A modern take on the traditional pub is what these two new additions to the area will be offering once they open for business
By Reyhaan Day
THE BLUE BOAR
Formerly head chef at The Harwood Arms, London’s only Michelin-starred pub, Sally Abe is reinvigorating the food and drink offering at Conrad London St James. The first part to open will be The Blue Boar – a plush take on the British pub.
“The interior is quite modern, it’s got a glamgold bar and gantry, so it’s certainly not a traditional pub; but with the food, we’ll be doing things like coronation chicken scotch egg; bar snacks like pork scratchings and whitebait; and a menu featuring super seasonal British produce, with classics like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, all cooked to a really good standard.”
Though the pandemic has caused understandable delays to the project, Sally hopes she can soon announce the rest of the upcoming food offerings in more detail. “The restaurant will be refined, modern British. That will be more similar to what I’ve done at The Harwood, but another level up. Then we’ll be doing an afternoon tea later in the year, which is exciting as I’ve always wanted to do that.”
It’s not the best time for pub operators to be planning new openings; but The Lunar Pub Company has found itself doing just that. The Hunter’s Moon opened six months before the pandemic hit; and it is hard at work getting things ready for a new opening on the site of the old Ebury Wine Bar.
“With The Hunter’s Moon, we were busy enough and had a good enough reception that we’ve survived the lockdowns and will continue to do so,” says Hubert Beatson-Hird, the company’s owner-director. “With The Ganymede, it is frustrating that we can’t open it as early as we like– but it’s also nice not to be rushed on a build. Beatson-Hird says that The Ganymede will be a place to suit all needs.
“Our places cater to you if you want to come and have a coffee and read the papers; they cater for you if you are wanting to have a light lunch with some friends and a spritzer, or if you want to discuss property in the afternoon over several jars of beer; and they cater for you if you want to take a significant other out for a fantastic, top-end, three-course meal to celebrate a special occasion.”
The new pub boasts two spaces: a more informal, relaxed bar area reserved for walk-ins, which will be “light, warm and welcoming, with wood panelling and exposed brick”; and a dining room, which features “deep, dark, plush leather banquettes and booths”. Wood and brass furnishings will run throughout, with subtle nods to the lunar theme (Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter).
Chef and Beatson-Hird’s business partner Oliver Marlowe, who has worked at the likes of Le Gavroche, Chez Bruce and The Ledbury, will cook up elevated pub classics – with dishes such as slow-cooked featherblade of beef rubbing shoulders with quality burgers and Sunday roasts. While there will be a considered, premium beer offering including a good selection of British ales, The Ganymede will be wine-led – with a list curated by Liberty Wines and Beatson-Hird.
“Being on the old site of the Ebury Wine Bar, we really want to give a nod to the legacy of the building. We’ll be offering over 100 wines, utilising Coravin so we can serve high-end wines by the glass.” For Beatson-Hird, Belgravia was a no-brainer when it came to opening the new site.
“This is where I like to hang out. It’s where my friends are, and we know the area well. We feel that the people who live, work and commute around Belgravia like a relaxed British pub, but also expect that attention to detail and quality that we look to deliver.”