Tatler Restaurant Guide 2012
We're longtime fans of this large Victorian pub where the answer to everything is 'yes'. Children, dogs, artists and out-of-work actresses are all welcome. There's a good choice of decently priced beers and scrummy Med bar snacks. In the dining room, they will do you a whole leg of lamb or suckling pig. Staff are on the ball.
The Peasant was a grand Victorian gin palace in a previous life & retains a raffish streak to this day. Despite the heritage (check out the centuries-old mosaic floor), pop art adorns the walls of the downstairs bar, which is also generously stocked with real ales. A textbook bar menu includes burgers & gammon with gravy for students from the nearby City University, but grown-ups tend to head upstairs for ‘long family lunches’ in the quieter restaurant. Here, amid art nouveau posters & circus knick-knacks, the kitchen sends out a lively menu with a few deviations from the predictable pub norm – think free-range rabbit & black pudding salad or seared line-caught yellowfin tuna with salsify & borlotti beans. Roasts steal the show on Sundays.
A decade on, this pioneering gastro has never been better. The Peasant is still as busy as a Clerkenwell printers before the digital age. Staff are as sweet as anything and service is positively six-star, an unexpected bonus in any pub, while the food continues to shimmy and shake with a daily-changing British and Mediterranean menu. The upstairs dining is well proportioned and makes a great party venue, and the pub has found favour with a whole host of music celebs and their friends, including Rufus Wainwright, Saint Etienne and Suggs.
Nestled in between Islington and Smithfield markets, The Peasant is a beautifully restored former gin palace that offers great British food in the bar downstairs, and superb fine dining in the restaurant upstairs. A fully-working traditional fireplace and original pub furniture, set against deep red walls and a 17th century mosaic floor, coupled with impeccable service by friendly staff allow The Peasant to provide one of the warmest welcomes of any London pub. Whatever the occasion, The Peasant will guarantee that it is a truly memorable one.