he Duke of Sussex is part of a pub group called Metropolitan Pub Company, whose 71 pubs are each encouraged to set their own local identity. The Duke of Sussex has a Victorian dining room with a central skylight and ornate ceiling. There is also a large garden, and a menu that mixes pub staples with Spanish dishes. The dining room seating, mostly set into booths, makes for natural social distancing.
The wine list had 22 labels, none with vintages noted, and ranged in price from £19 to £150, with a median price of just £26 and an average markup to retail price of 2.7 times, which is very fair by London standards. Sample references were Chenin Blanc Granite Ridge at £23.50 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £8, Pinot Noir Moulin de Gassacat £27.50 compared to its retail price of £12, and Bollinger Brut NV at £90 for a wine that will set you back £54 in the high street.
A plate of padron peppers were fried and had pleasant texture and flavour; this is a very simple dish but was well enough made (11/20). I enjoyed a chorizo Scotch egg, with a liquid egg centre, quite crisp outer coating and a meaty filling where the chorizo flavour came through well (13/20). Haddock and chips tonight had batter that was cooked a bit too long, though the fish inside was OK. The chips could have been a bit crisper but were decent enough (just about 11/20). Better was vegetable paella, with bomba rice topped with artichokes, piquillo peppers, squash and peas. The paella lacked socarrat, the savoury crust formed by the bottom layer of rice, presumably as the iron pan was not heated quite enough at the end. However, the rice itself was nicely cooked and the vegetables were fine. This paella wouldn’t really pass muster in Valencia but it was pleasant enough (12/20).
Portions here tend to be generous so we didn’t make it as far as dessert. Service from our friendly Filipino waiter was very good, and the bill came to £25 per person. If you shared a modest bottle of wine and had three courses and coffee then a typical cost per person might be around £40 or so. The Duke of Sussex is a serviceable local pub with a nice dining room that is fairly inexpensive.