Ell, a born and bred North Londoner, has seen his fair share of local pubs come and go with the whims of fashion and the in-crowd. Nowhere more so than in Steeles village, Haverstock Hill, once home to the achingly trendy and celeb packed Haverstock Arms and equally notorious Hill. But whilst they may have come and gone, remaining steadfast is the Sir Richard Steele; a little less salubrious but no less significant!
Having undergone a complete make-over a few years back, the Sir Richard Steele pub and dining has never looked better. We’ve been a few times since the refurb, wanting to support local business and having been impressed with the new look, it’s consistently good on food and we love the spacious beer garden…we’ve even been to a fabulous 40th birthday party there.
Like most pubs and restaurants, The Steele’s (as it’s known locally) has been closed during the COVID pandemic lockdown, but has recently reopened its doors as a “Pub to Go”; providing takeaway food, beer, wine and cocktails. As a foodie local, Elldrew were invited to taste a sample of their offerings in return for a review, so whilst we jumped at the opportunity, we also promised ourselves to be as honest here as we are when we pay for our food!
The “Pub to Go” menu is made up of bar snacks, hot food, desserts and tray bakes that you can heat and eat at home. The food selection has all the usual pub favourites; scotch eggs, mac and cheese, burgers, as well as a selection of their most popular mains. Elldrew immediately thought the tray bakes were a brilliant idea – freshly made ‘posh pub grub’ that’s not confined to a delivery slot and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before re-heating.
For our taster, The Steele’s generously provided the slow cooked shoulder of beef & Westerham Ale stew with cheese and herb dumplings tray bake, priced at £25 for two. It’s probably a tiny bit wintery for June but given the thunderstorms this week it was perfect comfort food. Other tray bake options included a seafood pie with cheesy mash, a chicken, leek and tarragon lasagne, and a vegetarian/gluten free layered courgette and tomato bake. We washed it down with a gorgeous rum punch from their infused cocktail menu.
The heating instructions were simple, pop into a preheated oven at 180 deg. They even supplied a sheet of foil to cover the tray for cooking, it couldn’t be easier! 25 mins later we were sitting down to what tasted like a homemade supper; the stew was delicious…tender chunks of beef, beautiful herby dumplings and just the right balance of potato and carrots on the side. The only thing missing was probably some greens. We were stuffed by the end of the meal and our lockdown bellies didn’t need dessert, although we think that next visit (and there will be another visit for sure) we’ll have to leave room to try their “melt in the mouth” brownies.
With the sun shining as we write this, and the UK’s pandemic status being downgraded, we’re secretly hoping that next visit we’ll be able to enjoy that brownie socially-distanced-sitting in The Steele’s gorgeous beer garden. Thanks for the meal Steele’s and see you again soon.
The picture of the Sir Richard Steele public house are adapted from original photographs, copyright Julian Osley, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.