Culinary hedonism and extravagant cocktails are the order of the day at this excellent Pimlico gastro pub.
Located on Warwick Way, in a beautiful residential area between Victoria and Pimlico, the Warwick's brick exterior and black sunshade instantly stand out from the surrounding white buildings. Inside, the main room has all the trappings of a modern gastro pub – wooden floor, chairs and tables, an airy open-front layout and a bar so polished it seems to emit light – combined with sophisticated nods to a bygone era, such as the Victorian-style tiles that line the otherwise white walls, and the selection of peculiar framed lithographs that decorate the room along with ornate lamps, stained glass and flowers. In a recess to the left of the bar lies an additional seating area. Complete with sofas and ottomans it's ideal for more informal gatherings. There are also a few tables on the street outside, to handle the summer crowds.
The Warwick is a local favourite, and with good reason. The staff are welcoming and attentive, the well-to-do clientèle are friendly and easy-going, and the music is chilled out and unintrusive. Inevitably, with its large front window and high ceiling, the bar really comes into its own during the summer months, however customers of all shapes and sizes flock here post-work or at the weekend throughout the year. The management hold a winner-takes-all pub quiz every Sunday with a £1 entrance fee, and elsewhere plans are afoot to open a dining area upstairs for private hire.
Unlike most self-styled gastro pubs, the food here really is a cut above. As a point of pride, all ingredients are sourced from local food markets, and the results are invariably stunning. The crab and chorizo risotto (£7) is a meal in itself, and is just one of many expertly devised and photogenically presented starters on offer. The mains (£13-£15) are even more imposing, not least the ‘28 Day Hung’ rib-eye steak, among the juiciest in London. Fish and vegetarian options are similarly impressive in their unpretentious simplicity and taste. And if you have room to spare, the selection of desserts (£5), including sumptuous strawberry pavlova and banoffee pie, will no doubt leave you satisfied, if not stuffed. For those looking for no more than a quick snack, the bar duly obliges with a brilliantly quirky selection (£3.50-£5), including prawns with mayonnaise, spring rolls and battered squid.
A solid if unspectacular selection of beer (including San Miguel, Kronenbourg and a selection of ales on tap, for around £3.50 a pint) is complemented by an expansive wine list including eight varieties of champagne (£5.50-£7.50 per glass). The list of reds alone spans the globe from Chile to Italy, and prices range from £15 to £73 a bottle, so connoisseurs should be able to pick out a suitable match for their meal. Elsewhere, port and dessert wines are available, as are any number of spirits and mixers, whilst the ever-changing list of cocktails is a wonder in itself – ask for the watermelon martini (£7) for an unadulterated taste of summer.
The Last Word
A popular, relaxed gastro pub with genuinely excellent food, the Warwick should be your first port of call for your post-Tate Britain tipple.