Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SCOTCH EGGS @ The Princess Vic

There is something addictive about the Princess Victoria.

Round, oblong, oval wooden tables lit by nightlights in glass jars; tall ceilings; a fireplace big enough to sit in. On sunny days you can sit on white iron tables and chairs in a small walled herb garden at the back.

The staff are lovely. They don't hang over your table like newspaper-peekers on the tube, but appear just as you need them. Ice-cold water. Very good bread.

The menu picks out the best of good pub grub - scratchings, rillettes, whitebait with aioli, pickled onions - and the chef, James, makes damn sure it's done well. The meat is sourced from Turnham Green's Machen Brothers and Huntsham Court Farm, and each time I go back there is a different cut - any old bit - of their favourite Gloucestershire Old Spot.

The wine list is long; there are more than 350 different bottles held in the cellars beneath. As much as I'd like to try them all of an afternoon, the Pinot Rose is for me; a light fragrant pink that arrives in a wee 50cl glass caraffe...

All this is definitely worth the wander down the Uxbridge Road. But there's more.

The real thing that makes me go back is the Middle White Pork Scotch Egg.

It's the crisp, buttery, breadcrumb crust and the sweet aniseed taste of tarragon in the pork that makes this Scotch Egg so unbearably good. You can smell it coming.

The pork is soft - not too bready - and holds tight around a soft and perfectly cooked free-range egg. It is salty, but sweet too with wholegrain mustard mixed in with the meat. Sizing up nicely to a large apple, it makes the perfect starter or light lunchtime nibble. Have two and you'll be pleasantly pork-heavy. You eat with your hands, so it's absolutely OK to lick your fingers afterwards. And you'll want to. The knife that comes with it is pretty lovely too.

The smaller Oxtail Scotch Quails Egg is sweet and scrum, but I'd go for the bigger Middle any day of the week...

I could rave on about this place and even more so about their pig'n'egg - I may have already been too sickly - but it's my favourite local and I can't just keep it to myself.

The Princess Victoria pub is situated at the Chiswick end of the Uxbridge Road (No.217), Shepherds Bush.
T: 0208 7495886

Monday to Saturday Lunch: 12 noon - 3pm. Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30pm.
Sunday Lunch: 12 noon - 4.30pm. Dinner: 6.30pm - 9.30pm.

The Middle White asks a very reasonable £5.90; the Oxtail £3.50


  1. Looks fantastic, although first photo reminds men why they should never mess with a knife wielding female.
    The bisection of that egg looks painful.

  2. It was a male who did it. That's even worse...

  3. A few more recommendations from lovers of the pig'n'egg:

    Sam: Best scotch eggs are at the Sands End Pub with a bloody mary dip...amazing.

    Olly: The Queen Adelaide Scotch Eggs are so much better, they're cheaper and they're not so far to find!!!

    Oh damn. Now I'll have to go and try them all...

  4. Wonderful stuff! I must add this one to the list.

    You may find this interesting: http://forevereggsploring.com/

  5. Tis indeed a gorgeous pub and just look at that egg. Can you buy a job lot and send them over South London way?