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The Eagle, Shepherd’s Bush

Open Sun–Thu 11am–11pm, Fri–Sat 11am–midnight

The blurb

I tend to feel as though we are always waiting for summer in the UK to officially start, but I have concluded that this year this is it… drizzle followed by two scorching weeks, then lurching back to the winds and storm, before some more beautiful sunshine. Welcome to the British summer—this is it, so enjoy it!

What you need in order to fully appreciate the British summer is a local pub that ticks most of your boxes regardless of the weather, and if you live in the Shepherd’s Bush area, The Eagle could just be your place.

The style

When you approach the front of the pub on the main road you wouldn’t necessarily think it’s anything special, but as you enter you realise it has a lot to offer, whatever the occasion. Inside you’ll find a large, laid back dining space scattered with tables, some hidden in nooks for a more intimate dining experience.

I loved that the walls are lined with striking art, that there’s an open kitchen and that as you make your way to the back of the room you’re greeted by a huge window enveloping the entire back wall, showing off a fab view of the colourful garden.

In this garden you’ll find an abundance of fairy lights wrapped around a wall of olive trees, lining a non-smoking patio area. Pass through this wall and the large space is filled with long benches, brightly coloured plastic chairs and two seaside-style beach huts signposted ‘My Place’ and ‘Your Place’—cute for a summer first date, maybe?

The crowd

A hot Monday evening found the garden at capacity. Large crowds of mates congregated in circles around the long tables, smaller groups of young professionals sipped post-work drinks, couples and their parents were out having a pleasant meal in the evening sun, and some guests still in their suits sat around on laptops, having informal meetings over a pint. The ages were anywhere from 21 to 70, but the main vibe was of your 30-odd-year-old locals.

The food

A decent sized menu that doesn’t overwhelm you with too much choice is always a good sign. We started by devouring a ham hock and new potato cream salad (recommended with a generous helping of English mustard) and a summery tomato and mozzarella salad, which may sound like a same-old classic, but was a great variation served with red onion, in a tossed-together style.

The raved-about Burger Shack was closed the night we went, however we were adamant about trying their burger. We ended up with one Eagle burger and fries—stacked high with cheese, ale onions, shredded lettuce and pickle—and one slightly healthier option of grilled chicken breast with sautéed vegetable compote on a bed of seasonal greens, which was a really yummy dish, served with an especially flavoursome gravy.

Our wonderful waiter James didn’t need to do much persuading when it came to giving us the dessert menu (yes; the answer is always yes). A super-refreshing bowl of blood orange sorbet and an indulgent sticky toffee pudding with caramel ice cream confirmed for us that this is a great place to spend an evening and enjoy some tasty grub.

Drinks

The bar prides itself on serving a substantial range of over 10 craft beers on tap and countless more international bottled favourites. For wine lovers you have options from across the globe. For a summer’s day I always get swayed by a pale rosé, with the dry and delicate Cuvee Florette Cotes de Provence Rosé rising to the occasion this evening.

In a Nutshell

We found that you should be prepared for no table service outside and queues at the bar on busier days, but overall The Eagle ticks a lot of our pub criteria boxes, from offering a great range of drinks and a food menu that is high quality and reasonably priced, to cool artwork, a large (and fairly flamboyant) garden for hot afternoons, and all with a great community feel to it.

The details:

The Eagle, 215 Askew Rd, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 9AZ;020 8746 0046www.theeaglew12.co.uk/

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