The Wilmington gastropub launches in Clerkenwell
A short stroll from Farringdon tube station, within the busy hub of Clerkenwell, stands former music venue-turned-gastro pub The Wilmington. Stripped back to its original features – exposed brickwork accented with reclaimed lighting, wooden furnishings and a restored glass atrium from the 19th century – the modernised newcomer is a welcome alternative to the bistros and restaurants of neighbouring Exmouth Market.
Owned by the Capital Pub Company, the listed venue opened earlier this week. The launch party was heaving to capacity within 60 minutes, filled with corporate guests and the general public. The evening unfolded as a normal pub night, devoid of formality with endearing extra touches: canapés, wine tasting, ale samples and roving brewery representatives. Fun and inclusiveness were high on the agenda, the vibrant atmosphere and charming staff comfortable and inviting.
The pub offers all-day dining, with a range of traditional and exotic dishes by head chef Stuart Mclaney. Provenance is a priority, with produce sourced from local or boutique suppliers wherever possible. All fish is from sustainable sources and steaks are from a farm in Surrey – the management follows a “farm to fork” and “gate to plate” policy.
Craft ales were in high demand, despite an impressive wine list and Prosecco on tap – The Wilmington boasts no less than 14 draught beers and ciders, with choices including London cask varieties and discoveries from further afield. A pump selection, consisting of five daily changing ales, included an option from Camden Town Brewery, with Windsor & Eton, Portobello and Truman’s breweries also suppliers to the pub.
Favourites on the night included Macs Gold, a crisp all-malt lager from New Zealand, the smooth and sweeter St Mungo from Scotland, and the pub’s exclusive house ale, Stag & Griffin. Named in honour of the 19th century stag and griffin perched on either side of the building’s front door, the mild bitter had a fruity undertone and a thick, foamy head.
Complementing the drinks was Croquette Roulette, a dish from the specials menu of assorted crispy-coated potato logs. A fun gamble, the two selected were winning choices: Chicken & Tarragon and a powerful kipper-based Arbroath Smoky. Artichoke Strudel – flaky puff pastry with a tangy, creamy centre – and Homemade Scotch Quail Eggs were also delicious.
Rabbit Roulade, a medallion wrapped in Serrano ham, stuffed with a chicken, smoked ham and rabbit mousse, was tasty but dry. The Wilmington’s take on pulled pork, signature dish Bun & Cheek, however, was faultless: tender, slow-braised ox cheek, cooked in red wine and herbs, served in a sesame-topped brioche bun dunked in gravy. Worth going back for!
With quality food and exquisite ales, The Wilmington is a welcoming, modern gastro pub in an inviting part of town. Perfect for romantic dates, groups, family lunches, work meetings or even drinking on your own, the newcomer is a great addition to East London’s thriving food and drink scene: a fabulous new discovery!
To book a table at The Wilmington, 69 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4RL, call 0207 837 1384, or visit here.