Peter Jackson visits the newly refurbished King's Head for its launch party
The King’s Head is a landmark in the centre of Roehampton: an 18th Century pub with a Georgian dining room, but apart from the timbered exterior and interesting angle of some of the walls you wouldn’t know it was quite so old. After a considerable period of closure Young’s have completely refurbished this large multi roomed pub and, as Young’s tend to do nowadays, turned it into a foody pub (The Angel a few yards up the road still provides those so inclined with a more boozer-like alternative).
On its gala opening night it was heaving with a mix of invited guests and paying customers, entertained by a very good band, so the bar staff were fighting to serve the three deep throng of thirsty drinkers. The bar seems quite small for such a big pub, so it will be interesting to see it operate in more normal circumstances.
The King’s Head positions itself as a food (and drink experience) with a particular emphasis on specially reared chickens which are spit roasted in full view of the bar; and boy were there a lot of chickens looking very good indeed. If the blurb is accurate they have scoured the land for the best chooks available, marinaded them overnight and show them at their very best, self basting on the rotisserie.
Wines by the glass are a big feature too, though I’m not sure how interested the drinker is in the fact that they use the Vinoglass wine dispenser system to ensure quality by the glass – it looks a bit like a stopper in the neck of the bottle. That said the Pouilly Fume was delightful.
Which brings us to the important matter of the beer which a Young’s pub surely should know how to look after, notwithstanding the tragic closure of the Wandsworth brewery a few years ago. Well it is a grand range of Young’s favourites: Bitter, Special, Gold all in good condition and supplemented by the delightful hoppy Ranmore Ale from the Surrey Hills Brewery. There’s a good range of lager and cider and the kegged beers of the innovative Meantime Brewery in Greenwich.
So I’ll be going back to The King’s Head for the chickens, the seasonal food, the beer range underpinned by Young’s with more than a nod to the new brewers of London and Surrey.
November 4, 2012