The country-pub charm of the exterior belies its suburban location, making it feel less Putney and more deep Surrey (something which the uncharitable among you might say is the same thing).
A recent refit has done wonders for the Queen Adelaide, with the country pub charm extending through the low-ceiling bar area to the dining room and extensive outdoor terrace. With its soft tones and some quirky touches, such as a wall created out of wine boxes, giant wicker lampshades, mismatched vintage crockery on pantry-style shelves and eclectic artwork, it is very Escape to the Country in look and feel.
The menu is a mix of traditional country pub fare – roast dinners, T-bone steaks, and fish and chips – with the odd curve ball thrown in for good measure. We decided to mix it up, going for the potted ox cheeks with horseradish and mini Yorkshire puds, and steamed mussels, coconut, lemongrass & chilli broth. The ox cheeks were that dense meaty texture and full of big flavor. The Yorkshire puds were overcooked – sacrilege to the Northerner – and had the consistency of dumplings. The mussels were plentiful and perfectly cooked, but too subtle in flavor. It lacked bite.
For mains we tried the haunch of venison with red chard, baby beets, juniper jus, and at our charming waitress' recommendation, the posh Chicken Kiev with celeriac and truffle mash, and summer greens and smoked bacon. The venison was fully of wintry big flavours and cooked beautifully. The Kiev was less successful. The chicken itself was a little bit bland and lacking in seasoning. There was far too much mash and it was similarly lacking in good old-fashioned salt and pepper, while the summer greens were overpowered by the bacon. The dish was hearty, but by no means ‘posh’. We shared a chocolate and hazelnut terrine with frozen custard and honeycomb for dessert, which was very nice.
The Queen Adelaide is a lovely, warm pub, where you could happily while away the hours over a pint or a hearty glass of wine. It can count itself as one of London’s pleasant surprises.