Kilburn gets a much needed injection of ale-loving gastro pub goodness in the form of The Earl Derby.
The Earl Derby is situated on the busy Kilburn High Road in the middle of Kilburn and West Hampstead tube stations. Formerly a bit of a spit 'n' sawdust old man’s pub, it’s recently been revamped into a very decent gastro pub serving the people of NW6 and more. It’s a huge building, with numerous chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and a fresh lick of paint on every wall. There’s an assortment of tables and chairs and a welcoming fireplace complete with comfy sofas for lounging. The décor is muted, with low lighting and candlelit tables providing a relaxed and classy ambience.
This pub recently reopened after a period of refurbishment, and at present there’s plenty of space for drinking, dining and relaxing. There’s a pleasant clientele here; mostly people who work or live in the surrounding area minding their own business and chatting quietly over their drinks. The relaxed dining area nearer the back means it’s a good place to chat and eat without the formal feel of a restaurant. The pub is trying hard to get involved with the local community and has a busy schedule of events on including nightly meal deals, quiz nights and ale tastings. There’s also a popular Saturday afternoon brunch offer – hearty breakfasts are available from 9am while you bop to a DJ playing some mellow beats – much needed after a heavy Friday night.
The Earl Derby has everything from delectable bar snacks, to home cooked gourmet British dinners. Starters include paris brown, flat and oyster mushrooms on rye toast with stilton (£5.75), a creamy starter that will make you want to order another as a main course. But fear not, the main dishes are just as good. The 8oz 21 day aged rib-eye steak (£17) comes with fries, baked tomato and a choice of sauce for an extra £1. The pudding menu is equally delectable: the salted caramel and chocolate tart comes with a dollop of clotted cream on the side and costs £5.50. The pub also does a mean Sunday roast where you can enjoy beef, chicken, pork or a veggie option alongside all the trimmings, and washed down with a Bloody Mary.
The Earl Derby has made a real effort to include quality ales in its beer selection and there are now speciality lagers and ales available on draught. Two regular ales are Doom Bar and Adnams Broadside, a pint of which will set you back £3.65 and £3.95 respectively. There’s also regularly rotating guest beers on offer, including Redemption Pale Ale and Budvar Dark. The wine list is brilliant, and there are helpful footnotes to assist you with your choice. Highly recommended is the Casa Juanita Argentinian Malbec; a rich, full and fruity wine that will taste great alongside that 8oz steak.
The Last Word
It’s early days for The Earl Derby, but with the right mix of food, drink and friendliness, it’s sure to become one of north London’s premier pubs.