THE NATURALIST PUB
A review by Tanya Howard
Just a short walk from Manor House station The Naturalist Pub has recently joined the Woodberry Down community, at the heart of their new development. Serving the finest seasonal food and delicious drinks, I was invited to come along to try out their menu and so I took my friend Abi with me for a girly catch up and in the hopes of having a good feed.
Tucked away at the bottom of a modern block of flats the pub boasts a very inviting entrance and without even going inside you can tell it has a good atmosphere and that it serves wholesome food. Upon entering we were asked where we would like to sit and picked a table by the window with two comfy chairs, whilst very cosy not the best choice when eating as the chairs were just inviting us to laze. We didn’t realise that further in there were tables and chairs more set up for dining but at least we know for next time.
We were given the day time Main Menu but there is also a Breakfast & Brunch Menu, Sunday Menu and a Christmas Menu and the seasonal dishes across them change “as often as the British weather” and they really cater well for dietary requirements with both vegan and vegetarian options. The staff were really welcoming and checked on us regularly so we were never without a drink or sat waiting with an issue, our waitress for the evening was Teresa and she was just lovely.
Teresa took our drinks order and left us to peruse the menu to decide what to have, I went for a Passionfruit Martini and Abi had a mocktail, and we tried to whittle down our food choices after being stuck between a number of dishes. For starters I went for flat bread, squash dip, balsamic and oil, which is a vegan dish to add, and Abi went for wild mushroom, poached hens’ egg, tomato relish, hollandaise and sourdough, and both our plates were spotless by the time they came to clear the table.
The mains took a little longer for us to decide as there were so many great options, Abi was between The Naturalist Burger which comes with cheese, ale onions, pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise and skinny fries, or the steak. I was between the Partridge, pork, fig, lemon & thyme sausages, with creamy mash, caramelised onions and gravy, and the steak as well which ended up winning out for both of us. A hanger steak with crispy onion, watercress, bearnaise sauce and rosemary fries, which I order in medium well and Abi asked for medium.
Whilst I pushed aside my onions because I’m a total fuss pot I really enjoyed my steak and for someone who doesn’t tend to be the biggest fan of fries I couldn’t stop eating their rosemary fries. Really thin with a subtle flavour I was really impressed and found them very moreish, unfortunately Abi’s steak was a little overcooked for her liking so she wasn’t as big of a fan of the main as I was. Very full at this point, not surprising after a carb overload, we tentatively looked over the dessert menu but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out a dish each.
I decided on Lemon Posset which came with a berry posset and shortbread, and Abi went for a Chocolate Tart, with locally sourced honeycomb and Judes vanilla ice cream. I’ve never had lemon posset before but on Teresa’s recommendation I decided to give it a try and whilst I removed the berry compote (again just personal fussy preference) I found the lemon posset really sweet and tasty, I have a massive sweet tooth so whilst some might find a bit too sweet I was a big fan. The chocolate tart was a bit too rich for Abi and I couldn’t taste it to give a verdict as I hadn’t checked if that one had nuts in it and didn’t want to risk my allergy (and anyway as if I could have fitted in anything else at this point).
I would definitely go back to The Naturalist Pub, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the pub, the food was really tasty, the staff were welcoming and friendly and it’s always good to find somewhere new to try out in London. There’s a lot of places popping up that are going to town on exotic and intricate dishes so it was nice to find a homely, classic menu that got my tastebuds watering. We were also invited to take part in the Quiz Night that they have every Wednesday where you can win prizes like free drinks or dinner but we unfortunately had to make a move.
If you are free on the 25th October I would recommend going along for their Christmas Showcase, a sneak preview of what will be on offer during the festive season. You can enjoy a glass of Prosecco and try tasters from both the party food menus and Christmas Day choices. They also have a Halloween pumpkin carving event on the 31st October where you can have Halloween cocktails, pumpkin pies, toffee apples, sweets for the trick and treaters and as the title tells you pumpkin carving.