Top 50 Gastropubs

Blue Boar Pub

One to Watch

The Blue Boar Pub on Tothill Street in London must be this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs One to Watch for many reasons.

The first being that it is the new enterprise of head chef supreme Sally Abé, who until recently headed the famous one Michelin-starred Fulham gastropub the Harwood Arms.

At the Harwood Abé not only maintained the venue’s star, but also saw the gastropub rise to the top of the Estralla Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2020, making it the first and currently only London pub to gain such an accolade.

Abé is known for her love of comforting British cuisine and at the Blue Boar Pub she brings it to the max in an environment that has been lovingly and carefully crafted to create only the best dining experience.

The venue has already gained much attention from the culinary press and bodies due to the outstanding dishes the venue puts out, which is no surprise considering the high standards Abé achieves.

The Blue Boar sits within the Conrad London St James Hotel, which Abé joined in 2021 to head up all food operations, including the Pem, which, with its all-female team, has become a notorious place to eat.

The Pem, named after Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who was nicknamed ‘Pem’ by her close family.

At the Pem, Abé’s ethos is to run a team that is all trusting of each other with no shouting in the kitchen, creating an environment that is likely to be distinctly different from many other kitchens in the country.

On the Blue Boar’s menu, however, diners can expect to see the likes of carrot and ginger soup with sage and onion scone; whole golden Cenarth fondue with sourdough toast and pickles for dipping; and Mayfield Swiss and red onion toastie to begin.

Mains have included smoked ham, leek and Montgomery cheddar tart with butter lettuce and radish salad; lentil shepherd’s pie with sprouting broccoli and black garlic gravy; and Scottish sea trout with mussels cooked in cider and samphire fritters.

To finish, desserts have included Earl Grey and chocolate mousse with salted caramel; sticky toffee pudding with buttermilk ice cream and apple and almond tartlet.