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Princess Victoria

PUBLISHED: 16:07 22 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 24 August 2010

by Will Davies Pub Spy does not normally do gastropubs. Pub Spy generally sees gastropubs as overpriced, and elitist. Long gone are the days when you could walk into any establishment and happen upon a decent, honest, British pub. In the

by Will Davies

Pub Spy does not normally do gastropubs.

Pub Spy generally sees gastropubs as overpriced, and elitist.

Long gone are the days when you could walk into any establishment and happen upon a decent, honest, British pub.

In their place, west London has been laid to waste by pretentious 'eateries' - bastardisations of restaurant and traditional boozer.

With this in mind, much trepidation and wariness was carried into London's latest convert.

In 1872 the Princess Victoria, just round the corner from grubby Askew Road in Uxbridge Road, was officially recorded as a 'pub' when a lease was granted to the Mortlake Brewery.

Yet earliest records described it as a dram shop, and later as a gin palace 1829.

In the late 1820s the first gin palaces were built based on the new fashionable shops at the time, and fitted out at great expense.

Lit by gas lights, ornate mirrors and etched glass - which can still be seen there today - with an impressive sweeping bar as the focal point.

Although the Princess Victoria has just been nominated for a Time Out 'best gastropub' award, the place is still worth a peek as a decent drinking pub.

The restaurant section is cleverly tucked away in an adjoining room, leaving the bar area free from such hernia-inducing dishes as crème brulee or anything with a 'coulis', whatever that is.

But reliable pub grub has not been done away with and a fairly decent Sunday roast, washed down with a decent pint of ale, allowed Pub Spy to briefly forget his whereabouts.

Friendly staff, a light and airy feel and unpretentious food also means it is very family friendly.

Baby's screeches are drowned out by the bustling atmosphere and the huge wine list is impressive.

So many pubs are decimated by cheap mass-made Swedish furniture and a paltry selection of fizzy lager.

The Princess Victoria may not have any fruit machines, grimy toilets or cater for droves of the great unwashed.

But it passes the test - as a quality boozer, where you can take the family for a meal or tuck yourself away in a corner and read the paper with a fresh-tasting ale.

No sweaty drunks, and no posers. Just what a pub should be.

RATING - pint of beer.

w.davies@archant.co.uk

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