The Ship Tavern, Holborn


Holborn is the place you would expect to willingly head for food - I won't be the first or last person to say that. It's notorious for having very little to do and the main activity there being work - so when I heard about The Ship Tavern I was firstly shocked that Holborn had this hear and secondly intrigued to what it would be like. 

Naturally as any foodie would do I browsed the menu online - the offerings were classic gastropub food with a somewhat elegant twist. Everything from several seafood dishes to hearty red meat dishes - it was the kind of menu I can't help but fall in love with. 

My friend and I toddled off down to Holborn on a Wednesday night to try The Ship Tavern.  Despite it being a Wednesday (for those of you who know me know I am more than partial to a #WineWednesday) it was really busy in the pub downstairs. People were spilling outside and enjoying a post-work drink - or 4. 

The restaurant is located upstairs, and is also known as The Oak Room, and immediately I was quite smitten with the interiors. It's elegant yet homely; think dark wood walls, candle lit tables and a fire place in the middle. The walls are adorned with photos or ornaments which fit in with the historic interior - and I guess it's only apt given the history of the The Ship Tavern. 

We were seated on a table, which felt much like a booth, by the window in the middle of the restaurant. The table had a single candle which created that lovely low lighting , and it undoubtedly the perfect spot if you were to be on a date. 

Guilty of being forever hungry, and newly attempting to eat healthy, I was absolutely starving when I began looking over the menu. In my borderline starving state I could have happily eaten everything on there - but I opted for the braised oxtail. It came - and instantly smelt incredible. The smell of the spinach (I literally love spinach) immediately sold me. My friends choice of the soft shell crab fritter surprised me when it was in the shape of a crab - however it looked delicious and I am told it was - damn my gluten allergy otherwise I'd have been all over it. 

Thought I had opted for red meat, I was really craving a glass of white wine. Our server recommended Gavi di Gavi DOCG - a wine which has notes of citrus fruits, pears and apples. For those of you, like me, who prefers something dry but fairly fruity this is for you. 

With my main, I went for a red to match the lamb dish. I had opted for the Trio of lamb (braised lamb shoulder, lamb fillet, crisp belly, mashed potato, garden pea & mint purée, roasted vine tomatoes, mint oil) and my friend went for the Pan-fried halibut (basil mash potato, poached duck egg & blood orange hollandaise). For wine this time I opted for a glass of the house red, Bodegas Brana Veija, on the recommendation one of the members of staff. It was sweet and smooth. 

Our mains arrived shortly after - the service at The Ship Tavern is undisputedly incredible - and we tucked in. 

Personally I felt I made the better choice - I love red meat - and each piece of lamb was cooked to perfection. The lamb fillet and braised lamb shoulder being my favourites. The braised lamb shoulder had an incredible amount of flavour and tender - the small parcel broke apart in your mouth. The portion size of all three was enough to fill you up, but not to make you uncomfortably full. There was a substantial amount of mashed potato on the side - you really wouldn't want any more of it unless you have a huge appetite. 

The pan-fried halibut was smooth, full of flavour and complemented well with the duck egg and hollandaise. I tried a little - and it's safe to say, although I preferred mine, I could happily devour this too. The portion was moderately larger in size - but fish usually is little less heavy than red meat. 

Not ones to say no to pudding - I opted for a raspberry sorbet to finish off the meal (I always need something sweet) and after two red meat courses the refreshing raspberry was welcomed. My friend opted for the chocolate brownie - it looked incredible, and again with the gluten issue, and I genuinely wanted to snatch it out of his hands. Rumour has it - it's good

Needless to say I would absolutely return to The Ship Tavern without so much as a second thought. The food is delicious without being too snobby, and it's well priced for the portion size and quality. The staff are lovely - attentive, fast and on hand for recommendations. 

Oh PS. My photos don't do it justice - stupidly forgot my camera! 

As ever - don't take my word for it:

Or view their menu here:

Bon Appetit! 


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