This smart gastropub with rooms is a perfect match for this exclusive corner of Pimlico, and attracts a well-heeled crowd. If the ground-floor bar and dining room is packed out, make your way to the quieter first floor. The decor has a deliberately weathered look (think distressed walls, ‘aged’ wooden tables and flooring, vintage French travel posters) – the effect is appealing if a little forced.
British ingredients have pride of place on the menu, so you’ll find Bath Pig chorizo, Anglesey farmed sea bass and Cornish new potatoes. Yellow, red and pink heritage beetroots with salsify and a dollop of goat’s curd resembled a summer garden on a plate. Wood-fired pizza with creative toppings are a speciality; Laverstoke buffalo mozzarella was used to good effect alongside confit yellowfin tuna, prawns, capers and tomato. Translucent (line-caught) cod atop chewy puy lentils and creamy mash was stirred into life by a velvety Madeira jus. Desserts (the likes of coffee panna cotta and sticky toffee pud) all cost £7. To drink, there are cocktails, fresh fruit juices, more than a dozen wines by the glass, and Adnams and Meantime beers on tap. Service is breezy.
The Orange is part of the Cubitt House Group of upmarket gastropubs in swanky parts of town: not far away, in Belgravia, are the Pantechnicon and the Thomas Cubitt, and there’s also the Grazing Goat (also a hotel) in Marylebone.