Having recently had a makeover, The Abbeville which is located on a quiet high street near Clapham Common, continues to be a cosy neighbourhood pub, perfect for wiling away the day. We wandered over to this leafy area of London on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon. The chairs and tables on the pavement outside the pub were packed with late twenty to thirty year olds, soaking up the weather, relaxing, drinking and tucking into some British grub. Exactly the kind of chilled out atmosphere you want from a neighbourhood pub.
Inside The Abbeville, there are lots of snug nooks and crannies decorated with a charming mix of fittings and furnishings - an overall rustic-style pub. The seasonal British menu is filled with simple dishes that flit between gastro and typical pub-inspired food. The starters were the most exciting with dishes such as pork, rabbit and pistachio terrine, and soft boiled duck egg with Portland brown crab soldier. We opted for roasted figs with ‘golden cross’ goat’s cheese and pure London honey; a glorious combination that would have been even better if the figs had actually arrived roasted. A starter of juicy scallops with pea puree, earthy black pudding and green apple salad was a lovely classic combination. My only qualm was the portion size, which felt a little stingy (only 2 scallops for £8.25). The main dishes included some typical pub classics, embracing the traditional burgers, steaks and fish pie. I was hoping to try the steak and chips, but with the sun beating down and warming me up, the thought of facing a chunk of cow didn’t feel quite right. So instead I tucked into a roasted whole seabass with baby fennel and smoked aubergine. The fish was well cooked and a heap of deep fried dill added a good textural and salty element. My friend's order of guinea fowl breast wrapped in bacon with a small confit leg was accompanied by comforting creamed leeks and a fried ball of good old bubble and squeak. Again the portions were fairly small, and we both regretted not ordering side dishes.
We looked to the thoroughly British dessert menu for some hope of filling up the gaps. Unfortunately both our choices of banoffee pie and baked bourbon custard were a little on the disappointing side. The bananas were black and there was an absence of the much needed ‘offee’, whilst the bourbon custard sadly lacked flavour let alone a hint of bourbon. Despite our final course being a touch hit and miss, The Abbeville's character and relaxed, friendly atmosphere will probably earn it a regular band of clientele.
A three course meal for two without wine will set you back by around £50 - £60.
**Reviewed by: **Leila Sarraf