The Ship tavern is situated down a small back alley behind Holborn station. The pub is a small, old and pretty gloomy looking place. Sometimes first impressions are deceiving.
An ale house has been situated on this sight since 1549, refreshing the locals and workers of Holborn for nearly 500 years. Catholics used to hold secret masses here during the reign of Henry VIII, when being a Catholic was not in vogue. Maybe the Church would get more people to mass if they again held the 6pm service in a pub. A thought.
As Holborn is pretty empty and most of the shops and offices are closed at weekends, I’d imagine this pub is pretty lifeless on Sundays.
The downstairs dimly lit bar had two old geezers sitting at opposite ends of the bar looking distantly into their beers. Great atmosphere.
We ventured upstairs to the Oak Room restaurant. It wasn’t much better, but at least some Japanese tourists were speaking to each other. But as we were both nursing some bad hangovers from a night of Polish vodka and Chilean pisco sour drinking. The small chit chat was a welcome.
The Sunday roast menu is pretty good, we were tempted by the whole chicken (£20) to share, but somehow it would have been a bit too much, and with the way we were feeling it could have been the worst thing to have.
Pork or Beef that was the question. I needed some hair of the dog to level out my blood/sugar/alcohol level. So a pint of 1549 house ale was ordered whilst we made the moist important decision of the day.
The ale arrived in a tankard. I cannot remember the last time a pub, especially one in the city serving beer in a tankard. Very old skool.
As with a lot of pubs these days, the prices were a little on the higher side, but we were in Holborn. (Roasts between £12 - £14).
My topside of beef was well cooked and thinly sliced, and there was plenty of it. Amazing. It was nice and juicy and had a good taste, although I don’t normally eat topside as my roast, but it was pretty good.
The pork came as two large slices of thickly cut belly, great crackling and well was probably the tastiest piece of pork I’ve had in a long long time. Really bloody good. We couldn’t finish one of the slies, and it made some great sandwiches that night at home.
Both plates came with the same accompaniments. They really do serve a good yorkie, large crispy and damn tasty, a Yorkshire granny would have been proud of that. The tatties were soft and fluffy with a slight crispy outer. The only downside was the veg, a small portion of sautéed cabbage, a few carrot sticks and a small floret of cauliflower. Where were my peas.
A couple of other tables were occupied by the time we left, which on any other Sunday would have made this an average place, but with the way we were feeling it was just perfect. But Holborn at the weekend, you cannot really expect anything else.
I’d love to return and try this place in the week, as they have a pie night every Tuesday. A pie and a pint for £10. Can’t be bad. On Wednesdays is Moules night.
This had been my first roast in a while and it was a bloody good one. If you are in the area, I’d definitely give it a pop especially if there is a crowd of you, as the atmosphere could be lacking. But the food and the staff do make up for that.