The Wigmore Tavern is housed in a space that was once a banking hall and later the spa for the Langham Hotel next door. It has been reimagined by Martini Brudnizki (Aquavit, Sexy Fish, The Ivy Chelsea Garden) and he has done a great job. It doesn’t look brand new and feels like it’s been around a while, except without the aged patina of cigarette smoke on the surfaces. You will see the Robert Harley’s (Baron of Wigmore of Herefordshire, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer) coat of arms scattered around as the Tavern is named in his honour.
Gin punches, Hoptails and wine on tap
The team behind the Artesian bar put together the drinks menu here. It goes on for pages and has some quite fun drinks on there.
Firstly the beers, they have their own, Saison, brewed by Bermondsey’s Brew by Numbers, alongside a host of craft beer names. Gin punches are served in little silver punch cups. This one, made with a London dry gin, Cointreau, maraschino, raspberry liqueur and EDV bitters and lemon sherbet. The hoptails are like shandies with a tall head of foam, a nice variation to a sweet fruity cocktail. I ordered, “The Season of the Witch” with The Wigmore Saison beer, bathtub sloe gin, spiced cyder mead, mango grapefruit and fresh raspberries.
There is a long, carefully curated wine list including some lovely English wines. There is also a selection of wines available on tap, 3 red and 3 whites.
The place is packed with the after work crowd on the evening we went. There is a nice buzz and we managed to find a table with banquette seating with a view of the room. The double height ceiling hung with a tall chandelier is imposing and reverberates with the sounds of chatter in the room.
Pub grub with a Michelin touch
When your menu is designed by a Two Star Michelin chef, Michel Roux Jr, you know that it’s not going to be your regular pub fare. The menu is divided into “snacks” and “mains”. We took snacks to mean just that but we were fooled. We ordered 3 snacks which sound perfectly doable but not when one of them is an “XXL” cheese toastie.
This crispy hedgehog is actually a Masala spiced scotch egg coated in crispy vermicelli sitting on a dish of Dahl relish. The lightly spiced quail’s egg with an aromatic dahl was a tease to the taste buds which kicked off our appetites for the following dishes.
Cock crab, which I have never had before, steamed and spooned on buttered mini English crumpets. A nod to the season and lovely and light too.
Then the whopper of a cheese toastie arrived. This is a monster, family sized toastie. It comes on a massive board, topped with a heavy bacon press. The bread is from Woosters Bakery, introduced to Michel Roux when he hosted the Balvenie Craftmen’s dinner at Roux at Landau recently. Woosters is a small bakery in Suffolk that makes these magical sour dough loaves. showcased perfectly in this dish. The cheese is a combination of Ogleshield, Raclette, and Montgomery Cheddar, spiked with chopped pickles. This toastie should have its own fan club and I expect pubs around town will start adding this to their menu too. It’s perfection and not at some ridiculous price either, yours for just £9.
For mains, there are some unusual choices like Tuna Plancha, Cheese burger, grilled rump, prices from £9. We spotted the mussels cooked in cider and smoked ham broth. The broth was so well flavoured from the ham that I would have happily just drink it by itself. (A bargain at just £9). I’m amazed at the prices here. More pretentious gastro pubs around town would have easily priced this dish much higher.
The other main was an Ox Cheek and ale pie. It seems Michel and the Head Chef Chris spent months perfecting the pastry for this pie and it was quite a triumph. But it was overshadowed by the pale shadow on the plate of the creamy mash. They don’t usually have this on the menu and it is the creamiest, richest, smoothest mash ever. I asked the waitress if this is an escapee from the fine dining restaurant as it has the quality seldom seen outside fine dining restaurants. I don’t think the kitchen can lower their standards down to a pedestrian level at the Wigmore.
The side dishes, chips, tomatoes and hispi cabbage, that we ordered had almost faded into the background against these two dishes. Almost. If you like your chips crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, make sure you order this one. It was a total hardship but those chips screamed to be eaten. Soooooo good!!
The must have pudding is the Dulcey Chocolate Soft Serve with blackberry compote, pistachio and almond crumble, very creamy ice cream served with the contrasting flavours and textures of the fruit compote and nuts. On finding out that the Raspberry trifle had strawberry juice, we added another order that my friend could eat. The chocolate and orange mousse was duly delivered. It’s a chocolate lovers dream pudding.
The Wigmore Tavern is a winning formula for the Langham. It really is more than a pub. The food and drinks served were uncommon and a notch above, and very reasonably priced. Conveniently situated a short walk from Oxford Street, it will soon be a regular haunt. I’d add this to the list of must visits for visitors to London.
The Wigmore at The Langham
13 Langham Place,
Upper Regent Street ,
London , W1B 1JA.
EatCookExplore was a guest of The Wigmore