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Pear Tree Pub – Fulham
That nasty Mr. Hitler did a good job of destroying iconic
and untouched Victorian pubs. That was in the early
1940s so there were plenty around and probably most in their original
condition. We saw, or at least those of us of a certain
age did, the modernisation of Britain in the 1960s. Some changes were
indeed improvements. I for one am always driven to a warm glow of
appreciation when I see central heating radiators, and I have long felt
that electricity has advantages. Other changes were faddy, though. In
homes, panelled doors had white painted sheets of plywood affixed and
marvellously turned banisters were boxed in. The same was true of pubs
and I have no idea how the Pear Tree has escaped such treatment.
It’s a work in progress but Lulu and Daren, the new proprietors, are
re-invigorating this 1840s pub with the respect it’s due. It might well
benefit from the planned tweaking but I trust that’s where the
tinkering will finish. This building must
have coined the term “many original features”. They are here in charming
abundance. Nothing has been gentrified and what seems original is
indeed just that. The D-shaped bar is a gem of slatted wood; stained
glass, fireplaces and lamps all contrive to create the epitome of cosy.
The Pear Tree sports a back room and a beer garden which was much
appreciated by some regulars on this hot summer evening. And there in
the middle was the eponymous pear tree, boughs bending under the weight
of fruit which will eventually be transformed into chutney to grace the
That condiment is bound to be delicious as Chef Sean knows what he is
doing. He has worked with a Michelin-star chef and spent some time
living and working in France. His food is however, solid, sensible and
reflects British culinary values. Fresh ingredients and well-cooked.
Un-fussy plates of real food.
It was a Friday night and most of the tables were occupied. The Pear
Tree might only have been under new management for a matter of months
but the kitchen has already won an enviable reputation amongst the
locals. In fact the pub in general is attracting a different clientele
from the former habitués. It was considered a rather blokey
spit-and-sawdust establishment but now the new followers include more
women and couples. Most are still locals or those working in the nearby
Charing Cross Hospital.
The chef recommended the celebrated Scotch Eggs. He said he was
considering changing the recipe slightly
but I’d say if it ain't broke don’t fix it. The crust was crunchy and
the usual sausage meat was replaced by a mix which included black
pudding. This might be off-putting to the uninitiated and that would be
a shame. I find black pudding alone to be moreish and delicious, and I
am now a convert to a melange of sausage and pud.
The main dishes offered some standard favourites as well as a few
Continental nods. Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass served with Ratatouille or
the Beetroot and Goats Cheese Risotto might be my choice on my next
visit but it was Friday night after all and so Fish and Chips were the
order of the day. A simple dish but done well with the beer batter
remaining crisp till the last bite and the haddock steaming to opaque
perfection in its golden coating. Hand-cut chunky chips from Maris
Piper spuds were a worthy accompaniment.
The Aberdeen Angus Beef Burger at the Pear Tree is famed and was my
companion’s choice. He proclaimed the meat to be succulent and cooked
to a slightly pink medium rare.
The beefy flavour was pronounced and this was the best burger he had
eaten in a long while. Its garnishes were sparing and
that was no bad thing, although one of Sean’s homemade relishes would
have added to the overall experience. Perhaps served on the side along
with the ketchup and mustard.
We selected our desserts from the chalkboard. An already over-stuffed
me opted for the Peach and Champagne Sorbet which proved to be light,
tangy and refreshing as well as being a large 3-scoop portion. My guest
was taken with the Martini trifle which was indeed served in a martini
glass and was liberally laced with its namesake beverage. A traditional
favourite with a twist.
The Pear Tree is the sort of “local” for which tourists search in vain.
It’s the style of Victorian pub that we all wish was just at the end of
our road. It might need just a bit more polish but it’s hoped that
Daren and Lulu just polish rather than replace. It’s a time capsule of
British heritage, not of stately homes but of working-class and
old-fashioned charm and worn elegance. Just the way it should be.
The Pear Tree Pub
14 Margravine Rd, Fulham, London W6 8HJ
Phone: 020 7381 1787
Visit the Pear Tree here