It’s not always easy to locate a decent gastro pub in the centre of London. With so many themed bars, nightclubs and restaurants scattered around places like The Crown & Sceptre can easily be overlooked.
Located on the corner of a residential area behind Oxford Street; it’s difficult to miss the The Crown & Sceptre, still donning all of the original architecture from when it was originally opened. Its transformation into a contemporary pub has seen it move toward a more relaxed model. With plenty of places to sit and enjoy the extensive menu, there is also plenty of space to stand (inside and out) if you're only staying for a quick after work drink. They also have a slightly separate area tucked away behind the bar, perfect for a big group booking.
The Clientele and Atmosphere
I arrived to The Crown & Sceptre at around 6.30pm on a weekday evening and unsurprisingly it was at its busiest, heaving with after work drinkers. There were large groups standing outside which actually left plenty of room inside; with a variety of seating options, including high stools, large group tables and comfy sofas at the rear. It actually started to get quieter as the night went on, as those fresh from the office started to head home to be replaced by more local drinkers. The pub is vibrant and fun without being too loud or too busy, the perfect recipe for midweek drinks.
The Food and Drinks
The drinks selection was pretty much as you’d expect, a few tasty craft beers amongst the usual continental options on tap, with a healthy selection of wine and spirits for those looking to sample the hard stuff.
The food menu however required a lot more deliberation, with an extensive range to choose from for all three courses. Our starters of salt and pepper squid alongside flat & oyster mushrooms on rye toast with stilton cream were tasty and extremely generous, we could’ve easily shared just one of them.
For main we opted for the 8oz 21 day aged rib-eye steak and the wild salmon fish cakes, with lemon crème fraiche, potato wedges, celeriac and apple slaw. The steak was truly of a high quality and cooked to perfection, plus the flavor combinations of the salmon fish cakes were spot on. For dessert I recommend you look no further than the salted caramel & chocolate tart with clotted cream, utterly decadent if you have the room.
A central London gastro pub with a neighbourhood feel. Spend a few hours at The Crown & Sceptre and you’ll completely forget how close you are to Oxford Street, a comfortable and welcoming retreat from the insanity around the corner.