My best friend Jemma has lived just around the corner from the Anchor and Hope for a few years now and I only managed to make it for lunch the week before Jemma moved house. Still, judging by the food we ate for her birthday meal last Saturday, it's well work coming back, even if it is a bit of a schlep (though fortunately she will still be in the area).
We arrived at around 1:30 on a busy Saturday lunch shift and were lucky to secure a large table for 6. The kitchen closes at 2:30 and reopens again at 6 for dinner service and they operate a no reservations policy.
We had a couple of drinks (me the special, a rhubarb and prosecco cocktail which was amazing) and had some bread whilst waiting for a friend to arrive. As it approached 2:15 we were rushed into ordering and informed the kitchen would soon close. Whilst one of our party was late, we still had some time but felt pressured to order for her.
As luck would have it, she arrived and all was well. I started with the potted shrimp, served sans pot on a plate with melted butter. Not what I'd expected but good and a generous portion. The lemon cutting through the richness of all the butter. Jemma and Charlie shared their favourite snail salad and Cranny liked his terrine.
Main coursed swept the floor though, the hare lasagna for 2 was impressive and delicious and, again, a very big portion.
I selected the veal Milanese with spinach. I loved the crispy coating and the moist meat and the spinach was tasty. Why have I never had it topped with a grating of parmesan before? Genius. Again, a large chunk of lemon helped by adding an element of freshness to what is essentially deep fried meat.
Other mains tried at our table were braised lamb neck with cous cous, olives and tzatsiki and the winning wild rabbit with bacon, prunes and sherry for the birthday girl. The side order of lentils was an unexpected hit, the deep smokiness and creamy texture elevating the simple pulse making it one of the most memorable dishes of the meal.
I'm so glad to have finally made it here, I wasn't disappointed and will definitely be back. We each had 2 courses and several drinks and it came to £25pp. I like the unfussy approach and the adventurous menu, so many gasropubs have become tired and samey but the menu here is genuinely exciting.
Anchor and Hope
36 The Cut