Inspired by my recent jaunt to Acorn House, on my doorstep for the last year but unexplored territory, I decided that I really should go to the Duke of Cambridge in Islington soon. I didn’t expect it to be quite so soon, I was meeting friends for lunch last weekend. It needed to be child friendly and nice as, with a newborn baby, my friend doesn’t get out that often these days. A friend with a child suggested that we try the Duke of Cambridge.
I called on Friday evening to book a table for lunchtime the next day. They said that only one table was booked, so we didn’t need to worry, but as I was on the phone I thought that I might as well just book a table. I’m glad I did as when we got there for lunch on Saturday it was packed. Situated on St Peter St, just off Essex Rd in Islington, the Duke of Cambridge is set on a street corner, with lots of windows looking into quite a nice looking refurbished pub. Our table was towards the back by the open kitchen, in a conservatory.
For those of you that don’t know of it, the Duke of Cambridge was Britain’s first organic gastropub. It has been brought to my attention a number of times, most recently in the Oberver Food Monthly Eco Awards, with Geetie Singh reaching number 16 on their top 40 list. It has also been listed on the Best Sunday Lunch OFM lists twice. It’s had positive reviews in far too many places for me to list here and maintain your interest!
They use seasonal, fresh, local and organic ingredients, and most foods, from bread to ice cream are made on the premises. The menu changes twice daily and is determined by what the supplier delivers. They have an ethical fish policy, farmed salmon and trout is organic, wild fish is caught off the coast of Britain – on the South and South East coasts where possible to minimise food miles and they only purchase fish caught using sustainable fishing methods. In addition to this fish is purchased seasonally and outside of breeding seasons. Their policy is approved by the Marine Conservation Society.
Once seated, we were given some menus and some water. Service was prompt and polite, we ordered from the menu on the blackboard on the wall. I chose the yellow split pea and coconut curry and my dining companions chose the chickpea and spinach cake with roast butternut squash, greens and mushroom sauce, and the pan fried sardines with puy lentils. Two of us had wine by the glass, it was only lunchtime after all!
I couldn’t criticise the food, and I tried all the dishes. It was all cooked with great care and clearly with the best of ingredients. The presentation was rustic and inviting, I couldn’t wait to tuck in. The curry was delicate and light, and contrasted with some sour onions and yoghurt with delicious leaves, really lovely. The chickpea and spinach cake sounded like it might be heavy, but not atall, it was rich and flavoursome, and very moreish, which can be a problem if it’s not your dish! The sardines, I am told were delicious. We finished our meal with coffee served in a moka with some hot milk and chocolate cake for my friends 2 year old daughter. She allowed me a taste, well, she wasn’t looking if I am honest! It was rich and dark, and she really enjoyed it, as the couple at the table next to us commented!
The main courses are priced on average between £11 – £15, starters and desserts at about £6. It’s worth every penny.
The Duke Of Cambridge
30 St Peter’s Street
London N1 8 JT
Telephone: 020 8986 5384