PR Executive and freelance writer/translator from London. Love to see new places, practise yoga and eat good food. Read more at https://wanderwomanco.com/
Published September 11th 2017
The Elgin - Not your average Victorian pub
Notting Hill is not somewhere which needs another watering hole to add to the already buzzing community. But The Elgin isn't new at all. It is one of the area's most recognisable pubs; a local favourite.
The pub has just relaunched following a refurbishment to the Grade II listed building - welcoming bar, grand dining room and dedicated gin bar to boot. The building and interior both ooze old-school elegance.
In part, a grand dining room. But also part-ale house, part-gin lover's dream. The Elgin has a little bit of everything, a mish mash of on-trend decor and unexpected statement pieces. Exposed brickwork, dark hues on the walls, handsome mirrors and stain-glassed windows – as soon as you walk in it's an immediately creative scene. The Elgin is also home to the 'El Gin Bar'. With a selection of over 40 gins from large distilleries, boutique brands and the locally distilled Portobello Road.
And this is the backdrop to the seasonal menu of classic pub food on offer at The Elgin. Striking chandeliers, upholstered seating and contemporary artwork elevate a simple pub dinner to something quite different to what we expected.
On a Wednesday evening, The Elgin was simmering with groups of young professionals, both drinking and dining and the swells of chatter filled the beautiful and high-ceilinged space of the 'Market Room' dining hall. The chatter was loud and people were sheltering from the August rain.
The kitchen is led by Head Chef Regi di Campos, who serves up a seasonally-changing menu which showcases hearty British classics.
With the rain pounding on the stain-glassed windows outside, we opted for two summery starters; the Smoked Duck Breast with watermelon, crumble Yorkshire fettle and toasted hazelnuts (£9) and the Spinach tart with herb crème fresh (£8.50).
The smoked duck salad lived up to expectations – watermelon, feta and mint is an unbeatable summer combination. The crumble Yorkshire fettle is slightly less tangy than a feta, creating a smoother, lighter salad overall. The spinach tart was very more-ish, to the point where we considered ordering another one to share: the pastry wasn't overbearing at all, nor was there too much of it.
For the second course, we let the food gods decide our fate. We were lucky to have an extremely attentive waitress (she is from the south of France if you happen to visit!) and we asked her to take the lead for our choices.
Recommended to us was the 28 day aged Angus sirloin, with chalk valley watercress, mustard & tarragon, and fries (£26) and the Cider glazed Pork Ribeye, sautéed potatoes, apple slaw (£15).
After the cold day and endless downpour of summer rain, we were in the mood for something warming (always chips). The Angus sirloin was cooked wonderfully, the perfect 'rare-medium', as I've found if you ask for rare-medium you can often be surprised with a very well-done steak.
The showstopper though for us was the Cider glazed pork ribeye. On the outside, a crunchy, sweet coating and on the inside, tender and succulent.