The Ship Tavern
One of the things I love most about London is that we can drink in pubs that are older than the WHOLE of America. NUTS RIGHT! Nestled around Holborn there’s a whole gang of the oldest pubs in London which have been serving up pints of the frothy amber stuff to thirsty Londoners for hundreds of years. One of these little gems is The Ship Tavern.
Unless you know it’s there, you wouldn’t be able to find this CRACKING boozer. It’s tucked round the back of Holborn station, in a little laneway which leads to Lincolns Inn Fields. Standing since 1549, this atmospheric pub is steeped in history, including a particularly grisly story about some executed priests, and appears in many ‘Most Haunted’ round-ups of London.
When I went down to check out The Ship recently, ghost-hunting was not on the menu. BUT DELICIOUS GRUB WAS! Dodging past the suited and booted workers who were supping pints spilling out onto the pavement, my pal Victoria and I wound our way up to the Oak Room for a slap-up feast.
Despite it being quite sunny and lovely outside (Spring you big boo <3) once we got upstairs we were in a candle-lit haven of red velvet, dark mahogany walls, beautifully laid tables and little booths dotted around full of happy diners. We ordered a bottle of red and dove into the menu. The menu is full of pub classics with a bit of a ‘posh’ twist, making it a giant step up from the beer and a burger deal at Wetherspoons (tho, still love you babe).
To start, we ordered soft shell crab fritter which came with a light crab salad, caviar, chilli oil (£9) which was delicious, but very very fishy. And by that I mean it tasted very much of the sea, not that it was being suspicious.
Alongside this, we had seared scallops, garden pee purée (posh mushy peas really, let’s not lie), crispy pancetta & blackberry (£11) which was my favourite dish of the night. I was a bit wary of the blackberries, because I’m always nervous about sweet and savoury things on the same plate (I have such a bone to pick with the heathen who first put pineapple on pizza.) but it actually worked so well! The sharpness of the berries really cut through the creamy peas and soft scallops with the sheet of crispy, salty pancetta providing a welcome CRUNCH.
For mains, we decided to share Beef Wellington (£25) and Ribs (£18). Though both were absolutely boooom tang, the Wellington won. The ribs were slathered in BBQ sauce, but it actually got slightly sickly after a while, though the perfectly chunky hand cut chips helped soften the blow!
I won’t lie, at this point we were stuffed. BUT LOL LOOK AT THE DESSERTS. We decided in order to really try the menu to its fullest, we ordered a cheese board and passionfruit pannacotta with raspberry coulis (£7). The pannacotta was perfect for me as I don’t have an overly sweet tooth and this was the ideal balance between sweet with a gorgeous tart tang to it.
I loved that you can choose your own cheeses from a selection at The Ship (£3.50 each) and the menu really describes what each tastes like. We went for Perl Wen a delicious, creamy, Brie-style cheese from Wales, Maryland Farmhouse Cheddar a strong, tangy English mature cheddar and Cashel Blue, an mild Irish blue. All delivered on a board with banana bread (nice twist), grape and apple chutney and biscuits.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from ‘pub grub’ but I was wrong- I was blown away by the food at The Ship and think it’s the PERFECT place for a special meal out in somewhere that feels inherently LAHNDAHN.
Have you been to The Ship Tavern?
We were guests of The Ship Tavern but all opinions, salivating and photos are my own and as always, had I not loved it, I wouldn’t have written about it!