Historic London gastropub the Guinea Grill in Mayfair has seen a lot in its 600 years, from bubonic plague to the Great Fire of London. History aside, the gastropub has survived to become one of London’s most-treasured food pubs.
This Mayfair-based gastropub is an institute of local history and has risen 13 places this year from 23 to 10. It has stood since at least 1423 in the same spot and has witnessed the London we’re familiar with today develop around it.
Not only is the Guinea Grill’s structure of historic significance, but it has also played a hand in culinary developments too.
One simple idea in 1952 led tenant ‘Alistair’ to lay the foundations of the pub’s importance when it comes to steak.
Americans holidaying in Europe quickly learned the Guinea Grill was the place to go for a ‘decent steak’.
There was no need for prices, punters simply placed a mark on raw steak to indicate how big a piece they wanted, before it was priced, cooked and served.
“Suddenly, the Guinea Grill was a hot ticket,” says the Young’s-owned pub’s website. “Film stars, politicians, world leaders and the wealthy flocked to the back room of our tiny pub.
Those interested in the history of the area can embark on special tours of Mayfair when booking the pub’s private dining room – the Boardroom.
Meat remains an important part of the Guinea Grill’s present offer, and only the finest beef is used, including the ‘Champagne’ of beef – Scotch beef. The gastropub is a founding member of the Scotch Beef Club, showing how serious it is about well-sourced meat.
On the Guinea Grill’s à la carte menu, for starters, you can expect dishes such as: devilled kidneys or sweetbreads on toast; smoked eel with poached egg and watercress; and a half dozen rock oysters.
For mains, along with a wide variety of meat cuts with sides and sauces, you can expect to eat: beef Wellington; monkfish, beurre blanc and capers; and mushroom radicchio risotto.
Desserts are well-made classics, including bread and butter pudding; sticky toffee pudding; and chocolate mousse.