London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars updates
West London: Hammersmith and Fulham
Contemporary pub, brewpub (Independent)
320 Goldhawk Road W6 0XF
T (020) 8834 7336 W www.theduchessofcambridgepub.com f theduchesspubw6 tw duchesspubw6
Open 1200 (1100 Sat)-2300 (2400 Fri-Sat, 2230 Sun). Children welcome until 2000.
Cask beers 13 (Own beer when brewery commissioned, unusual often local guests), Other beers 55 bottles, Also 11 real ciders, wines, specialist spirits
Food Upmarket pub grub, Outdoors Side terrace, Wifi. No disabled toilet but flat access.
Tue quiz, Fri live music, seasonal parties, functions
The latest venture from the owners of one of my Top 25, the Bree Louise specialist real ale and cider pub near Euston, the Duchess is a big and previously unloved roadside pub on a main junction of the route between Shepherds Bush and Chiswick, just on the edge of Hammersmith right by leafy Ravenscourt Park. It was once known as the Brook but has been renamed to commemorate a certain new member of the royal family — only the second pub in the country to take the name — and is being managed by two former Mitchells and Butlers staff, Ruth Boult and Simon Waind. Behind the imposing frontage with its attractive wooden side terrace there’s an extensive single drinking area refurbished along clean and contemporary lines, notably more upmarket than its sister pub, with red and white paint, heavy wood tables, dark brown chairs, beer advertising enamels, a welcoming open fire and the remains of a decorated ceiling.
Like the Bree, much of the beer is served from the cask by gravity — there’s a stillage with an impressive hoist above, dispensing up to nine ever changing beers, plus four on handpump, often from small and local producers. Windsor & Eton and Redemption regularly feature, alongside perhaps Crag Vale, Little Valley or Titanic from further afield and there are usually dark beers and unusual styles. Things will get even more local in January 2012 when the pub opens its own in-house brewery. And unlike the Bree, the draught choices are supplemented by over 50 bottles of world beer classics including Anker Gouden Carolus, several British craft lagers from Calvors, Goose Island 312 wheat beer, Nils Oscar God Lager and Westmalle Tripel. An impressive range of real ciders, around 25 wines by the glass and more by the bottle, and a back bar crowded with single malts, tequilas and other specialist spirits including gin and vodka from local craft distillery Sipsmith vastly extend the drinks offer. Suitably British food ranges from tasting plates of artisanal cheeses, sausage snack platters and Welsh rarebit to reasonably priced steaks, burgers, fish and chips and roast butternut squash.
It’s a bigger and more ambitious project than the Bree, and on a site less favoured than its sister’s central location, but if you’re not local it’s well worth making the trip. Alot of effort has gone into creating a very special and remarkable pub that deserves to flourish.
Underground Stamford Brook Bus Flanchford Road (94 Turnham Green, Shepherds Bush), Stamford Brook Road (237 Gunnersbury, Shepherds Bush) Cycling LCN+ 35