The Windmill lays claim to the best pies in Central London; thus far I haven't tried anywhere good enough to be even close to disputing this. Their pies ARE top-notch, and the setting really compliments the traditional English pub fare.
Pubs in Mayfair (and indeed the surrounding areas of Piccadilly and Soho) tend to be in the same mould: traditional old English style; smaller places on narrow streets, decked in wood panelling, somewhat dark, offering real ales and "traditional pub food". Ask anyone what that latter part means, and they'll say one of two things: fish & chips, or pies. Given that proper steak or chicken pies are clearly a staple attraction of a traditional pub & grub establishment, competition for "the best" is fierce, and many claim to have it.
From what I've experienced, The Windmill does it better than most. It is a favourite here in the office; special occasions and company lunch outings tend to be in this direction; especially to treat out-of-town guests to a good steak pie. Or chicken pie. Or whatever else happens to be on the menu at that time. There is a good selection of pie, and often the specials further add to the list, along with other classic pub menu options such as the aforementioned fish & chips, burgers, and so on. But the pie is their main event; they even call their back restaurant area "The Pie Room" and upstairs "The Pie Room 2". These settings are typical of the area, far removed from bright windows and drinkers squeezing into the limited outside space - there's a new roof terrace offering a handful of drinkers a little bit of extra room to enjoy sunshine; but big groups are seated indoors. I've had one less-than-ideal experience, owing to a nasty smell emanating from the toilets upstairs, but my other visits have shown that this was a rare accident.
Said bigger groups, as we are used to dining in, are well catered for by excellent waiting staff who never miss a beat in terms of being attentive and receiving (and delivering) your order quickly. Bar staff are friendly and will recommend the pick of the week's ales to match your order. If you're only here to drink, it's likely standing room only, and unfortunately it's a tiny street so perhaps is only recommended if there are a handful of folk in your group.
The food itself is delicious. I am a huge fan of the steak and mushroom pie; many colleagues prefer the chicken and leek. On our last visit, there was a spicy chicken and chorizo pie on the specials menu, with flaky pastry and humous. Those who tried it, loved it. The pies are generously sized and full of meat; the mash nice and creamy. My order also arrived with a side pot of gravy, which made the mash even nicer. A recommended addition to your pie dish are the "greens" - cooked in and served with bacon bits. Deliciously addictive. The only negative I can give on the food side is that it can taste quite salty. Not the healthiest of choices, but if you're not here often it shouldn't do you any harm - it certainly doesn't make it taste bad, unlike some places where the food has been so salty it is inedible.
Overall, I like the Windmill. I love having a drink there when it's quiet, though at busy times it's a squeeze. But I love their food, and I think if you do come here for the best pie in London, and get a nice seat, you probably won't be disappointed.
Wonderful rooftop terrace with the best steak and kidney pie in London, three years running. Service was fast and efficient. They started serving lunch (and thus pie) at 11:45. If I had more time here I would come back to try their seasonal pies.
This is a great pub. I liked the London beer on tap, the good customer service, and the roof terrace where we enjoyed our meal. The atmosphere was pleasant, and the meals we ordered were as well. The Shepherd's Pie was the favourite, but we were all happy with what we ordered. In the evenings, one can find parking on the streets nearby.
I had a hard time deciding what kind of food was London-specific that I NEEDED to try before leaving since I only had 2 days in the city. Then it dawned on me.. Shepherd's pie! I proceeded to check where I could find some and then I found this restaurant claiming to have the best. We came in around noon and the place was dead, which was not reassuring since it's prime-time lunch. We stayed anyway and our server was super friendly
Shepherd's Pie - Learned that this is served with mashed potatoes and not a crust. The filling was good but I got tired of eating it after a while.
Steak & Kidney Pie - Crust stole the show. It was awesome. I definitely enjoyed this more than the Shepherd's Pie. I did not get tired of it and finished this down to the very last crumb.
They won an award for their steak & kidney pie so not that surprised that it was much better than the regular shepherd's pie. Cozy spot and good food. Next time I am craving pie in london, this is probably where I will go.
Mmmmmm....pie. Pie pie pie pie pie pie pie.
Now that I've thoroughly dated myself with that reference, I'll say that the Windmill lives up to its claim as being the best place in the area for pies. We had some drinks at the bar/outside and later came in and found a seat in "Pie Room Too" and ordered. Around the table there were choices of chicken/leek, steak/mushroom, haloumi, & one other. Everyone loved the pies. I had the steak & mushroom and it was delish! I'd have rather gotten chips than mashed potatoes, but forgot to order that way. No problem, though. The pie pastry was very nice and the seasoning just scrumptious. I'll definitely keep The Windmill in mind for a nice pub meal when I'm out shopping, etc.
Great atmosphere, closed at weird hours, but the shepherds pie is delicious, a bit over seasoned but if you are looking for a good pie, you can find it here! A nice place, nothing amazing.
Crowded, stuffy, noisy, and full of English folk who are really into meat pie. Food didn't look healthy at all.
But to each his own.
I visited The Windmill on Friday, 21st June 2013. I had a party size of 6 adults. The restaurant was full so I'm glad I made a reservation. I have eaten in the sister restaurant The Ginea Grill a few times and have tried the steak and mushroom pie there, so I was very excited about coming here.
We tried to order some Oysters, they only had seven remaining and had to ask the chef if they could sell us all seven as they usually only sell them in threes. I was wondering what they would do with the one left over if they refused to sell it to us! The french oysters were excellent, just not enough of them. We also ordered some prawn fish cakes which were excellent.
Onto the main courses, this time I tried the steak and kidney pie. This has won three awards previously as the best pie in London, and I can see why. The pie was excellent, the pastry, the meat...I was asked to complete a feedback card at the end, my comments were they shouldn't change a thing. It was perfect. For sides I tried the mash and mushy pea's. the peas were good, however the mash potato was a bit dry.
Overall I enjoyed this experience. I will come back and dine again. The reason for the four stars and not five, the oyster incident with the waitress and the restaurant only having seven remaining (we originally wanted 18)
You must know something. I love pie. This place serves an award winning steak and kidney pie.
I did not know something. Kidneys are actually kidneys and not kidney beans. Yes, I'm probably retarded. Regardless, it was a good pie. Next time I will not order kidney, haha. I'm sure it is a good source of iron but it tastes like chicken liver which tastes like dirt.
And I can vouch that there were media people there, because I was :)
A real gem in that most tourist trap laden ghetto, the West End. This is an excellent, pub, close to Oxford Circus, yet far from the madding crowd. A Youngs house with a couple of guest ales, frequented predominantly by those that work in the area and the lucky few that live there.
Try the award winning (seriously) steak and kidney pie. It has a light short crust pastry, is meaty, beaty big and bouncy, has a sufficiency of kidneys and a deliciously tingley pepperiness.
If you have to meet with someone in this part of town, this place should be very high up on your list of lets meet here places.
Walking around aimlessly in posh business area, how did we get over here anyway?! American friend visiting wanted fish and chips. Out comes my phone's yelp app for some fish n chips nearby. Closest pub in the neighborhood, check.
Cool dark friendly pub with business men (seriously Mr Monopoly was sitting next to us doing a crossword) and locals and friendly gold toothed bar maid making it outstanding.
FOOD! Turns out this place is known for its pies. And they do look tasty. But we order the haddock and it is crunchy (able to withstand all the lemon and vinegar slathers you can shake at it) and the tartare sauce is just right. Definitely cool hidden place that I will come back to reveal to more american tourists. But don't worry, I'll blindfold them for the journey or something.
BEER! They have guest cask beers that rotate monthly and have a taster paddle. A pound something each for 3, 1/3 pint tasters of the guest casks.
ROOM!? There's an upstairs "pie room" which seems like a private room. Went on a monday afternoon and it didn't look open, not sure if you can just go up whenever.
The Shepherd's Pie was incredible as was the Fish and Chips. The upstairs dinning area was quiet despite the crowd downstairs watching the soccer match.
The waiter explained that the Shepherd's Pie was award winning and there was a sign and newspaper articles on the wall to back it up. I would return just to have the Shepherd's Pie.
After a week in Italy, we had reservations at a trendy restaurant down the street. We ended canceling them for a night of Pub dinning at The Windmill Mayfair.
We were wandering along Regent Street looking for a pub when a passerby heard our discussion. A local, he directed us back past the Apple Store to the Windmill as the best pub in the area for a pint. Following his directions led us to this wonderful pie shop restaurant with a few drafts on offer. We ended up with two pints of a real ale called Milkwood, which was oddly produced by Brains brewery. I might have to steal one of these glasses that says "Brains" on it.
Good service, the very loud bell rang at 10:50 with an apology for last call and then again 10 minutes later.
They have a fruit machine that was loudly being used for a trivial pursuit / battleship game by a bunch of shirt and tie folks when we got in, it got a bit quieter so we could actually hear outselves talk.
When we travel as a family part of our experience is to try the local fare. We like to try good eateries away from the hustle and the bustle of tourist traps. This trip took us 2 buses from Waterloo but it was an adorable place. I was a little disappointed as the night we were there the only "pie" available was a chicken and leek pie and I so badly wanted a real British pie for dinner but the Cottage/Shepards Pie was delicious. The dessert of sticky toffee pudding was also delicious. We live in California and I grew up in South Africa. We do not get meat pies in California. I was hoping to have at least one pie in England. The closest I got was a M&S sausage roll from Waterloo Station. The dinner however was delicious and the place is so adorable and full of locals.
Known for its pies, this pub gets very busy of an evening, especially during the darker months when a pie and ale is just the tonic for a cold London.
We popped by here in the summer, so it was less busy (no outdoor space) but it was relaxed, with the Olympics coverage providing the occasional burst of excitement.
It's a Youngs pub, so if you're new to London and want to try some decent ale, you could do a lot worse.
This pub is loaded with media people from soho, all I could hear was conversations buzzing about films, production who edited what etc etc.
White Table Clothes, and fine traditional english food, this place as a comfortable mid weight option for building the bridge between casual and semi formal. serving award winning food such a Steak and Kidney Pies, fish and chips, Cured meats, and pates.. this is an excellent resort to introducing over sea's clients too Fine English food. you never know, they may even enjoy it! ;)
I came here, and had a really enjoyable time. For what they are aiming to do glorify english cusine, I think they do it well.. not too frilly, not to functional, fine line but a good balance.
I really liked this place.
From the friendly but undoubtedly quirky staff, to the very well kept Youngs beer, the great food, the comfy tables and the really well laid out dining areas, this pub really does tick all the boxes.
If you're looking for a good pie and a decent pint, then I can't think of anywhere else in the location that can touch this place.
Despairing at the atmosphere and lack of seats in the nearby Coach and Horses, my companions and I set off in search of a better venue. We were as delighted to find The Windmill as Lawrence of Arabia no doubt was to find Omar Sharif when he lost his way in a parallel universe.
The Windmill makes some bold claims in the form of banners from the Institute of Pie Excellence saluting its steak and kidney pies. My chaps and I were not here for the food, however, and embarked on a swift couple of Guinnesses so no report can be given on the grub. This venue is large and was remarkably quiet for a Saturday afternoon. There is also an excellent view of a rubber-wear shop next door where the clientele will provide much merriment if it is to be found in short supply with your comrades.
Paddyman's verdict? A relief after the touristic nightmare of the Coach and Horses, this pub has some amusing pictures in its toilets (a big fan of this) which more than compensated for the "haven't-quite-worked-out-how-to-clean-the-bogs-since-the-smoking-ban" whiff around and about the gents. Repeat visits will confirm my suspicion that this pub may be a little gem given its location.
I was looking for authentic Shepherd's pie which I've never had before as a silly American whose diet consists mostly of in-n-out and umami burger, and found this place on yelp/tripadvisor, boasting it's national awards for 3 separate years. I'm not a huge fan of English food, but this is one of the best things I've ever tasted in my life. They have several different pies that change everyday, but the traditional shepherd's pie was simply fantastic. And for under 10 pounds, I found it to be quite the bargain (considering it's fantastic service, true and authentic crowd, admirable decor, and the simple fact that it's in a city as expensive as London).
Washing it down with a pint or 10 of their fantastic award-winning selection of beer before pairing it with a delicious toffee pudding was just a fantastic start to our London trip. I would recommend to any and everyone visiting, and would love to go there again soon.
A quaint and cute pub tucked into a relatively quiet street just off Regent Street. The pub has pretty standard drinks and beer, with a good selection of English ales. The food is a bit pricey, and takes a while to prepare, but it's good quality. The pies are the go-to dish, which are served hot and savory. I tried my first steak and kidney pie here; it was good and flakey, though you should prepare for how kidney tastes. Friendly servers too, but then again it was a quiet weekday afternoon when I popped in.
Awesome place. Pub culture in UK unfortunately just can't be recreated back home in CA. Great vibe andenergy on weeknights, businessmen, locals, groups of girls having cider, shoppers. Loved the local ales - London and Cornwall based. Had steak and kidney pie with mash, and fish (haddock) and chips. Sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Love the classic old decor.
We stopped by here on the recommendation that they were the best place to grab a steak and kidney pie in all of London. They do boast several large signs over the bar bragging on their multiple awards. We found this spot cozy, friendly and with good food and drink. We weren't starving, but picked up a steak and mushroom pie that came with chips and mushy peas. Everything was delicious. A good selection of beers. Fair prices. It was busy for a short time right after work hours, but cleared out quickly after the businessmen finished their pints. Some colorful neighborhood old codgers completely rounded out this experience for us.
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