It’s not often that we get to feel virtuous about sinking pints and demolishing cheese plates.
But when you visit to the Duke of Cambridge, you kind of almost do.
This is mainly thanks to the fact that is was Britain’s first organic pub (certified by the Soil Association since 1998). Although technically speaking, until pesticides were invented all pubs were organic. But the Soil Association doesn’t exactly love to split hairs, so we’re happy to go with their definition. Particularly because The Duke takes it all quite seriously, claiming to be on “a simple mission to positively impact our world by using hospitality as a force for good”, which translates to close — and transparent — relationships with independent suppliers, who use only the most sustainable farming methods, resulting in earth-friendly wholefoods.
The newest sibling of the Culpeper family (which includes the Culpeper and the Buxton in east London, both known for their sustainability efforts and seasonally-driven menus) is situated on a quaint back street of Islington, housed in a traditional corner pub that dates back to the 1860s. Having had a 21st century facelift, it’s all white washed brick walls, distressed wooden floorboards and hanging plants, with huge windows that will bathe your afternoon roast in an Instagram-friendly glow.
The food — organic, of course — is what you’re here for. The Duke’s menu is constantly rotating depending on what ingredients are in season, but head chef Peter Wheeden’s passion for veg makes them the star of the show. Expect wholesome yet comforting dishes such as courgette & taleggio gratin with truffle, or borlotti beans with salsa puttanesca. That’s not to say carnivores won’t be satisfied. Meat and seafood are ethically sourced from carefully selected suppliers, resulting in only the finest and freshest cuts: think Rhug Estate pork or day boat fish, creatively plated up with seasonal produce.
To wash it all down, consult the wine list for an easy-drinking crisp natural wine, or else there’s a selection of craft beers on tap from independent breweries like Crate, Anspach & Hobday and Purity Brewing Co. Food and drink prices are steeper than your standard boozer, but this organic N1 gastropub isn’t trying to be that. Since its inception, it’s constantly aspired to be something even better.
You could say it’s been an organic transition.
NOTE: The Duke of Cambridge is open now. You can make a booking, and find out more right HERE.
The Duke of Cambridge | 30 St Peter’s St, N1 8JT
While you’re in the neighbourhood… here are the best restaurants in Islington