Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pub review: BEDFORD & STRAND (Charing Cross)

Named as such because the pub falls on the intersection of Bedford Street and the Strand, I immediately thought of Rooney Mara when I heard of this place, because Rooney was born in Bedford, New York. (I’m somewhat obsessed with her, in case you hadn’t noticed).

Anyway, despite being at such a hot location, Bedford & Strand wasn’t half as noisy as some of its neighbouring west End drinking holes, and all the better for it. Because it’s a sort of gastropub/wine bar, the clientele is a little bit more upmarket then the drunken football fans you’ll find in Slug and Lettuce (no shade, just stating facts). And as much as it’s fun to be in good company of fellow inebriated football yoofs occasionally, sometimes you want to enjoy your booze in a slightly more genteel surroundings.

With the delineation between bar and gastropub now fully established, I didn’t feel a burning desire to try the food out here. Too many pubs that do half-arsed microwave lunches have burned me in the past (quite literally sometimes – the food is scalding hot, yet somehow, undercooked). So I can’t comment on the quality of the food.

I can, however, talk about the wine, and the wine was ace! And so reasonably priced – a delicious bottle of white wine was only £28 – compare that to the extortionate prices the Royal Opera Houses’s Amphitheatre restaurant, when the wine there was so unremarkable that I forgot to even comment on it in my review. We only sampled one bottle of wine when at Bedford & Strand (from the Staff Picks list), but due to its success, I can't wait to try some of the others on the Staff Picks list!

The beer that Bedford & Strand have on tap is also tasty, and very potent, and well-priced, at £4.50 a pint. Word of warning, however: because it's so easy on the tastebuds, you sip at it at a dangerously rapid pace. Before I knew it, I was seriously drunk!

Overall, this was a really nice find, and one that genuinely surprised me given most pubs in London’s prime locations tend to be mediocre-to-awful. Once you step inside, you might feel it’s a bit posh for you, but bear with it. Plus, due to being located right next to Charing Cross, your drunken stagger need not be too laborious a process.

It’s a well-run, well-decorated, and best of all, well-stocked pub in the city.

Grade: A-

No comments: