The Duke of Cambridge in Islington is a restaurant/pub which prides itself on its ethical credentials. Ninety-five per cent of its fruit and veg comes from the UK; everything, from the oil in the candles to the washing up liquid, is organic; everything is Fair Trade.
The place itself is all stripped wood, black ceilings and pot plants, but also full of sunlight and fresh air. The staff were friendly (we got a ‘Hello!’ on entering), even if they did make us feel rather lumpy and unglamorous. The clientele is solidly middle class – so much so, in fact, that they’d passed beyond suits and into expensively scruffy designer casuals.
Bailey’s Dad wouldn’t like it, let’s put it that way.
In line with their ethical mission, the pub’s owners get most of their beer from breweries in the south east of England, namely St Peter’s and Pitfield. We’d never seen Pitfield beers on tap, but were very impressed. These beers do not suffer at all from being organic!
The Pitfield SB (the first organic bitter in the UK, apparently) tasted a little sweet on its own, but with fish and chips suddenly gained a new dimension – drier, crisper and with more apparent hop aroma.
We also worked our way through Pitfield East Kent Goldings (Summer Lightning-like), Eco-Warrior (sweet and citrusy); St Peter’s Organic; and Pitfield lager (fruity, malty, very pleasant).
But the real revelation was a bottle of Pitfield’s N1 Wheat Beer. Coriander seed, orange peel and hops gave it a pronounced Belgian flavour, but darker malt made sure this was no mere Hoegaarden clone. Poperings Hommelbier sprang to mind, in fact.
In short, a lovely place to go if you fancy a treat (it’s not cheap) on a summer evening… of if you’re a ticker missing a few of Pitfield’s beers from your collection.
The Duke of Cambridge is at 30 St Peter’s Street, ten minutes walk from Angel tube station. The photo above is from their website.