Star Tavern, SW1X 8HT
- 020 7235 3019
- 6 Belgrave Mews West, SW1X 8HT
- 11am-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat; noon-10:30pm Sun
There's no TV and no piped music, which makes it a good place to actually talk to people. It was refurbished in February 2008, and the function room upstairs was converted into a "dining room"; tables can be booked for dinner, but they no longer accept function bookings. The facilities have also been improved — the gents' are now described by elvum as "spacious", and while the ladies' toilets are still quite cramped, they're at least a bit smarter than they used to be.
On John's Friday afternoon visit in July 2008, it was pretty much empty at 4pm (fewer than 10 customers), although it was a bit busier by 6pm; on a second July 2008 visit on a particularly warm Thursday evening, it was very busy at 6:30pm, but by 7pm there were a few empty tables and by 9pm it was pretty quiet. When bob et al. visited on a Wednesday evening in May 2013 it was quiet throughout the evening from when we arrived about 6:15pm.
Beers available on Kake's August 2008 visit were the usual Fuller's quartet (London Pride, ESB, Discovery, Chiswick) and a guest ale, Ossett Pale Gold (£3.05/pint); both Discovery and Pale Gold were well-kept, as one would expect from this place. They also had a very neon cocktail menu, with nine choices ranging from £4 for a whisky sour to £8 for citrus rum punch (presumably a large serving). Possibly more interestingly, they had a whisky menu, offering twenty whiskies from nine countries, with 25ml measures priced between £2.10 for Armorik (France) and £4.95 for MackMyra Preludium 05 (Sweden) or Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye (USA). The beer has always been very good, including on our most recent visit in May 2013.
The quality and value of the food has varied over the years. bob, Martin, elvum, Richard, Jacob and Hannah tried the food in October 2007. The general consensus was that the steak was small (approximately 4oz), overcooked, and generally worth closer to £6-7 than the £14 that it cost. bob also wished the pie heresy (puff pastry on top of a bowl of stew) to be noted. In late May 2008 the quality of the steak was excellent, but the portion size was still a little on the small side. A decent non-heretic pie was consumed by [Dom]? in March 2014.
The lunch menu as of August 2008 had sandwiches between £4.60 (mature Cheddar and Branston pickle) and £5.90 (rib eye steak with fried onions); filled jacket potatoes between £4.90 (e.g. mature Cheddar and baked beans) and £5.50 (cured salmon with dill creme fraiche); ploughmans between £5.50 (e.g. pork pie and wholegrain mustard) and £6.50 (cured salmon again); and mains between £7.30 (mushroom, spinach, and goat cheese frittata) and £11.50 (chargrilled rib eye with handcut chips and mixed salad). Aside from the aforementioned frittata, the other main course vegetarian options was glamorgan sausages (£7.90), served with either "mustard mash, slow cooked peas, and red wine gravy", or handcut chips and beans. Desserts were £3.70 (lemon tart with passion fruit coulis) to £4.20 (e.g. caramelised pineapple and mango skewers with raspberry and mint sorbet).
As of May 2013, food is served noon-4pm and 5pm-9pm Mon-Fri, noon-7pm Sat, and noon-5pm Sun. On our visit in that month it was pretty good. Richard was very happy with his steak if not so enthused by the jenga chips (£15) photo. Robbie enjoyed his fish & chips (£9.80) photo. Martin had a decent burger (£9.80) photo. bob had a basket of whitebait from the specials menu (didn't note price, but about £5-6) photo and a portion of chips (£3.80) photo, both of which were very good.
Kake, bob, Martin, elvum, Richard, and Robbie's collective verdict: We've been coming here for years and the beer is always excellent. The food isn't as cheap as it used to be, but the prices still aren't too bad given the area.
Accessibility: Belgrave Mews West is cobbled throughout, with no smooth surfaces. There are two or three steps up into the pub. The gents' is on the same level as the rest of the pub, but the ladies' involves several steps.
- bob' photoset on Flickr
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