The term “gastro-pub” is much over used and often under delivers. Not so in the case of The Truscott Arms, the independently owned pub in Maida Vale. I was introduced to The Truscott Arms by the lovely Lucy, my partner in crime on many a gastronomic adventure, shortly after it opened in 2013.
They have hosted a party for me in their spacious function rooms and I have enjoyed many leisurely Sunday lunches, peaceful breakfasts (mainly when my son has been at a nearby activity or party) and have even stumbled across the weekly pub quiz!
I had not been to The Truscott Arms for a while but recently had Sunday lunch there on two occasions and I can’t think why I stayed away!
The lovingly restored Victorian building boasts high ceilings and period features. However this is not a traditional boozer and there is a fresh and contemporary feel. Best of all is the great buzz, clinking of glasses and chatter of conversation that will greet you as you walk through the doors. The bar is well-stocked with friendly bar staff that mix a mean cocktail. There is a wide range of spirits, wine by the glass and carafe, a reasonably priced and inviting cocktail list and craft beer.
We started with a perfectly spiced Bloody Mary that is such a weekend treat as we decided what to eat. The lunch menu on Sunday has a range of starters that include soup, terrines and cured salmon.
The heart of the main course are the roasts with a choice of 35 day aged beef rump with red wine gravy, smoked English lamb and braised shoulder or free-range rare breed English pork. My husband makes the most wonderful roasts but I have to admit that The Truscott’s taste almost as good! The meat is served on a wooden platter that comes laden with Yorkshire pudding, honey roasted vegetables, greens and the most delicious, crunchy roast potatoes. We all loved the “pulled” braised lamb shoulder infused with garlic and rosemary that melted in the mouth. Portions are generous and the quality and flavour of the meat shines through. I tasted my father’s roast cod that was served with new potatoes in a sauce of cider and mussels – it was delicate and light and in no way a poor relation to the mighty meat.
There is a range of proper puds and a cheese board if you have room. We shared the apricot crumble and the chocolate mousse that rounded the meal off nicely.
In addition to the Sunday lunch menu, there is a good range of bar food available daily from snacks to the more substantial including excellent fish and chips, Waygu beef burger, salads and sharing plates. Many items on the menu can be ordered gluten or dairy free.
The restaurant on the first floor offers a sympathetically priced fine dining option with a very interesting British and Irish inspired menu that I will go back to explore.
The last time I visited, I saw the Christmas menu being advertised. A three course lunch will be served in the ground floor area for £35 per person which I think it a steal given the quality of the ingredients. The pièce de résistance is the organic turkey with all its trimmings. Knowing the Truscott Arms, I am sure the atmosphere will be very jolly and family friendly. There will be one seating at 2pm and you are advised to book as soon as possible as it is already getting busy.
I recommend The Truscott Arms for drinks with friends in a great neighbourhood pub; for high quality and well-presented meals and for the perfect Sunday lunch with the family. When the weather is pleasant, do opt to eat in the garden. It won’t be long until my next visit.
The Truscott Arms
55 Shirland Road
London W9 2JD
020 7266 9198 www.thetruscottarms.com
Nuzy Sayani is Catwalkschoolgates’ restaurant reviewer. Nuzy lives in Marylebone with her husband and seven year old son. She is a technology lawyer and loves the theatre, cinema, is an avid reader and likes nothing more than trying out restaurants. Nuzy will be sharing her dining experiences with us and would love to hear from you with your recommendations.