The Trading House: A British Pub with a Twist

When you walk into The Trading House you immediately feel as though you’ve gone back to colonial era Britain. In fact, if you had arrived in a horse drawn carriage I don’t think I would have batted an eyelid! 
Think Raj era India, or something from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with woman in long floating dresses and expats arriving in the country on boats.
Expect a culinary tale with a historical twist at this colonial style British pub. So come and join me on a little historical foodie tour…

Carrie and I were a little early (classic me) and decided to start our evening in the way that all good evenings do – with a cocktail! And I tell you, the cocktails here really are something else – they are delicious. In fact, I’m a little worried that The Trading House will be so close to my office as I feel I might be popping in a little too often..!

As we were waiting for our cocktails to be made we couldn’t help but admire the decor; they really have gone all out, and it makes for the most wonderful surrounding. There are beautiful tapestries on the walls, elegant of the era lamps and birds of paradise and the zebra that you can just about see in this photograph.
We thought it was delightful! I’ve not seen anything quite like in London before!

And then these beauties arrived!

Carrie opted for the raspberry mojito which was gorgeous; it was beautifully fresh and mixed so well that you barely thought you were drinking alcohol and thought it was simply a very tasty juice!

Cue some #bloggerproblems of sorting out my white balance whilst I took a million photos of these beautiful cocktails!

To be fair, how gorgeous are they?

Ahhhh – better!

I’m a sucker for a good gin based cocktail, especially when it involves cucumber and mint and so when I saw the English mojito I knew exactly what I was having! The mint set off the apple juice and liqueur beautifully and it was the perfect drink to cool off after our walk to the restaurant on a hot summer’s evening.

After a good ol’ catch up, a little gossip and enjoying our cocktails we were whisked away from the bar and into the restaurant around the corner. That’s one of the things I really liked about the layout, you could easily sit at the bar and just enjoy a few drinks, but for dinner, there was a separate area which was a little quieter and more private.

Now, the menu! It’s a fusion of classic British pub food and food from the empire, which we both thought was fantastic, though it did make decisions a little difficult. You can find the full menu here.

I couldn’t get enough of these birds, I thought they were fabulous!

Being the good blogger that I am, I insisted that we test a couple more cocktails. Don’t worry, you can thank me later! I went for the strawberry and mint martini which was beautiful – a little sweeter than your usual martini which I adored. Carrie ordered the show stopper that is the Breakfast Tea-tini which gave me major cocktail envy!

We were both a little skeptical of breakfast tea in a cocktail at first, but somehow, it just worked! Not a clue why – but it brought a beautiful dark-ish taste to the drink and it really was divine, a must order when you’re there.

Instead of conventional starters we opted for a few sharing dishes to nibble on. I have to say, I think we picked well – the nibbles were delicious and the perfect way to start the meal.

First up was the home made houmous with bread and crudites which was delightful. I’m a little fussy about bread after living in France for a year, so wasn’t totally over the moon with the bread, but was more than happy to nibble on the crudites.  The houmous was incredible tasty; the flavours were deep and it had that lovely texture that really good home made houmous should have.

A little less healthy was the pork crackling served with chilli, spring onion and sweet apple sauce – but I couldn’t put it down! It was very light and airy but with an incredible crunch. The apple sauce was beautiful and I loved the addition of the spring onions as they added another level of taste to the dish.

We just couldn’t say no to these, I mean really – when you see cumberland and pork chipolatas on a menu, especially when they come with a honey mustard sauce, who says no?!
Boy oh boy were they good! A little hot (hello burnt mouth!) but they were just as delicious as they sound and the honey mustard sauce was beautiful. I would have preferred a little more honey I have to say, but it was delicious all the same. 

The service was excellent, our waitress was great fun and she knew exactly when to leave us alone and when to ask us if we need anything or if we were ready for our next course. She also even offered to take a photo for us which I always appreciate!

For the main event we were both feeling like good old British classics and both ordered from the home comforts section of the menu. You can take the girls out of the country but you’ll never stop us loving a good pub!

Carrie ordered the chicken and chorizo pie with gravy and mash which was just as comforting as it sounds. I loved how beautifully it was presented – especially the detail on the pastry on top of the pie. Can you really ever beat a good ol’ pie?

Well, I think you can! I love scampi and chips – I think it’s something I used to have as a child, or at least when we were driving round Scotland – and when I saw it on the menu I knew exactly what Iw as going for! Part of me was a little torn as to whether to order the lamb tagine but I’m so glad I opted for this British classic.

The scampi itself was deeeee-licious; crispy coating on the outside and hot, soft fish on the inside. I’m also not a huge eater so the portion size was great for me, but I can imagine someone who eats more might like a little more scampi.

Not quite ready to head home, and you know, in the interests of good blogging, we decided to go for some dessert. And I am so glad that we did!

…and one last cocktail – they really are that good! Carrie opted for an English 75 (elderflower liqueur and prosecco based) whilst I had another English mojito – we really are that English!

As we were waiting for our dessert a pianist jumped onto the piano (not literally, of course) and started playing some of the best old school music I’d heard in ages: think Elton John and the Beatles. I love live music, and it was just the right volume to listen to but not intrusive.

And then this beauty arrived! We’d admired the savoury kebabs all evening, as they’re presented as hanging kebabs, and so decided to opt for its sweet cousin for our dessert!

We had the strawberry and marshmallow hanging kebab served with Sailor Jerry chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Oh yeah. That happened.

The sauce oooozed down the toasted marshmallows and coated the strawberries before dripping onto the vanilla ice cream and melting it.

Well, needless to say this didn’t last long. Two sweet toothed girls devoured this slice of heaven rather quickly!

Wait, I need to Instagram this” – classic!

I loved the old colonial feel, the impeccable service and the home comforts of the food. The food isn’t flashy but it’s very good as British pub food goes – and who doesn’t love it when the simple things are done well?

The Trading House 

89-91 Gresham Street 
London 
EC2V 7NQ

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We were guests of The Trading House but all opinions and words are my own.

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