Walkers of Whitehall is an all-day pub and eatery on Craig Square, a short walk from Trafalgar Square and the place to go to if you work in the area or visiting London’s main attractions. It is as quintessentially British, with just a hint of worldliness, as its location.
On the ground floor is the public room itself, unassuming and traditional, buzzing with life on the Friday night we visited. On the lower floor, a cosy little dining saloon in plush, green leather and a semi-open kitchen/grill. In the basement, there is another lively, neon-lit bar decked out more trendily. The overall effect is seamless yet compartmentalised; the eatery is pleasantly calm despite the convivial night life all around, and the service very prompt and polished
To start, a plate of baked beetroot with whipped feta cheese, slices of orange and walnut kernels was a simple but nicely balanced combination of flavours. Similarly, a pork and pistachio terrine was a simple, solid dish particularly distinguished by a gooseberry chutney (a fruit which seems to be a speciality of theirs – we recommend any of their dishes which includes it).
Our main courses followed in a similar fashion. The lamb rump – beautifully pink and tender in the middle – was perfectly prepared, and cleverly paired with a drizzling of tangy salsa verde. The lamb alone was a knockout, but it also came with a generous helping of coco beans and datterini tomatoes. In other words a luxurious and very, very delicious take on baked beans.
Of course, no pub meal would be complete without fish and chips, here with a mouth-meltingly delicious and incredibly crisp beer-batter and mushy minted peas without equal.
We picked a bottle of perfectly rounded 2013 Sangiovese to accompany the above.
Last but not least, our desserts. Firstly, a cheese board which showcased the finest of some otherwise very underrated British cheeses. Second, a dollop of tart gooseberry jelly over two scoops of lemon curd semi-freddo and sprinkled with delicious crystals of hazlenut praline. An unusual-looking dessert, but it all comes together blissfully in the mouth. We only wish that there had been much, much more of it!
Perhaps unusually for a pub, the desert menu is accompanied by an accomplished selection of dessert wines and apertifs. We would highly recommend both their late harvest/noble rot Riesling and the Ume Sour – a stiff and refreshing cocktail of whiskey and plum sake.
All in all, we get the impression of an unassuming, yet masterfully accomplished cuisine. For truly traditional pub food, distinguished by a quality ingredients and a meticulous attention to flavours – and at entirely reasonable prices – Walkers of Whitehall is one of a kind.
15, Craig’s Ct, London SW1A 2DD