Clapham is home to one of the best gastro-pubs in London. This proclamation should give you all the reassurance you need to take the tube to this stop, which at first might seem pretty far away and unglamorous. Just 2 minutes from the station, you will find a real gem of a venue in a style that oh-so typically British . You just have to cross the park and voila! There’s The Dairy waiting for you with open arms.
It’s a pub with the vibe of a restaurant that serves haute cuisine, but with the most friendly, causal manner imaginable. Its simplicity won us over from the moment we walked through the door, to the smiling send off we got from the staff.
There’s a bustling atmosphere that’s absolutely in keeping with the typical English pub, but (!) the difference here is the excellence of the food. Classic recipes re-mixed with skill to create fresh-feeling yet authentic dishes.
We were drawn to the place having read its rave reviews, which keep coming weekly since they opened their doors about two years ago. Another reason we wanted to check it out was that it intriguingly offers gluten-free options for almost all of the dishes on the menu.
We love a place that’s mindful of peoples allergies and intolerances. They even serve Daura, the Spanish gluten free beer… now that’s a bonus. A gluten free wink to Spain.
The Dairy offers a full set menu in the evening and a lunch menu that’s totally top: three-courses that feel close to Michelin star in quality, but at a very affordable price. Homemade bread, roasted vegetables and a prime cuts of meat or fresh fish. After this you’ll still have room for desert, and trust me they are all unmissably tasty. Our chocolate suggestion would be: Salted caramel, cocoa with malted barley ice cream.
You can also choose from the à la carte menu, if you do, then these are the ones not to miss out on: Truffled Baron Bigod, fig & walnut toast, rooftop honey; Jerusalem artichoke, caramelised cheese rind, chervil; Bone marrow agnolotti, wild mushrooms; ‘Lady Hamilton’ pollock, Alexander, monksbeard; One year lamb, calçot onion, fresh ricotta. And best of all, most of these dishes have a gluten-free option, even the dessert.
We went with a celiac (gluten-intolerant) friend who follows all our foodie discoveries. The restaurant swiftly switched up all of her appetizers, including the homemade bread, to gluten free bread and suggested Daura for drinks. What more could you ask for? You just have to say the word once and they’ll do the rest, a luxury…no doubt!
With mainly local serving staff, you’ll leave The Dairy with the feeling of having enjoyed an authencially British experiance. We loved all the desserts (we tried a few!), and were lucky enough to share some of the servers. They told us how the kitchen carefully selects distributors from local farmers and uses sustainable and organic products. There’s nothing like sharing the table with people that share the same philosophy. A pleasure.