Open Mon–Thurs 11am–11pm, Fri 11am–12am, Sat 9am–12am, Sun 9am–10.30pm
Another Youngs pub that has reopened its doors after several months off for refurbishment, The Old Ship is nestled in quite an idyllic Thames setting not too far from Ravenscourt Park and made for a pleasant trip on a weekday evening. Dating back almost 300 years the pub has served punters and walkers alike, and now tempts us in with a newly extended menu that includes brunch as well as traditional-esque pub grub.
Yes, it may be gastro, but it does a nice job of combining vibes of a historical pub and riverside hangout with eccentric interior. Wooden flooring and furniture lies alongside regal and wildlife wall art – including majestic portraits and a ceiling to floor mural of a pelican in the ladies’ toilets. The balcony and terrace are another story – if you’re a fan of the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race you’ll have prime position seated upstairs and outside at The Old Ship.
It really is a pub for all – most likely residents of the area – but there were people of every age there for dinner, drinks and celebrations. A special mention is in order for the many cute pups pottering about.
Generous, hearty and indulgent – qualities that every British pub should serve. To start I chose the Scottish mussels with bacon in a garlic and herby white wine sauce and flat bread to accompany (£10), the epitome of comfort food. The salty bacon balanced by the juicy tomatoes added a welcome twist to the dish, and dipping the bread into the sauce was simply divine. I could have done with an extra bowl for the shells however, and something to keep fingers clean with! My guest, Martha, chose the pork cheek and ham hock terrine with parsnip, savoury crumble and toasted sourdough (£7.50), which was tasty and like a paté – sweet, cold and fresh.
For main course I opted for the pork chop marinated in paprika and served with sweet potato and coriander puree, grilled red pepper and large cloves of garlic (£14.50). I received a sizeable, crispy portion which was delicious but the sweet taste of the peppers were what stood out to me. Martha chose the British classic battered cod and triple-cooked chips served with mushy peas and tartare sauce (£14.50) – the batter had the perfect degree of crunch and the chips had the right balance of outside crispy and inside fluffy.
By dessert we were pretty full, but couldn’t deny ourselves something from the pudding menu – Martha had the light but tangy lemon tart with cherry coulis (£7.00) and I had the apple granola crumble and custard (£6.50) – filling but delicious, dotted with sultanas and topped with silky smooth custard.
We were recommended a bottle of the Colección Privada Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (£25) from Chile which had a tropical aroma and paired well with my food choices. The pub also flaunts an enticing gin-focused cocktail menu and a vast range of cask ales and craft beers.
In a nutshell
All aboard The Old Ship if you’re looking to escape busy city life but still want to be surrounded by Londoners, eat hearty grub and overlook an iconic section of the Thames.