What can be more iconic than the Tower of London? Its imposing stones and gilded embellishments still have that wow factor. The building must have filled the local population with awe when first erected back in the early 1080s. William the Conqueror began to build a massive tower at the centre of his London home, and down the centuries successive kings have added to the complex.
So you have spent a day of leisure by the Thames. You have had a guided tour with a Yeoman. (Not to be missed: each of these gentlemen has had years of service in the army and has rafts of stories to tell.) You now need some food. A proper meal. Something hearty, reasonable price, not too exotic as Martha gets hiccoughs if she eats spice, and Abner likes a slice of meat that he can recognise.
Bavarian Beerhouse at Tower Hill (there is another branch at Old Street) opened in May 2010. It’s just 50 metres from Tower Hill Underground station and built under the railway bridge just to the right of the station exit. The previous tenants were Pitcher and Piano but it seems it was time for a change. It’s rumoured that the Bavarian Beerhouse tripled their predecessor’s revenue within the first month.
The Old Street venue was very much a party place but Tower Hill has loftier horizons… at least on the ground floor. This is a cool, contemporary restaurant space with Bavarian accents. There are some of the traditional benches and rustic touches but the ambiance, at least during the day and early evening, is of casual but calm dining.
The basement level boasts several adjoining rooms and has an atmosphere similar to that of the Old Street branch. This is more for the lads’ night out or for blokey gatherings to watch sports and the like. A stag-night favourite, one would imagine. Those long benches again and low ceilings and its own bar. The basement is ideal for private functions.
We, an elderly and sedate couple, were seeking some food rather than a shot-drinking competition. I loved the food at Old Street and it’s just as good at Tower Hill. It’s a shame that German food is taken as something of a joke. These are real and unfussy dishes, and I am a fan. There are sausages aplenty as one would expect, and pork shanks to satisfy the most robust of rugby players, but I love Jäger Schnitzel – pork escalope topped with a creamy mushroom sauce and served with a mound of thin fries. One needs to come hungry to take advantage of these large portions.
May has a ‘special’: White Asparagus from Germany (Weisser Deutscher Spargel aus Deutschland). It’s an annual festival of this unique vegetable, thicker than the usual green asparagus and with a delicate flavour. There are various dishes showcasing these creamy white and chunky spears: a soup, or simply served with sauce and boiled potatoes, or with Black Forest ham. My companion chose breaded pork escalope topped with white asparagus and Hollandaise sauce, garnished with fried potatoes. A substantial plateful which was pronounced a winner.
Too full for a dessert we did succumb to shots. No, we didn’t down them in one gulp and we only tried one each, as a journey the length of the District Line beckoned. My guest ordered the Oktoberfest Pudding Schnapps which was berry-based, sweet and dark – almost Christmassy. I was taken by the Apple Schnapps (Apfelkorn) because I reasoned it would constitute one of my 5 a day. This was a stunner and I could happily have consumed several more had time allowed. Perhaps I have an excuse for a return visit.
Bavarian Beerhouse – Tower Hill is bound to be popular. It’s evidently already the preferred staging post for local workers and couples heading West for evenings out. It’s a light, bright and friendly spot to enjoy good traditional fare. I wish it continued success.
London Restaurant review: Bavarian Beerhouse – Tower Hill
The Arches, 9 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2AU
Phone 0844 330 20 05
Visit Bavarian Beerhouse here
Bavarian Beerhouse – Old Street
190 City Road, London EC1V 2QH
Mon – Thur 12pm – 11pm
Friday 12pm – 1am
Saturday 1pm – 1am
Sunday 12pm – 9pm
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018