Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)


Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)


Article excerpt


Whatever we Brits think of Americans can never be as strange as what those Americans must be thinking about us. On a Monday night, the dining areas at the Grenadier are packed with well-spoken, middle-aged Americans.

They are bright, inquisitive and perky; a second's eye-contact and the occupants of the next table will engage you in earnest conversation. They are all dining at the Grenadier because Frommer's Guide lists it as a genuine London pub. The hostelry is hidden in the elite tangle of mews behind Hyde Park Corner, and was originally part of the Duke Of Wellington's officers' mess.

During September, it is haunted by the ghost of an officer 'accidentally' flogged to death, so you've missed the ghost by a matter of days.

The menu is long and old-fashioned with the dishes of a smart, traditional hotel circa 1965. There is smoked salmon, soup of the day, whitebait, garlic mushrooms, country pate with orange. Main courses continue the theme - minted lamb shoulder, Scottish game pie, whole lemon sole, duck in red wine, chef's fish pie. One starter is a 'black pudding stack' - two discs of indifferent black pudding with Emmenthal cheese welded on top and accompanied by a couple of rashers of good (if salty) bacon, the whole assemblage swimming in a strange, glutinous gravy.

Angels On Horseback (on the specials board) features the same thick rashers wrapped around diminutive oysters - [pounds sterling]7.55.

The wine list is a puzzle - there are no dates given and the incredibly low prices would make even a saint suspicious. There's a bottle of Chateau Batailley for under [pounds sterling]23, and for the same price, an enticing burgundy.

[pounds sterling]22.95 buys you a bottle of surprisingly good red wine - Pommard from Pierre Ponnelle, 1997, a sound enough year - and this from an establishment biffing you [pounds sterling]18 for soggy beef Wellington becalmed in a puddle of the same gravy that came with the black pudding and accompanied by a small side dish of nondescript veg. …

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