Classic pub fair from the ETM Group in Ealing
Sitting just on the border of Brentford and South Ealing, The Ealing Park Tavern is the latest addition to the ETM gastro pub group of 13 pubs across London, which includes several of my personal favourite refined haunts such as ‘The Jugged Hare’ which is nestled behind the Barbican centre (read my review here) and Chelsea’s ‘The Botanist’ which occupies number 7 Sloane Square). I was keen to pop along to the opening night of the revamped Ealing Park Tavern, not a venue I’d been to before, which opened to a soft launch just before Christmas 2014.
I popped down to the launch event, not quite sure what to expect and was more than pleasantly surprised. Walking into the tavern felt like I hadn’t taken a bus across Ealing but out into the countryside. The first thing that hit me was the plethora of taxidermy adorning just about every inch of wall space, then the well stocked long main bar running almost the length of the pub and the roaring log fires – not often you see a real these days!
Way back between 1728 and the mid 1800’s the site was home to the Lewis Furnell Brewhouse, since taking over the ETM group have brought that history and tradition back by brewing their own range of bitters, pale ales and lagers with a ‘brewmaster’ on hand to guide you through your choice of drink and to provide tastings, tutorials and classes to match beer and food’s. Chatting to the ‘brewmaster’ he was extremely knowledgeable about his craft and recommend several great beers which I tried through the evening.
My favourite beer was Rodenbach Grand Cru, 6% abv, which comes from the Rodenbach brewery in Belgium. This was a very rich beer with an almost wine like quality which I haven’t experienced before. It is blended from a barrel aged two year old beer and young beer, I really recommend trying it and imagine it would pair well with dark meats, steaks and rich gamey pies.
The second beer I tried was Beavertown Gamma Ray, 5.4% abv, which although looking like a classic piece of Americana is brewed in Hackney. It’s quite different tasted juicy and tropical, delish!
On to the food. The overall ethos at ETM group pubs is always on sourcing excellent produce such as seafood from Billingsgate market and Lake District Farmers. Set up in the main function room along with beer tables was a table with a great selection of cheeses which are available on the menu as a cheese plate. I dived in sampling goats cheese, Colston Basset Stilton (a perennial favourite) and my standout cheese of the evening, Burwash Rose Sussex, a soft unpasteurised cheese. With biscuits and pear jelly it was a perfect plate to accompany my glass of Rodenbach Grand Cru whilst sitting by the golden fire. A beautiful way to spend a cold January evening!
Through the evening we were plied with various trays of decently sized croquettes (one of my favourite finger foods). Fillings I tried included shrimp & bacon and black pudding. My favourite? black pudding!
The piece de resistance of the evening were the pulled pork rolls, served with sage and onion stuffing and a good portion of crackling. The pork had been cooked in a wonderfully flavoured gravy with a nice bit of wine in it too. I don’t mind saying I had to go back for seconds and thirds here are they were soo good. Washed down with a glass of house white from the Languedoc it was a perfect end to the evening.
The Ealing Park Tavern is open for drinks and meals and also has several function rooms available for private hire, either for private dining or parties. The average cost per head for a meal is quoted at being around £35 which puts in at a mid price range. I think the quality of the food, wine and beer they are brewing on site more than justifies the the cost.
Ealing Park Tavern
222 South Ealing Road