Places To Eat In London: The Royal Oak, Twickenham
I know it is bad and lazy of me, but usually when I hear about a place to eat I’ll only visit if I can easily walk there, get there on the tube, and then it is only about a 10-15 minute walk to get there once I’ve got off at the station. Aside from a pilgrimage in the spring to one of my London favourites, Beagle in Hoxton and the Columbia Road Flower Market, for example this has pretty much meant I don’t eat in East London anymore (which was pretty much the only place I ate when I was a student living in Mile End!) So, when I needed to go to Twickenham, which while being in London is somewhere I had to get a train to (!) as the tube does not go that far out West, I knew I need to role a food review into my trip too.
The idea was my dinner date would take the train with me, and then cozy up in a pub with his book while I was at my meeting. So, it made sense for us to eat in a pub, and coincidentally Kelly had reviewed a perfect spot right near where I needed to be: The Royal Oak, a newly refurbished local pub with new owners and a new menu. It is such a lovely, cozy space that it is no hardship at all whiling away several hours there, and there is also a lovely outdoor seating area opposite the park ready for next summer (or, for the upcoming festive season if they put some rugs and heaters out there, and start serving mulled wine!)
You see those beautiful, shiny copper tanks fitted above the bar? That is where the house beer comes from, brewed specially by Trumans. If you’ve never had raw beer before this is a good spot to try it, slightly hoppier and fruiter than a typical British ale, but still totally drinkable. Something a bit different! However, if it is not for you you’ll be as pleased as I was to note that your gin and tonic (I went for a sloe gin addition, it is autumn after all!) will come in a proper G&T glass (always a win in my book!)
We shared a starter and a couple of large glasses of okay French wine. I really, really loved our chicken livers with smoked lardons on sourdough, and even my usually “not a massive fan of offal” date enjoyed his half. There was a generous amount of both liver and bacon, in a perfectly balanced creamy sauce. Both of the wines we chose were okay, but we’d both had much better in pubs.
My pizza was good, but it was very difficult to eat once you’d had the ends with more structure to the crust because otherwise the toppings just slid off! The bacon cheeseburger was also a disappointment; the chips were lovely, but the burger was quite fatty – there was actually fat dripping out of it as it was picked up!
While most of the food was disappointing, The Royal Oak was a lovely pub to spend a couple of hours in with a unique house beer and lovely G&T’s. There are so many lovely cozy seating areas inside and out, and it would be a great place to meet friends or colleagues for drinks if you live/ work in the area. Also, we really did love our starters, so I would not rule out trying some of the more ‘traditional’ mains on the menu, just not things like burgers and pizzas!