Eat Here: The Globe Tavern, Borough MarketBy Alicia Grimshaw
There’s something about Borough Market that doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s the fact you have to fight tooth and nail through the crowds to buy an apple strudel and a custard doughnut, or it could be down to the sheer number of people who descend on this favourite street food area. It’s fair to say, Borough Market is London’s worst kept secret. But, pals, there’s a restaurant that’s an absolute belter, and there’s no pushing to be served, no army of umbrellas, and certainly no running for a bench to eat your purchases in peace.
The Globe Tavern is a slice of the countryside in the busy capital. If you’re after a new dinner spot, or a weekend lunch with friends, I can’t recommend this restaurant enough. Here’s what you need to know:
The Globe Tavern: The Lowdown
The Globe Tavern was built in 1872, and still retains its Victorian features. Housed in a distinctive Gothic-style building, the downstairs bar is frequented by dates, the after work city crowd who spill onto the pavement outside, and those who need some r&r after tackling the crystal maze that is Borough Market. The Globe Tavern is by no means a new kid on the block when it comes food, but the arrival of Head Chef, Luke Hawkins has certainly put his own spin on proceedings.
The restaurant is located on the first floor, and it’s a snug space. Tables are close together, there’s shuffling bags and chairs to get to your seat, and there’s an open kitchen where you can peek at your food being made. But I love this closeness; you can check out other people’s food without really remotely ashamed. It being a Wednesday night, I indulge in a spot of people watching and spying on people’s starters before making my own decision. If you’re looking for a restaurant with heart and soul, this is it.
The Globe Tavern: The Food
The food. Yes, the food. The menu is a minefield of beautiful seasonal dishes that change according to what the kitchen team can get their hands on. The menu is concise – just simple, British artisan ingredients that are straight from farm to fork. The restaurant is all about produce and quality; whether it’s the soft homemade bread and butter, incredible fresh vegetables and delicious house-made desserts, there’s no skimping on quality at The Globe Tavern.
Shout out to the sourdough – squishy with crispy crusts, the addition of lathering the bread with homemade bone marrow butter, made my tastebuds come alive.
While the menu may be different from week to week, on my visit I kicked off with the veggie starter of beetroot, apple, and horseradish cremè fraiche. The impressive thing about The Globe Tavern is how they manage to turn a handful of ingredients into something really unique – it shows a wild amount of skill and inventiveness to limit the amount of ingredients used, and just focus on amplifying flavour and winning on presentation. The beetroot dish is a real ode to this skill. The beetroot is fresh and earthy, and the horseradish cremè fraiche creates an amazing back flavour that lingers in your mouth. It really is quite special.
The show stopping dish has to go to the beef with pickled onions and savoy. This main, again, shows off the talent of Head Chef, Luke. I’ve eaten a lot of red meat in my time, but the simplicity of this dish is really what makes it brilliant. The beef is pink and tender, and has this amazing deep, intense flavour that marries so well with the tart pickled onions. It’s a double meat winner, as the beef is accompanied by a beef croquette. The beef is pulled and covered in a wonderful jacket of crispy goodness. I can’t fault it. And the savoy cabbage has a lovely crunch – not overly cooked, al dente and full of flavour.
If you’re in the mood for fish, the rainbow trout with crab and grapefruit is an exciting and tasty dish. The trout is cooked perfectly, and is given a fruity tang thanks to the grapefruit. It’s light and refreshing, and made all the more amazing with the meaty crab. The nutty flavours from the trout and the sweet, delicate notes from the crab makes this dish a certified winner.
And no dinner is meant to be left on a savoury note. The raspberry, blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake is my kind of pud. The cheesecake is served de-constructed, with the plate doted with spoonfuls of the chocolatey and creamy mixture. It’s a pudding that you can’t help but going back for. Each bite better than the last. The cheesecake is topped with a sprinkling of crushed biscuits and raspberries. It’s wonderfully light, and damn me, it’s delicious.
The Globe Tavern: The Verdict
The Globe Tavern transports your tastebuds to another level, and the intimate dining setting makes your feel like you’re spending your evening in the slow lane of countryside life. The meticulous attention to detail and the faultless service, all help with making The Globe Tavern an unmissable food experience.
The Globe Tavern sells itself short by calling itself a gastro pub – believe me, this place is so, so much more.