Galvin HOP, Spital Square, E1
A new gastropub – or “pub de luxe”, as the eponymous Galvin brothers prefer to call it – serving gourmet pub grub, snacks and pints. There’s also a takeaway bar so you can grab breakfast rolls, toasted muffins, Eccles cakes and “luxe dogs” to eat (ahem) on the hop.
Jeff and Chris Galvin are the Michelin-starred brothers behind a series of self-styled, but rather smart, French bistros, such as Galvin at Windows and Demoiselle by Galvin in Harrods. This is the brothers’ first foray into gastropubs, but they plan to open a second, Green Man, in Chelmsford this summer.
A mere hop, skip and a jump away from Galvin La Chappelle in Spitalfields Market. It’s quite a masculine affair, with simple wooden tables surrounded by leather banquettes and four large, but very on trend, copper tanks, holding unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell that’s shipped in weekly from the Czech Republic.
If you’re popping in for a pint, the Cumbrian sausage roll is a perfect buttery companion smothered in Maille truffle mustard. For starters, the sharp, zesty steak tartare – so often ça va – is nothing short of magnifique. My hearty hotdog was let down by a soggy-bottomed bun, then redeemed by moreish homemade straw crisps on the side. Light and refined, treacle tart with clotted cream is the star sweet, but it’s also worth swiping a Valrhona chocolate choux bun for later.
Business or pleasure?
A good level of chatter fills the air with a business-like buzz and you can rely on generous portions of meat and decent beer. It’s the perfect place to impress clients without fuss. After work drinkers are welcome at the bar, but it’s too small and close to diners to really let off any steam.
Need to book?
Breeze in for a drink, but book in for a banquette, which is essential if you want to talk privately. Call 020 7299 0404.
A welcome addition to the City that bridges the gap between informal, but tasteless, pub franchises and gourmet, yet galling, fine dining.
One more thing
It’s one of the only places in London that’ll pour you a Czech-style smooth lager (bigger head, creamier than your usual pint) or a milk lager (mostly moussey foam, with a small amount of beer at the bottom).