Press & Reviews
Time Out, Guy Dimond – ‘London’s Eco-Friendly Restaurants’
“It’s not just restaurant diners who find the issues surrounding food ethics and sustainability confusing and complex – so do restaurateurs. Yet a handful have made huge strides to make their restaurants as environmentally friendly as possible. The first of note in London was the Duke of Cambridge organic gastropub in Islington, which remains a market leader.”
Zagat Survey – London Restaurants
“It doesn’t matter what you order, everything is equally fantastic at this homely but spacious Islington Modern Brit that offers an all-organic extravaganza of food and wine – just try to get in.”
Observer Food Monthly – ‘Top 40 Eco Foodies’ – Geetie was awarded 16th place
“Having been raised on a commune where they grew their own food, it’s fair to say Geetie Singh has always known her organic onions. However, as the owner of Britain’s first organic gastropub she has proved herself a pioneer in her own right. The pub in Islington, London, which opened back in the organic dark ages of 1998, is the only one to have Soil Association accreditation. Marine Stewardship Council certification for her exemplary sourcing of fresh fish is said to be next.”
“Since opening in 1998 as the world’s first certified organic pub, the Duke of Cambridge has won awards from just about everyone. This Islington pub is one for the urban professional, with the emphasis on atmosphere (classic designs and gentle lighting), quality ales and wines. If you’re up for the full gastro experience then move on through to the restaurant and start on the lentil and pancetta soup followed by pan-fried bream fillet with fennel a la grecque. No need to worry, because all the fish on the menu is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Quince crumble and cream top it off nicely.”
“This organic gastropub offers a laidback friendly service and an enticing drinks list.”
Observer Food Monthly – ‘Best Bar’ – 2nd place
“About as organic, gastro and gentrified as a pub can possibly be – but a highly pleasant experience nonetheless. Brilliantly warm and relaxed, with its eclectic mix of scrubbed tables and rickety chairs, the Duke of Cambridge defines laid back Sunday boozing. The beer and wine lists have some great organic gems.”
“Now in its 10th year of organic supremacy in North London, this is the place to go for that perfectly pulled organic pint. If only all locals thought this way”.
The Times, Giles Coren
“Not only is everything on the menu certified as organic by the Soil Association (except of course, the wild fish, which is selected according to the Marine Conservation Society standards), but the electricity is wind and solar-generated, the soap is made from neem oil, they recycle everything and serve mineral water in jugs not bottles. It’s a sprawling room of dark wood and blackboards, like many a gastro pub, with familiar dishes – smoked mackerel terrine, Caesar salad, quiche, risotto with smoked salmon, pasta with broccoli and stilton – priced slightly higher than average, reflecting the fact that safeguarding the future of the food supply will not be absolutely free of charge.
Best value was the lone special, a cottage pie that came with a drink at £7.50 – the point being that one always has to sacrifice something, and if you are going to eat well, cheaply and responsibly, then forgoing the multiple choice of most modern menus is not the end of the world.
Eating alone, I would not have had much to write about if I’d stopped after the excellent pie (which they offered whole earth ketchup, though Heinz make one too), so I followed that with the ‘tode in the whole’ so named, I assume, because no organic holes were available at the market that morning. It was very good too.
I also loved the mincemeat tart (exemplary recycling at this time of year) with rum caramel sauce. And the gorgeous fluffy, crusty white bread (served with wonderfully clean and fruity olive oil) was proof, were it needed, that not all organic bread is made from carpet.”
The Guardian Guide
“The world’s first certified organic pub has garnered all sorts of awards and prizes. What you eat here is good and wholesome. Best on recent visit was rump steak, crisp and caramelly on the outside, full of flavour and extremely juicy within. The blackboard menu also occasionally offers ham hock with mashed potato and Savoy cabbage, which, with lashings of English mustard and a glass of SB, London’s first organic draft bitter, makes a great winter lunch. Not perhaps the healthiest lunch ever, but simple and extremely satisfying. But drinks, like hot and spicy ginger ale, which kicks like a mule, make alcohol redundant, a good way to start a detox. High Point Great drinks list, including organic English wines Low Point not given away, but then organic never is”.
“This justifiable raved about hostelry was the first organic pub in the UK. The owner grew up on a commune, nurturing a love of quality produce that means everything here – from the drinks and food to even the cigarettes – is resolutely organic. A veritable haven of discernment, friendly staff and restrained décor. The Duke’s tables are well attended and it’s obvious why; come Sunday, there’s nowhere better to give yourself a hot, foodie hug”.
“The Duke of Cambridge is in Islington, down a side street just off the Essex Road and round the corner from where the Sunday farmer’s market is held. The menu is wonderfully hearty, packed with bug and meaty things, which is good, as I like big, meaty things. I choose the organic (naturellment) pork chop with sweet potato bubble-and-squeak and tapenade for £14.50, which is the price of most of the mains. In other words not cheap. Still, I love a pork chop. And I love pigs for all that they give us; sausages, ham, salami, bacon, gammon, ribs, belly scratchings. Now, if a pig were to be kept in its own room with ensuite and little Molton Brown shower gels, etc, etc, I think it might be the least we could do. My pork chop arrives and it is huge. Massive. Like a paving slab on top of the bubble-and-squeak. And it had been brilliantly cooked, it was wonderfully sweet and tender. The sweet potato bubble-and-squeak is delicious, though, brown and crisp on the outside, all moist within. One friend has the organic salmon which she praises to high heaven. Its not madly pink so it must come from somewhere good she days, and my mash is also extremely good. I think the price is right. Another friend, who happens to be a food editor, has the roast cod fillet with braised looks and caper nut butter.
Pudding? You bet. I go for the pear and apple crumble (£4.50) while others choose the pears poached I red wine and spices (£4.50) and the cheese board (£7.50). Mine is lovely, tart, not over-sugared, and with a blissfully buttery yet crunchy crumble. The pear is good too, and the choose board (brie, stilton, cheddar) is excellent and generous. So the food here is good. No question.”
Observer Food Monthly
‘Best Sunday Lunch’ – best of the rest
“Stylish organic pub, perfect for lazing with the papers”
Observer Food – ‘Best Sunday Lunch’, 3rd place
“This was the first organic pub in Britain. On the day it opened, in 1998, people were bashing at the door and The Duke soon became a hit. Everything served is organic (even the cigarettes) and it is likely to be Fairtrade and locally grown too. Geetie the owner who learnt her ethical ways while growing up in a commune remembers ‘when we opened, it was a struggle to find organic produce. Now it’s easier, but some things are still impossible to get hold of.”
The Independent – The Best of London, No 2 (of 20)
“If the future’s bright, its organic. Were used to shopping organic – and if this idea catches on, we’ll soon be drinking organic in the local. It’s a gimmick, perhaps, to have an all-organic pub, but it’s gone down a storm in Islington. This gastro-pub gets packed. The Food is chunky Mediterranean stews, pastas and salads, and Middle Eastern platefuls, ordered at the bar. Was it all down with Pitfield Eco Warrior beer, or a bottle of organic plonk’.
Time Out and Time Out London Guide
“The most remarkable of these must be Islington’s Duke of Cambridge. Its appearance has all the hallmarks of a traditional boozer, but there are no bottles of India Pale Ale here – it serves nothing that does not conform to ecologically aware standards.
…step into the neat and airy bar and its deep blue gloss ceiling, whitewashed brick walls and bare wooden floorboards hint at a different dimension.
Our risotto arrived in a large white bowl, it was nutty and with a fine underbite of rice. Similarly, the poached pear with cream was perfectly cooked. Service was charming and friendly, the meal was good, the beer was faultless. We’d certainly return.”