Inhabiting an impressive stone building that was formerly a bank, a couple of blocks away from Victoria towards Vauxhall, this Fuller’s Ale and Pie House is a post-work refuge for well-heeled workers in search of hearty pub food and quality wine and beers.
Dodge the smokers on the wide stone steps and enter the pub near the bar, where bar stools and tall circular tables provide somewhere for those in a rush to enjoy a quick one. Those in for a longer stay occupy the benches below the TV screen, the back room or the restaurant, which is upstairs but overlooks the main bar. Descend the antique, brass-tipped stairs to the cellar if you need the loo, or even if you don’t as they’re worth a look.
Almost entirely groups of people aged 30-upwards heading for a pint, a chat and some food after work. Sometimes noisy but never rowdy, the atmosphere is mature but relaxed.
The centrepiece of the menu is the list of pies, all served with rich, pungent gravy and traditional English vegetables and fat, hand-cut chips or new potatoes. Choose from Jugged Hare pie (yes, with real hare), fisherman’s pie with salmon, pollack and hake, steak and ESB ale pie, stilton, mushroom and red pepper, ham and leek or chicken tomato and courgette, all at £9.75. But there’s also soup of the day (£4.45), Welsh rarebit (£5.50), sandwiches (£6.25), smoked trout and beetroot salad (£9.75) and feta, pea and mint salad (£9.75) for more delicate palates. Other pub perennials like ploughman’s (£8.75), fish and chips (£9.95) and bangers and mash (£9.25) are on offer too, with a succulent artichoke, cherry tomatoes and rocket quiche with new potatoes (£8.95) keeping the vegetarians happy.
A choice of mainly French and Italian wines start at £3.75 per glass or £15 per bottle, before rising steeply to a French Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy (£35) and Laurent Perrier Rose NV (£79). Beer-wise, there’s the full array of Fuller’s beers from London Pride to the strong, dark ESB ale, generally retailing in the £3.50-£4 a pint range.
The Last Word
The Jugged Hare offers excellent food, quick and friendly service and a discerning drinks list.