This will most probably be my last dessert post in a (short) while because at the moment I’m taking the amazing Spirulina from Organic Burst which is great at staving off sugar cravings and I have just bought a juicer, which I can’t wait to pick up from Peter Jones.

But enough of the healthy stuff, if you are looking for somewhere good to go for dessert then I recommend The Mall Tavern off Kensington Church Street.

The Mall Tavern

I popped in there a few weeks ago, following a lovely walk through Kensington Gardens.

The Serpentine LakeThe walk was enough to build up an appetite though whilst looking at the menu, I wasn’t sure what to order.

The Mall TavernSo of course, I ordered a glass of bubbles to help me decide.

The Mall TavernIn the end, I ordered the pork osso buco which was ok. It’s not on the menu anymore but even if it were, I would suggest going for the mac and cheese or the smoking chicken with slaw and tater tots because we were surrounded by folks digging into either dishes.

The Mall TavernThe OH ordered another pork dish which he describes as “elevated pub food”: It was very good.

The Mall TavernBut now this is where it all gets interesting. The desserts at The Mall Tavern were so much fun and very delicious too. This (below) was the Yorkshire rhubarb cheesecake which I ordered and which was both light and tasty. I loved it.

The Mall TavernAnd here (below) was the sticky toffee pudding and you do the rest, which the OH ordered.

The Mall TavernThe ‘you do the rest’ bit (below) provided great amusement for both the palate and the OH’s level of expectation. Which do you go for first? Which next? Which do you keep until the end? Yes, I wish I had ordered this.

The Mall TavernIt’s always a good sign when you’re relishing your dish whilst feeling a pang of food envy at the same time. Or could it simply be that I am a glutton. Either way, The Mall Tavern was a great pub to pop into. The staff were friendly and the crowd of what seemed like regulars gave the pub a very local feel. I’d definitely pop in again and if I don’t order the other dessert, I might give the smoking chicken a go instead.

The Mall Tavern, 71-73 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill, London, W8 4RU. 020 7229 3374.

On Saturday night my friends and I enjoyed our Christmas dinner at The Windsor Castle, which is located on Campden Hill Road. I hadn’t been to this pub for a couple of years and as soon as I’d walked in, I wondered why I hadn’t been back in so long.

It is the perfect winter pub; perhaps because it feels Dickensian with its very low inside doors which are technically oblong shapes cut out of the wooden panels: you have to stoop through in order to get to the next section of the bar. It’s only when you take a look at the website that you learn how the pub was designed to segregate class and sex back in the 1830s. Yet despite their initial polemic function, a sense of romanticism lingers as you make your way through the pub.

Despite the cosy nature of this pub, there’s a real sense of privacy here, as Kensington and Notting Hill locals perch on stools or sit huddled around tables. And if you stand at the bar like the group of revellers on Saturday night who donned loud Christmas jumpers as they began their festive celebrations, you get a real sense of this place as you take in its intimate landscape: The Windsor Castle is traditional through and through.

As for the food, if you’re looking for gastro fare you’re in the wrong place. On the Christmas menu there was venison pie, salmon in pastry and of course, a Turkey dinner. Most people finished their dishes and there weren’t any complaints. The food here is simple, honest grub.
But The Windsor Castle isn’t just for winter; it also has a lovely garden in the back. And I for one have decided a Gin and Tonic will be on the agenda there next summer.