It can be hard to find sanctuary in London, a city that coughs out rumbles and pollution from every corner, and considers pressing your body against strangers in a small metal tube the normal mode of transport. But then there’s West London, a beacon of wide pavements, drivers who stop at pedestrian crossings, and Maggie Jones's - a twee bolthole that’s been reviving souls for more than 40 years.
It’s actually hard to believe that Maggie Jones is in London at all; tucked away on a tiny little deadend, the exterior pops with teal and flower boxes sit atop folding-back doors. But it’s the interiors that wrap you up in a big mum-style hug, with countryside cute hanging on every corner. Rickety oak tables sit atop unpolished wooden floorboards; cosy nooks have been created from pew-style benches, and from seemingly every inch of ceiling space dangles baskets stuffed with dried lavender, old metal pails, and even a battered rocking horse. Better yet? It's a gem for groups. The restaurant can seat up to 20 people around a bigger table found upstairs, while the the first floor is a haven for private parties, seating up to 40.
Outside, a blackboard proudly states that this is the home of comfort food, and it’s not far wrong, with a list of smart, gourmet pub grub, that will mend even the most broken hearts. We start with a fresh parcel of crab meat, wrapped in smoked salmon and atop a rocket salad, that’s been doused in a tangy, lemony-dressing (£10), along with a plate of warm asparagus, on which we pour a citrus hollandaise (£9.50). Eschewing the pie of the day, the restaurant brought out a steak and mango casserole (£19); a thick stew with only the slightest hint of fruit, that was made even sweeter with a smooth carrot mash and plate of green beans.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I am a creature of comfort, a (working) lady of leisure, whose favourite position is fetal under my two duvets, wrapped in a thick woolly jumper and those soft, fluffy bed socks, but Maggie Jones's manages to be even more consoling. From interiors that feel like you should be a step away from a field full of cows to the well crafted and excellently executed menu, this pub is worth giving up your lease for, and using the cash to move into one of their pews.