The Lansdowne is that pub in Primrose Hill. Every uppity area has one – the pub where the entitled and oblivious drink. Where you either drink yourself or despise the people that do. A Westbourne Tavern, Salusbury, Freemasons or Sloaney Pony, if you will.
As I don’t live in Primrose Hill, I can occasionally justify circumnavigating my way through horsey gums, gurning gums and 4wd buggies if I’m nearby and in need of a sunny pint of Aspall’s. It’s an incredibly sceney place, but I think that’s probably its best attribute for a non-local; the people watching is brilliant.
Food-wise, in recent times it’s been known for its pizzas, irritatingly served on terracotta plates smaller than the pie, and unsliced, with the dullest knives known to man. The kitchen’s had a revamp with more non-pizza choice and there is a more formal resto upstairs, but pizza won the day.
The Turkish lamb pizza was a bit of a tragi-comic affair. I’m quite the purist with pizza toppings, with a huge exception for Hawaiian, and I wasn’t sure how lamb, cumin and onion (as described) would go down. Perhaps thin slow cooked chunks of spiced lamb? Or lamb pieces cooked in the tomato sauce?
Surely it could not be as tawdry as a pile of lamb mince, indiscriminately splattered in the style of a diarrhoea-prone cat, and with a lemon wedge on top? Which tasted somewhere between 2am doner and 3am resurrection of said doner.
I’m pleased to report that the San Daniele pizza was much better. Wafers of prosciutto adorned by a clump of rocket and parmesan. Simple, tasty and what I remember about the pizza kitchen of this pub from years ago, before they tried to get clever. Or themed, God forbid, like the abominable Fire & Stone and their repellent fare.
The base was incredibly thin though, which I do like sometimes, but it needs more tomato sauce to add some density, because otherwise it dries out to become a crispbread. Both pizzas were about £10-12.
It’s definitely an establishment to experience; you may get celebs or at least wannabes, and you’ll absolutely get babies. Furthermore, you may still get decent pizza, but steer clear of the Turkish.