Saturday 5 November 2011

The Elephant & Castle, Holland Street, central London

A throw-back to yesteryear, the Elephant & Castle is an old school pub that seems to draw an old school crowd on a Sunday lunchtime - elderly chaps with upper crust accents prop up the bar. It is a world away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Kensington High Street.  The dark wooden panelling, leather benches, Victorian lamps and gold-framed mirrors reinforce the feeling that you have stepped back in time. Only a neon fruit machine spoils the effect. The food menu plays it pretty safe, but is very competitively-priced for 2011. The beef burger (about £8) contains good quality meat, topped with bacon and salad, but the accompanying chips are a little oily. On tap, there is Amstel, Heineken, 1664, Guinness, Strongbow and other big brands, along with a decent selection of real ales, including Doom Bar, London Pride and one or two beers from the Moor brewery in Somerset. Owned by the Nicholson group, the Elephant & Castle might appeal to anyone who wants to rewind the clock back to the days before All Bar One and Pitcher & Piano. 7/10