I got running in Victoria Park often and have wanted to check out this place for months as the beer garden is massive with a lot of seating so finally got around to taking a look last night. The inside of the pub is really well done with some nice seating and traditional English style pub art work on the walls. However on a nice summer evening its all about the garden and being entertained by some interesting dogs that other customers have brought in (if you like that sort of thing, which I do).
The menu is well done and even has a good few options for a veteran veggie such as myself. We had the grilled halloumi with chips and the butternut squash along with a bottle of wine.
You can really tell a lot from how they cook the halloumi, you want it well done aka nice and brown but not black and not too under cooked, it can be the difference from good and bad halloumi, which is a matter of seconds on a hot pan. As you can see from the picture its well done and very tasty, which a hell of a lot of places get wrong these days.
I intend to go back very soon to taste some more of their wines and enjoy the pub garden some more :) If you intend to do the same please bring a cute dog too.
I was at the Britannia back in June for a friend's wedding reception upstairs, but I held off on reviewing as a private function is not necessarily the best vantage point from which to review a pub.
Going back there this weekend on a balmy afternoon, I got to experience the large beer garden at its best.
The pub itself is a typical English pub (or at least to my imagination) shabby but speaking fo real character, unlike may artificially aged establishments.
They have a number of real ales on tap, so I was able to feed my fetish for English Ale while enjoying the warm afternoon with intermittent sunshine.
After a couple of drinks we decided on a snack as we were going to be dining out later so ordered a platter to share between 4 of us.
The platter consisted of a number of cheeses, salami, parma and pate with some chunky bread.
Although the pate was not wholly to my taste (it has some flavour that I can't quite put my finger on) the platter as a whole was good, my only complaint being that it could come with more bread.
The staff are very friendly and the place reeks of a casual relaxed atmosphere, just the place to relax and while away a few hours and pints. I'll be happy to return next time I'm visiting the area.
Unfortunately, it was a 3 stars rating for Britannia. It is like any other pubs in London ie mismatched vintage furniture and fixtures. Unlike other pubs, this one has a large back garden with many benches to sit on and bask in the sun with friends and family. However, their food disappointed us. The mere fish and chips is pretty below average. The fish was not fresh and lacking taste while the chips were soggy and once again tasteless. Personally if a restaurant/pub cant even have a good fish and chips then I think everything else on the menu is not worth trying. Exactly the case here as my husband had the angus burger from their special menu. The meat patty was just average, while the tsatsiki sauce they came with was too liquidy and same story with the chips (bland and soggy).
Sadly, I dont think we will come back for more or send a recommendation to this place.
Thanks to the yelpers for this one. I was dinking around on yelp and noticed the great review of The Britannia floating around so decided to try it instead of eating in the Empress in Hackney Village.
And it was a great choice. The bloody marys are, as I read on here, the best I have had in London for a long time. A long pint glass filled with tomato juice and all the toppings. I wasn't drinking so I had a virgin one which onlly cost 1.80 (amazing).
The mains were all good. My pie was a slab of authentic crusty goodness with a great sweet onion tang. And the gravy we got to pour over it was rich, thick and delicious. My friends said their roasts were also excellent.
Not only that but the room is nice, the staff great (though they need a few more of them) and in the summer its long beer garden will definitely be visited by me.
Finally, when a restaurant has enough attention to detail to spell pate (pâté) right on the receipt, you know it is good.
After weeks of cycling/running past The Britannia and wishing I could instead be enjoying the afternoon sunshine in its pub garden, the first thing I did after completing the event I'd been training for was head over to enjoy the afternoon sunshine in its pub garden. Inside it's not the most beautiful pub, the motley crew of furniture does not do much justice to what is actually quite a nice building, but I kind of prefer that to the luxury yuppie decor of The Crown across the way.
Anyway, the pub garden is massive and even on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday we managed to find a seat to drink our ciders (on tap). We also ordered the daily special which was ribs with coleslaw. We were told it might take an hour but actually it took less than 10 minutes to arrive, which was just as well because I was starving and practically eating the crisp packet. As I was starving I devoured the coleslaw which is not my favourite, but even on a normal day I think I would have enjoyed it - it was obviously fresh and homemade and quite satisfying as an accompaniment although it was a bit weird there were no chips or anything else with the ribs. The ribs themselves were delicious - they had quite an unusual peppery yet sweet marinade and although the weren't the most meaty ribs I've ever had overall I was very impressed with that for pub grub. Would definitely recommend a stop here pre/post a stroll in Victoria Park.
This bar used to be called something else which I cant remember, but what I do remember is one evening when I was cycling home through the park around this time last year there was a fire as high as the roof and a fire brigade outside. A few months ago this bar reopened it's doors as the Britannia Pub.
My first visit here was purely to use their wireless Internet, which a lovely blond Hungarian barman assisted me with.
This bar is really spacious with a mix of red chesterfield sofas, church benches green walls,. They have a jukebox which plays a random selection of music some good some bad. Overall a great place to come for a chilled drink after a walk in the park.
I was here for the Kleptones and Instamatic who did some great dj-ing and video projection mixing. Nice little dance floor was quiet at first but filled up as the night went on. The show was in a separate room from the bar so there was an area for people to hang out who didn't want to see the show (although the show was free). 3 real ales on tap. Beat up couches for sitting and chatting during breaks from the dance floor.
I really wanted to like, actually love this pub. And I tried but I think I just had a couple of off visits....but enough that I won't be coming back anytime soon.
First visit on a Sunday, it was way overcrowded with parents and kids...missed the outdoor bbq food and a stressed staff so we made a quick exit - no big deal, actually made me want to come back even more.
And we did, a few Sundays later...this time we snagged a table in the back garden (which is a lovely little slice of Victoria Park right there) although every Sunday must be a designated Stroller Sunday, as there were more under 2's than adults. Not counting the drunk mid-30s hipster couple dry humping in the middle of grass amongst the toddlers....but I digress.
So awesome, got a table, cute kids playing 'pub' (instead of 'house', oh those cute little English babies) behind us, now onto drinks. I was throughouly enjoying my house-made Bloody Mary until, oh god. A suspicious looking sliver wrapper floated to the surface. Ugh. I tried to erase this image from my mind and asked the bartender for a fresh one (from a fresh pitcher). He did, with no questions as I didn't really make a fuss. Whatever, I hoped the alcohol would kill off whatever germs contained in that foreign object.
Minor setback. Onto food. I was desperately hungry, and the grill was going right next to us, so we ordered a pricey portobello mushroom burger (£9) with chips, and a feta summer salad (£7). When it came out, I took a couple bites and realised my portobello burger was instead a bun with lettuce, tomato, and sliced little canned mushrooms. Huh? So, again, I got up, flagged down a staff member and he said, 'oh, we ran out so we replaced it with sauteed mushrooms instead'. Right. So I pay £9 for a garnish burger. This was quickly amended by another staff member, who got it a little more and immediately offered to replace it with a slab of chicken or burger or something. Good thing I wasn't a veggie. He was more than helpful. When I got my slap of replacement chicken, we noticed there was no feta on the salad, and the greens were mostly pieces of chopped iceburg. Hmm. Didn't have the energy to fight this one.
Overall, a disappointment, and while the snafus didn't really destroy my whole experience, they didn't help. And I'd still skip the food for the price. The chips were decent. And the Bloody Mary was great - just make sure you double check the thick mixture before you drink half.
I want to say I'll come back, but I'll probably take a six pack and a kebab to the adjacent space actually inside Victoria Park and have a much 'better value' and 'less kid concentrated' experience.
I've known this pub for over 10yrs. It used to be a Firkin pub many, many years ago, with it's own brewery on site, as was the way with Firkin pubs. Then I left the area to return some years later. By then it had turned into a rather poor Mr Q's pub - lots of pool tables, young chav type crowd. Then refurbed to become an even worse pub. I hate to be a bit snobby, but it appeared to be populated by local petty criminals, and some not so petty. The environment was unpleasant. I believe the pub was raided eventually, and the owners were prosecuted for allowing criminal activity on the premises. Then another management team moved in - supposedly they wanted to get rid of the less desirable elements of the pub, but didn't seem to manage it, although it was a better, safer atmosphere then. That was 2 years ago.
I occassionally play cricket at Victoria Park, and we regularly practice at the cricket nets, which are very near this pub - hence the in depth knowledge.
I did know the pub had changed hands, and had some major work done inside, and out. The new "garden" used to be just concrete and abandoned cars, and other junk strewn around.
Last night me and some of my cricket team stopped here for a drink after a game. It has changed massively. The crowd were completely different from old - young trendy types, it felt pleasant and welcoming, it had lots of outdoor seating, and there was a folk singer Nancy someone playing a live set.
Following the other reviews, I'll have to return for Sunday lunch and a Bloody Mary.
I've no excuse for not visiting this great pub more often. Located off one of the gates of Victoria Park, with a beer garden that stretches into the park itself, it's been completely revitalised by the current owners. As well as yum pies for lunch, there are both full bar and restaurant menu. Throughout the summer they're running a series of open air screenings in conjunction with the BFI on Thursday nights, as well as regular music residencies. Only gripe is that occasionally the service can be slow when they are busy but that's the only reason for them to narrowly miss 5 stars.
Nine of us went at 12.15 for a Sunday pub lunch today and a pint. All the food came out quickly and the staff were helpful. However our friend joined us after 45 minutes ordered just a portion of chips. An hour later, after querying the whereabouts of the chips the barlady came and informed us that the printer in the kitchen had not printed the order, and that it was "not ideal". No apology, although she did mutter a "sorry about that" under her breath as she walked off. Then another 30 mins later we were all joking about where the hell our hungry friends chips were. I went to remind them, and it seemed they were still not being made. They eventually came out with a waitress who didn't apologise either. To add insult to injury he asked a barman for mayonnaise and was informed that he was asking the wrong person because he was on the bar, but he seemingly went and asked someone. The mayonnaise never arrived. We won't be coming back. A simple apology would have been all it took. Food was ok.
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