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24 May 2017


last sunday, ben and i decided to take a punt on the sunshine and head west for a spot of lunch. as you know, i'm not of the "west is best" school of thought, but having trawled the fuller's website for the prettiest (ie. most instagrammable) one in london, and discovering the dove in hammersmith sitting on the side of the thames all bathed in ivy, well, the decision was made for us. a table was booked, a plan to play out west for the day was laid, and off we went. let me tell you aaaall about it!

the starters

our reservation was made for 2pm, but i literally hadn't eaten since 6pm the night before. so, needless to say, i was famished. we made it to the pub (via multiple photo stops along the way), took our seats, and perused the menu. one of the things i love about a fuller's menu is the variety, and quality of the dishes. no bangers and mash, or greasy pies here - nope, everything on the menu is perfectly curated, locally sourced, and cooked to perfection. and there are always a few surprises in there - like the crab salad (£9) i chose.

garnished with pickled apples and served with paprika mayo, it was plated up so beautifully, and not what you'd expect from a pub lunch. at. all. the crab meat was so creamy and thick - thick enough to hold its shape alone on the plate, and was tasty as hell. ben went for a pub classic: salt and pepper squid (£7); might sound boring, but it was anything but. perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, and served with a smoked paprika aioli - it was definitely up there with one of the best squids i've tasted outside of a seafood restaurant. so far, so tasty!

the sunday roast

i'm not very fussy when it comes to a roast, because i have them so infrequently that any roast is a gift delivered straight from the heavens. my only problem with pub roasts is: which meat to choose. thankfully, ben seems to be on the same page as me when it comes to food, and we often start sentences over dinner to each other with "if i have this one, then you could have that one, and we could... share?" erica doesn't normally share food, but i see this as more of a trade. so, i chose the pork belly (£16.50) and ben went with the beef sirloin (£18). good choice team!

each dish was served with glazed carrots, braised red cabbage, roasties, cauliflower cheese, mashed swede, and the biiiiiiggest yorkshire puds i'd actually ever seen - all dished up in a sea of rich gravy and a side of sauce. for me: sweet apple sauce. for him: spicy english mustard. did we manage to finish our meals? no we did not. did we still opt-in for dessert? hell yes we did. because look: when you see the words: salted caramel/peanut brittle/chocolate brownie all in the one sentence, you order it. whoever the "paul" is behind paul's chocolate brownie (£7), he needs a firm handshake. we were stuffed, but my gawwwd - there is always room for dessert.

the location 

is stunning. the pub sits literally on the river, so those lucky enough to sit on the terrace will get an excellent view of the thames, the houseboats bobbing in the thames, and the wonderful bridges that cross the thames. say thames again, erica. the pub itself is covered in beautiful ivy and wisteria, the inside of the pub used to be the outside, so there are original gaslights and lamp posts between the tables, and vines adorning the wooden beams. it's really, truly a beautiful pub. 

the front bar is a tad pokey - and to be honest: the whole venue is pretty small, but that's what makes it great. many of the fuller's pubs are large and exciting and feature huge bars and lots of excitable staff, but the dove is a lot more intimate than that. which is fantastic. once we were done, we decided to take the thames path as far as we could - needing a biiiig old walk to help digest the masses of food we'd just consumed, and we'd been sat inside - away from the sun, for far too long already. originally we planned to head to head to the design museum in kensington once we were done, but we were enjoying the day too much to get stuck inside, so we wandered literally into the sunset before getting home a good six hours later, still stuffed.

we were guests of fuller's, but for real guys: all words are mine. if you get the chance, check out the dove. i promise you won't regret it. i mean, who regrets a roast, anyway?

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