I detect a whiff of change in the air. I've just got back from lunch at the Princess Victoria, a former Victorian Gin Palace in Darkest Shepherd's Bush. That's right- in that valhalla of discarded litter, mini cabs, kebab parlours and the imaginativly named "Chicken Land". The Princess Victoria, apparently, won the "Time Out Gastropub of the Year" award; but I don't think that's doing it full justice. I find gastropubs slightly tiresome, who doesn't? But, like Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, it's one of the new breed of re-invented Dickensian Dining Rooms flogging well-cooked, plain British food at its best.
Now to the food. My parsnip soup was to die for. Creamy, sweet, and savoury, with nuggety mushrooms lurking in the bottom of the tureen. The belly of pork was, perhaps, a trifle disappointing (cooked properly and topped with a decent bit of crackling, but, a smidgen on the mean side), however, the brussel sprouts were beautifully undercooked and crunchy, which, I suggest, is the only civilised way of cooking the critters. Pudding was bypassed in favour of a generous and gooey cheese board (including the obligatory goat's cheese) served with walnuts, and some form of Germanic looking, nutty black bread.