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The Westminster (Bar)

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75 Page Street, Pimlico, Westminster, London, SW1P 4LT
Cuisine: Pub
Tel: 020 7233 7251 | Email to The Westminster | Transport: Pimlico | Write review

The Westminster Review

On a humid, sticky night, drinkers sprawl outside of The Westminster. The summer has finally dawned upon us. It’s going down rather well with the clientele.

As I entered with guest in tow, we noted that this place was inhabited by white collars, local bankers and office workers in pink shirts knocking back beers and nibbling on light snacks in the bar area. However, don’t let that put you off; this place has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that is easily soaked up the minute you step inside. The customer service is also second to none. In fact, it’s a whole lot better than most, with very attentive staff on hand.

The interior of The Westminster is simple but, in another sense, quite rich. It’s a pub with basic wooden floors, chairs and tables, yet it’s also decorated with chandlers and bits of velvet on the walls behind the main bar. A touch of glamour without being pretentious, and everyone needs a bit of that, don’t they?

The Westminster’s primary selling point is not evident until inspecting the menu, though. The words alone are a real treat for the eyes. Imagine an indie cooking up bespoke pizzas and racking up a bit of a rep for itself. Well, that’s exactly what this is: an upmarket pizzeria-cum-pub with a rather convenient take away service. Think Pizza Express (as opposed to Pizza Hut) but with a whole lot more originality.

The resident chef, Sebastian, who is trained as a specialist in this culinary pursuit, strongly harbours the opinion that this particular area should be rated alongside other types of gourmet cuisine as opposed to being framed as the cheap ‘bastard’ cousin of the cooking industry. After tasting his cuisine, I would rightly agree.

The ‘Campagna’ pizza features goats’ cheese, courgette, aubergine, pepper, red onion, olive and fresh basil and is a must try medley of flavours. The ‘Rustica’, which is topped with Neapolitan sausage, artichoke, capers, cherry tomato, caramelised onions and oregano, sounds equally delicious. I’m actually now regretting that I didn’t choose it. I don’t know how those caramelised onions escaped me (my mouth is actually watering as I ruminate upon how good that option might have been). One of the salad mains would make a good accompaniment to this – preferably the one consisting of smoked salmon, avocado, capers, tomato, cucumber, mixed leaves and chill citrus dressing – because it is the right size for two persons sharing. A little tip for you there.

The delicious chocolate brownie, which is beautifully arranged with hot and cold (vanilla ice cream) contrasts, makes for an almost perfect end to the evening.

The Westminster also caters for the cocktail drinker. We tried the Jimi, a fruity treat consisting of Hendrix gin, Pimms, strawberries and cucumber. We also tried the French Terre des Anges Merlot, which was rich, soft and complemented our food well.

As this little gem is tucked away in the midst of Pimlico, it’s definitely strategically located within easy reach for the office workers who seem to dominate the daytime and early evening trade. It’s also a comfortable stroll for the local, more trendy residents who tend to filter through in the late evening, or even the odd visitor who wants a taste of London just slightly outside the central zone (but still within a convenient enough a travelling distance). It’s worth a visit if you’re in that part of town. It’s also reasonably priced with pizzas starting at around a fiver at the bottom end, desserts being similarly priced and very good quality bottle of vino available at around the mid teens.

An enjoyable night out that doesn’t break the bank. However, one request that I would really love to make to the chef is to look at adding wheat free varieties such as cornmeal crust pizzas onto the menu. That would be the absolute icing on the cake.
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