Following a sudden closure, former gin palace, The Princess Victoria in Shepherd’s Bush has been given a new lease of life thanks to the award-winning Three Cheers Pub Co.
Old friends Tom Peake, Mark Reynolds and Nick Fox saved the nineteenth century landmark site that was once owned by Sir Richard Branson adding it to their collection of seven handsome south London pubs.
In the same vein as their other venues, which include The Avalon in Clapham and The Latchmere in Battersea, they have embraced the Princess Victoria’s rich history. One hundred gins and 40 beers adorn the majestic marble bar served alongside great British food in a striking dining room. The cobbled front of the pub, historically a tram stop, is now a beautiful terrace garden whist the first floor is home to the new 1829 Room, a stunning events space named after the year the pub was built.
Owner Tom Peake and artist Adam Ellis’s interior design pays homage to the building’s heritage. Handsome and rich, it’s brimming with Victorian prints and curiosities. The horseshoe bar, which was once a regular haunt of The Who, plays centre stage to a beautiful room blessed with the most magnificent of high ceilings and huge original windows creating a beautifully light daytime spot. The grand dining room, once the set for Phil Collins’ hit video for Sussudio, is now dressed in the deepest of greens and features a multitude of Victorian drawings and oil paintings, making it the ideal backdrop for an indulgent dinner.
The 1829 Room upstairs has been rejuvenated to create a spectacular party room complete with its own cocktail bar. Bespoke wallpaper, inspired by nineteenth century discovery and adventure, wraps the room and features black and white sketches highlighted by brightly coloured humming birds.
At the heart of head chef Rupert Thornton’s menu is a passion for British produce. Three flavours of Scotch egg (classic, smoked haddock with saffron alioli, mushroom with truffle mayonnaise) sit alongside confit chicken terrine with pear chutney and sourdough, British charcuterie and homemade breads to start.
Pearl barley risotto with goat’s cheese, beetroot and rocket, pan-roasted cod with Jerusalem artichoke purée, braised baby gem and brown shrimp sauce, a loaded burger in brioche bun plus a host of utterly addictive pizzas stand proudly amongst the mains.
Puddings showcase big hitters with treacle tart topped with vanilla ice cream, a banging banoffee pie, sticky toffee pudding with homemade rum ice cream and lemon posset served with shortbread.
Echoing the popularity of both gin and beer in the Victorian era, the drinks list features a heady mix of big name and artisan brands. Noteworthy shout outs go to Bo Peach and Hibiscus Gin and SW4 Batch 47 London Dry Gin from the list of 100 gins as well as East London Brewery’s Foundation Bitter and Kernel’s London Brick Red Amber Ale from the list of 40 beers. Well chosen hand-crafted spirits, excellently priced wines plus a strong but succinct cocktail list complete the picture.
Originally a tram stop, later a car park, the front of the Princess Victoria is now a striking heated terrace surrounded by silver birches and animal troughs filled with plants. A highlight is the pub’s original swing sign from the 1980s, discovered, restored and rehung by Three Cheers Pub Co.
The rear courtyard garden is a hidden oasis making it the perfect spot for just one more drink. Exposed brickwork, twinkly lights and elegant white furniture create a calm, genteel space where you can escape from the world.
Long live the Princess Victoria.
The Princess Victoria, 217 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 9DH