With my dad’s visit first visit to London in 33 years looming, I went on a quest to find the perfect jetag-reducing dad-friendly lunch in all of London. Enter: The Anchor & Hope. I’d been reading about this lovely little Waterloo-based gastropub for a while, and after a few suggestion in its favour on Twitter, my mind was made up.
So when my dad arrived at Paddington, we dropped off his bag at my flat and headed off.
I’d heard that the restaurant can get quite busy, and with a no bookings policy, it’s essential to get there early – especially on a Friday. We arrived about 12:45 to an empty restaurant which largely stayed that way for our entire meal. Success!
We were immediately presented with a giant jug of tap water and basket of lovely fresh-baked bread with fresh butter (like, the kind that makes your arteries harden when you smell it) by our slightly sarcastic waiter who somehow convinced me to get a carafe of wine all to myself. Good man.
The very simple menu featured about 6 things that I wanted to try. I finally decided on Skate with chickpeas in a lovely bouillon. It was served alongside with some crispy bread and a rich orange sauce I can’t for the life of me remember the name of. What I can tell you is that it was delicious.
I’m so glad my dad went with the Wood Pigeon. I very nearly got it myself just for the deep-fried risotto cake that came with, but it was hot outside, and I decided somehow fish was the better option. He very nicely gave me a generous chunk to try, purely in the name of research, of course.
Perfectly cooked throughout, and with a risotto cake from the Gods, I wanted to savour every last morsel. If the skate hadn’t been such a large portion, I would have been tempted to order another pigeon for myself. I was a bit confused by the radish salad accompaniment though. It felt slightly out of place on a plate full of roasted and fried things, and was left largely untouched by my father.
With wine, half a pint and two mains, the bill came to about £37 – not your every day lunch, but certainly not the most expensive. My father, who I could see mentally converting pounds into dollars, thought otherwise, which really when you think about it, is the perfect re-introduction to this lovely city.