was given a thorough gastrofication in 2007. Now owned by its then operators Real Pubs, it has lasted well.
The pub side is lively and serves good beer (including Dark Star’s smokily sweet-bitter Art of Darkness and Triple fff’s Rock Lobster), but it’s the beautiful restaurant room that really stands out, almost the whole ceiling forming a giant ‘skylight’ – with cherubs to acknowledge its loftiness. The menu majors in Spanish cuisine, with a good range of tapas and more substantial dishes, usually with twists on the familiar – such as the quince aïoli that accompanied a pork chop, which had a properly unctuous thick fat layer and came with garlicky sliced potatoes ‘a lo pobre’.
Other highlights were the cheeseboard (manchego, sure, but also a smoky Basque idiazabal and picos de europa blue), coming with a Kilner jar of crackers and membrillo. The menu also has some non-Spanish pub favourites – rib of beef and chips, pies, black pudding hash cake under an egg – but there seems little point in wandering far from the Iberian peninsula.