The Angel and Crown is just seconds from the heart of Leicester Square but uncannily transports their patrons to a cosy, warm setting where the bright lights of a modern city are far from thought and the clientele devour on a hearty, homely mix of classic British dishes and drinks.
Décor and Ambience
The pub downstairs was plenty full when we arrived at 7pm creating a buzzing but not overbearing atmosphere. The décor is traditional, even Victorian which is done delicately enough to create a genuinely unique drinking and dining experience, amongst a plethora of tourist-centric pubs and bars. But it wasn’t the pub we were after immediately, although I could have downed the mouth-watering selection of pints right there; our hunger leads us upstairs to the restaurant.
I immediately loved the second floor dining room. It’s a smaller space with an instant homely feel from the burning open fire, warm neutral colours and soft lighting only add to the appeal. Furthermore, it’s a welcoming and intimate environment in a busy tourist destination. We were seated at one of the many tables situated next to a large window that overlooked the tourist treading street below.
The Angel and Crown is a modern British gastro pub in Covent Garden
Atmosphere and Clientele
The Angel and Crown is a pub with two personalities. The ground floor is a heaving, jovial, melting pot of Londoner’s and tourists, all twittering away in this styled gastro pub, with pints, cocktails and vino all being passionately poured by the busy bar team. Very much like its sister pubs, including The Cadogan Arms and The Botanist, expect to find young bright darlings, splashing the cash mixed in with hip young families and after work drinkers. Head upstairs to find a more serene, calm setting, with similar faces enjoying the menu of classic modern British cuisine.
Head upstairs to the warm and cosy dining room at The Angel and Crown
We started with the Pigs head terrain and the Mackerel as a starter. Both bold starters that your average London pub wouldn’t even think of to do. The main courses continue the theme with Pheasant and partridge Pie, Shetland Isles Mussels and a few classics thrown in like Dexter Beef Burgers and Adnam Beer Battered Fish and Chips, average prices at £14 for a main confirm the quality and above average gastro fayre. I plumped for the Risotto, with Cuttlefish, which was the evenings special, I didn’t regret my choice and I think was one area where the chef was able to experiment with the menu a bit. The Steak and Ale pie would be a delight for anyone with the taste for rich, hearty dishes. The chunks of meat and kidney were good and the pastry was light and a dish like that should be ordered with a very light starter though –as it’s very filling. For the hungry drinkers downstairs, they are well catered with audacious bar snacks including Roast Bone Marrow (£3.50), Pheasant Sandwich (£7.50) and the ubiquitous Scotch Egg (£4.00) as well a selection of Sharing Platters from £10.
Keeping up with the trends, The Angel and Crown has a great range of Craft Beers, an exciting and long overdue introduction of micro-produced beers and ales, with Dark Star and Sambrook Junction the stand outs. It’s actually a great place to try Craft beers in London, with more British beer on the taps (from £3.50) than the regular European lager monopoly that we have become accustomed to. The cocktail lovers are well catered for with the St Martin’s Mule and London Bellini well worth a try at £7 a go. Wine is not neglected, with a well thought out wine list covering new and old world wines respectfully. Try a leading English sparkling wine, Ridgeview from Sussex (£36.00 a bottle), or a happily affordable bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (£16.00) that brings a delightful crisp and zesty flavour to proceedings. The staff were very friendly and knew the menu inside and out which always feel you with confidence. I had the unusual sensation that they actually liked their jobs. Refreshing indeed.
A great range of Craft beers and wines available at The Angel and Crown
The Angel and Crown flies the flag gallantly for modern British cooking, dispels the myth that Britain doesn’t produce enough of its own beer and wine, and brings a long-overdue quality gastro pub into the heart of London.