Who doesn’t love the bustling streets of Islington? Streets humming with people in bright colours, a unique blend of prime real estate and start-up shops, an eclectic food scene, proper little cafes and fabulous places to brunch – it’s a humble neighbourhood full of possibility; and then you have those hearty places we all know and love so well. A pub. The Foxglove, to be exact.
It’s impossible to not love a good pub. Roaring fires, strong selections of ales, wines and gins, a place to watch your sports or a place to catch up with friends without spending a fortune, and we mustn’t forget the reason we all love a good pub; the pub grub that we all know and love, especially a decent Sunday lunch.
The Foxglove in London is in the perfect location. Close by to Angel station and only a 20 minute walk from London Kings Cross and surrounded by boutique shops and cafes. Inside is warm, cosy and although totally trendy and upmarket – still very much the humble neighbourhood pub we all know and love so well.
Whilst I love fine dining with their intricate plates and shavings of truffle; You simply cannot beat a Sunday lunch. It’s a British staple and it’s what we are famous for and it makes those cosy Sunday’s that much better.
The Foxglove’s kitchen has recently been taken over by a new food business, Fat Sabbath and they know how to make a proper yummy Sunday roast, oh yes they do.
To start with, I had the Steamed Scottish Mussels with Shallots, Garlic, Parsley and Sourdough as well as a Truffled Wild Mushroom Soup with Sourdough. The soup was the perfect dish to dive straight into on an Autumnal afternoon and the deep, earthy flavours of truffle were big and bold – lots of people like sourdough toasted (and rightly so if it comes with an egg and a dollop of avo) but with a soup, I prefer my sourdough to be warm and soft enough to mop up.
I’m always into mussels – wherever I go, I can’t not get them and what’s interesting about mussels is that out of all of the shellfish out there, these little guys have the have most impressive nutritional profile.
They contain high levels of highly desirable long chain fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and are a brilliant source of vitamins, so next time you see them on a menu you might think twice about them. Although these little chaps were lovely, there were a couple in there that were closed and inedible.
For my main I was taken aback by flavours with the Chestnut Mushroom, Kale, Butternut Squash & Smoked Gouda Wellington served with Thyme Roasties, Celeriac and Candied Carrots but not just a wellington, oh no… This one came with a tomato and thyme gravy that was so big and bold it would make Madonna look tame. The smoked gouda offered a much needed saltiness to an otherwise fairly sweet dish. For me, it could do with having the carrots less candied as there are a lot of flavours here that some might feel overwhelmed at but for me, that gravy brought it all together perfectly so it wasn’t too overwhelming.
For dessert, how could you not choose the Sticky Toffee Pudding? It’s like being at Nan’s house; If there isn’t a Sticky Toffee Pudding at the end, what has Nan been up to?! A hot and sticky, incredibly generous portion of sauce to go with this pudding and it filled me up just right.
This is a pub that the neighbours pop to after work, in a joyful neighbourhood, welcomes locals and newbies in exactly the same fashion and mixes old school with bohemian. The chef’s here have only been at the helm for around two weeks and whilst there is clearly a lot of skill and verve going on in that kitchen, there could be a tiny bit of finessing here and there – maybe slightly smaller plates and pulling some of the sweet for some salt.
2 Courses: £24.00
3 Courses: £26.50
209-211 Liverpool Rd, Islington, London N1 1LX (www.thefoxglove.co.uk)
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Disclaimer: Dinner courtesy of The Foxglove.