Rumoured to be a regular haunt of highwayman Dick Turpin’s and with more than 300 years of history, the George and Dragon is brimming with surprises just waiting to be discovered.
A large, imposing structure on Acton’s High Street, the traditional feel of the front of the pub carries through to the bar, where tables and chairs surround it, and paintings and portraits adorn the walls. Behind the bar there’s a list of previous landlords, dating as far back as 1759. Walk deeper into the pub and you will find the spacious courtyard to your right, and then the dining room. It’s a huge space filled with mismatched Chesterfields and tables, with a stylish-looking bar at the back, two giant statues of nymphs holding globe-shaped lights and a giant rainforest-like mural covering the wall – not what you expect to find at all.
Roaring open fires, dark wood throughout and creaking floorboards set the scene. There’s a myriad of original features tucked away in all sorts of places, including a fireplace that was only uncovered during renovations (see the photographs on the wall nearby for the story). The staff are extremely helpful and eager to please, and you can enjoy the light, contemporary sounds of a local jazz band on Friday nights.
Expect traditional pub fare with a couple of experimental dishes, using local produce wherever possible. Serving lunch and dinner, starters include flavoursome pan-fried chicken livers on crunchy granary toast (£6), and radish, apple and chicory salad with Colston Basset blue cheese and toasted walnuts (£6.50) – a refreshing mixture of textures that really cleanses the palate.
Seriously hearty mains include the chef’s special of baked herb and parmesan crusted cod loin with a parsley mash, leeks and carrots (£11.25). It has tender, meaty fish but the crust needs a bit of work. In addition there’s a comforting Lincolnshire sausages and mash with caramelised onion gravy (£9.50) – a traditional favourite that always hits the spot.
If you make it to dessert, you’ll find a warming apple crumble with ‘proper’ custard (£5.50) and a selection of fine cheeses (£7.50), which is great to share.
A bottle of house wine only sets you back £13.90 and hand-picked lagers, beers and ales aim to showcase the finest Europe has to offer, including Litovel classic Czech lager (£3.10 a pint), Fuller’s ales (£3.50) and Hoegaarden (£4.20).
The Last Word
A treasure trove of historic stories and artefacts, the George and Dragon is a place to cosy up by the fire in the winter and enjoy the sounds of the jazz band in the courtyard during the summer. Hearty food in huge portions and good wine and beer to boot - just don’t expect to see Dick Turpin hanging around anymore.