It always surprises me how little I've been to the Bree Louise, since it's just around the corner from our pokey old place, they've got a huge selection of London real ales and they give student discounts. Went in with B before he had to catch his train back to Edinburgh, to lunch on some of their award-winning pies.
Like many other pubs, the Bree Louise is redolent with the smell of hops and old beer. The walls are covered with the tabs of draft beers past and other assorted knick knacks, and the carpet looks like it could do with a bit of a wash, giving the place a rather charmingly grubby 80s vibe.
The both of us went for the pie of the day, which was pork with apple, and opted for mash instead of chips. There was a bit of a wait for the pies, so we nursed our pints while waiting. My Sambrook's Pale Ale was a lovely deep straw colour, and quite citrusy.
When the pies arrived, they came on a pretty massive plate. The seasonal vegetables were pretty much an afterthought, with the dish wholly dominated by the pie and the mash. The puff pastry sat on the top of the dish, and hasn't been pressed into the edges, so I removed it entirely to get to the gravy below. There wasn't that much by way of filling, with three lumps of pork and two slivers of apple. The apple had basically given up all its flavour to the sauce, and was a featureless mush, but the pork was passably tender and the gravy, though watery, packed quite a punch.
The star of the whole thing was the pastry, a delicately flaky creation, which when broken open revealed diaphanous layers within that almost melted on my tongue.
After the pastry was gone, I ended up drizzling the rest of the pie atop the mashed potatoes, which were drying out from want of gravy. Since the pork and apple sauce was rather salty, it all worked out quite well. Was completely stuffed afterwards, and spent the rest of the sunny afternoon in a happy, hazy food coma.
69 Coburg Street, Euston, London, NW1 2HH, http://www.thebreelouise.com/