A traditional Sunday lunch in Kew:
With winter drawing in there’s nothing I like better on a Sunday afternoon than enjoying a leisurely lunch, so I was delighted to be invited to the Coach and Horses, to sample their roast dinner.
Situated on beautiful Kew Green in West London – just across from the Elizabeth Gate of the Royal Botanical Gardens – this elegant and spacious Young’s Inn has been serving locals and travellers since the Eighteenth Century.
The Coach has been sympathetically modernized and retains its distinct Georgian character. On arrival, we were greeted by the wonderful wood-smoke aroma of an open fire, and a cosy, lively atmosphere. It was remarkably busy and is clearly a very popular destination, but regardless of all the comings and goings, we were made to feel most welcome by the friendly staff.
The pub offers an array of different spaces, each bespoke and individually designed. There’s a main bar, the Library, and the dining room, with a hotel upstairs. Lunch was served in the Atrium at the back of the pub, full of families and friends enjoying a relaxed Sunday meal. It’s a modern, warm place, with skylights, cobalt-blue walls and lovely botanical prints, wooden tables, long leather banquets and brightly upholstered chairs. Polygonal brass and glass pendants cast a mellow, inviting glow.
To whet our appetites, a delicious Macon Villages George Deboeuf. Complex, bright and bold, with mineral, citrus and honey notes, it was a pleasing prelude and an excellent accompaniment to our meal.
For starters we tucked into a substantial pot of smoked mackerel pâté, crammed with flakes of meaty fish and peppery, smoky-lemon flavours, served with plenty of toasted sourdough.
Prawn cocktail with langoustine was a treat. Pink and piquant with Marie Rose sauce, laced with crisp baby gem lettuce, this classic hors-d’oeuvre was served in a dimpled half-pint tankard – which definitely took me back a few years!
A proper Sunday roast has to be one of my favourite meals, so wonderfully comforting in the cold winter months. I tend not to cook pork at home as my daughter is not a fan and my son’s a veggie, so it’s always a bit of a treat to indulge when I’m out. The Roasted Dingley Dell pork loin didn’t disappoint; tasty and succulent, served with batons of perfectly crisp crackling and scrumptious homemade applesauce.
My friend’s beef with horseradish was equally rewarding, a generous portion of finely sliced, tender British sirloin. Both dishes were served with a plentiful selection of seasonal vegetables, including sweet finely smashed roots, emerald spring greens, elegant roasted purple carrots, and broccoli. No Sunday roast is complete without fluffy-crisp Yorkshires, and these double-egg lovelies tasted as good as they looked, especially with the ‘proper’ gravy.
There are of course lots of other tasty dishes to choose between, including the traditional burgers and steaks, homely pies, and battered cod. There’s also pheasant, pan-fried trout, or Moules Mariniere, and a good range of sharing plates.
Always worth leaving room for ‘Afters’…and the way to my heart is most definitely a Bakewell tart. Comfort food at its best, the Bakewell recalls for me warm childhood pleasures. Recreations are delightful (and rare) and I was more than happy with my generous helping of moist frangipane tart, cut through with a fine layer of Kent plum jam and served with vanilla ice cream. The homely caramel apple crumble with custard was an – almost – equally satisfying end to a jolly good traditional Sunday lunch in congenial surroundings.
The Coach and Horses is a wonderful social hub for locals and visitors alike – a real taste of tradition, and the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family or friends – especially on a cold and frosty winter’s day.
The Coach & Horses Kew
8 Kew Green, Kew, Surrey, TW9 3BH
Tel: 0208 940 1208