A most appealing Ealing gastropub complete with big windows, leather seats, a fire, wood panelling and a beer garden.
Some people claimed that gastropubs would save the British pub industry and even British gastronomy. Maybe it didn’t quite work out like that – Cajun wings and sloppy burgers have elbowed their way ahead of indigenous British dishes of late – but in vast swathes of London, gastropubs still offer the best of both worlds, straddling both smart pubs and casual restaurants.
South Ealing has the latest case study in ‘How to Make a Gastropub’. The refurbished Ealing Park Tavern has big windows, leather seats, a fire, an open kitchen, cutlery and thick napkins, taxidermy and wood panelling. A microbrewery will soon open out the back, beside the beer garden. It welcomes dogs; it shows the rugby; it even serves cocktails. You can drop by for a pint of real ale (Dark Star Espresso Stout, £2.30 a half) and a read of the papers. You can park the pram and have a Sunday roast (a pretty amazing roast beef and trimmings for £14), or pre-book a whole suckling pig if there are eight of you. And you can book a table in the more formal restaurant for a three-course meal (mains from £11).
The Ealing Park Tavern is run by the ETM Group, which has form – it also runs a few other classic and pleasantly posh London gastropubs such as the Gun in the Docklands and the Botanist on Sloane Square. Like those fancified pubs, the Ealing Park Tavern hits the spot with most things. Apart from some muddled service, everything was just as it should be – welcoming, friendly, good value, locally rooted, professional. All that, plus properly British mock Tudor and scotch eggs retained.