One of the last balmy evenings of the summer took us to the recently relaunched Prince Albert pub in Battersea. We weren’t the only ones with this idea, and the freshly draughted staff were cheerfully stretched to capacity as we took our seats in the lantern-lit courtyard, which also serves as a hospitable refuge for smokers.
A fruit-packed Pimms quickly arrived (perfectly made to our quirky tonic-not-lemonade specifications), while we perused the modern British menu from ex-Soho House chef Adrian Watters. If you manage to avoid the distraction of the specials (a delicious duck salad proved we couldn’t), then the offering is well balanced and tasty.
A main course of skate wing with shrimps was so overwhelmed with butter it could have swum for freedom, but this deluge of richness was tempered with the welcome tang of capers. Pudding – ordered through greed rather than necessity – took the form of intriguing salty caramel pancakes. Although destined to be a “Marmite” of the dessert world, our sodium chloride-addicted palate and sweet tooth was pleasantly surprised.
Post-dinner, we retreated inside to assess the all-important drinking opportunities (where several sports teams had beaten us to the bar). As far as the wine list was concerned, we were greeted with a comprehensive range of classics. There’s a good selection of beer on tap (Youngs etc), guest ales and some excellent bottles, such as Esquire favourite Meantime Wheat (brewed in Greenwich). If Geronimo (the Prince Albert’s owner) relaunches all its pubs to such good effect, we look forward to sampling the results.
Albert Bridge Road, Battersea, London SW11 (+44 20 7223 5378; www.theprincealbertbattersea.co.uk)