I must've been told about The Princess Victoria pub on Uxbridge Road by more than 10 different people over the last year, recommending that I eat there. And having booked a table about a month ago which we weren't able to make, it was high time I got myself down there to see how good it really was.

So that's where we headed for lunch on my birthday.

The Princess Victoria is halfway down Uxbridge Road, between Shepherds Bush and Ealing Common. It's an unassuming building, with frosted windows facing the road, and is somewhere you could easily walk straight past if you didn't know what was hidden inside. But don't let that put you off - once inside it really is quite impressive! Wood panelling lines the walls, and a large circular bar swoops into the first room you enter. Past the bar area is the main restaurant, full of solid wood tables with wooden chairs. A long serving table goes up one side of the restaurant room, with various homemade breads out, ready for service. 

It was Monday lunchtime when we went, and although not busy, there were a few people eating. I was surprised they were serving food at all, as most gastro pubs I know don't do Monday lunch.

We were offered a table in the main restaurant, but opted for a cosy table in the bar. The ratio of staff to diners was about 1:1, and the staff were all really friendly and welcoming.

I could've sat and tried to work my way through their entire menu, as it's really my type of food, made with responsibly sourced ingredients. But we had a lot of unpacking to do, so decided to share a starter and have a main each.

The menu at Princess Victoria is split into Charcuterie; Oysters, cured and smoked fish; Starters; Mains; and "From the ageing room....".

We went for the Tamworth pork and peppercorn pate with pickle and toast to start (I'm a sucker for a pickle, and this one was perfect!) I could've done with a little more of the crispy toast on the side, but that's probably just because I'm a little greedy! The pate had an excellent texture and just the right balance between salty and sweet.

For mains I couldn't resist the grouse. The minute I read the menu I knew that's what I wanted, and I chose well. It was sooo good!! It was also the most expensive thing on the Mains part of the menu, but it was my birthday, and it was so worth it. The grouse was served on top of creamy potato dauphinoise, which was ideal for mopping up the red wine sauce, and came with a grouse pate on toast and watercress. It was one of the tastiest things I've eaten in a while!

The boy went for steak (what a surprise!) and had 3 cuts to choose from: hanger, rib eye or sirloin. He chose hanger steak with crispy triple cooked chips and tangy béarnaise sauce, which was also really delicious, but if I'd wanted steak too, we could've shared the 750g cote de bouef that they do.

The Princess Victoria isn't the cheapest pub I've been to, but it's not too expensive either, and definitely isn't over-priced. Our bill, with a beer and a fresh lemonade came to £60 including service, but you pay for what you get, and I really believe that the Princess is worth the extra few pounds.

Alongside the bar and restaurant downstairs, the Princess Victoria have started doing food events in the space they have upstairs. Last week saw a game and wine pairing evening, and coming up next Wednesday, 25th September, they're starting a monthly cabaret Bingo night, with bingo themed food (Bingo wings; Number 8 - whitebait; Legs eleven - barbecued leg of lamb) that I have very kindly been invited to, so watch out for a blog post on that next week!

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, Princess Victoria is 217 Uxbridge Road, W12 9DH, or you can find their website here. It's a great pub, with excellent food, and a pretty good wine list too.

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