A recently refurbished garden pub with plenty of space to relax on a sunny evening and a great contemporary menu guaranteed to please.
Located a short walk from Bounds Green tube station in north London, The Ranelagh may seem a little out of the way for some, but if you’re in the area it would be a sin not to stop by. This lovingly refurbished Victorian pub boasts a relaxed and comfortable ambience in the spacious main saloon. Reupholstered vintage furniture abounds, and there are plenty of nooks and corners in which to isolate yourself from the pleasant buzz that pervades the bar. There is also an area tailored for diners, well lit, with comfortable chairs, and with fresh flowers decorating the tables. The crowning glory of The Ranelagh, however, is the immense beer garden which can be accessed through the bar. Fifteen or 20 picnic tables both in the garden and on a large covered and heated terrace provide more space than any pub in zones 1-2 could possibly dream of offering.
Since redevelopment, The Ranelagh has been doing a roaring trade. There are plenty of people there - even midweek - and despite its enormous size the place never has that empty feeling which beleaguers some other north London gastro shacks. The clientele is a pleasant mix of after-workers, diners, dog walkers and large groups of friends seeking libation, mainly mid 20s to 30s. Outside, if the weather is passable there is an almost blissful ambience as Londoners soak up all those rare rays while enjoying a cold beer and a newspaper. The staff are all friendly and as accommodating as you are likely to meet, and behind the bar they always have a smile for their patrons.
The menu at the Ranelagh is another of the venue’s numerous highlights. There is a good selection to suit all tastes, budgets and hunger levels. The sharing platter for starters is particularly good, and includes scotched quail’s eggs and Italian ham. The mains are more of what you might expect from a pub with a decent kitchen, and include bangers and mash, burgers, and fish and chips, all weighing in around the £10 mark. The portions are very generous, but while the sea bream is delicious, the burger is a little on the dry side. Sundays at The Ranelagh means roast dinners, and they are, by all accounts, incredibly popular. On top of all this there is a good range of desserts, all freshly made in house, and hot and cold sandwiches at lunchtime.
The drinks list at this bar must be the best in the area by a fair margin. Around 20 draught beers, ales and ciders are on offer, including locally brewed, CAMRA approved bitter and imported Czech lager. The spirits list is equally impressive, boasting some 15 different single malts and even, according to the manager, an English distilled potato vodka. Unusually this busy pub also offers cocktails and long drinks, some of which have an unusual twist (Sipsmiths fruit cup & ginger is an excellent Pimms alternative), and at around £5.50 they shouldn’t break the bank. All of this together with a robust, if relatively limited wine list, makes the Ranelagh a drinker’s paradise.
The Last Word
Come for the food and drink, stay for the excellent atmosphere, and then never leave the garden if the sun comes out.