Test Driving The Windmill in Mayfair - so much more than (excellent) pies

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewThe very pretty upstairs dining room at The Windmill

So what do we need to know about The Windmill?

Tucked down a side street in Mayfair, this Victorian pub has always had a reputation for its food - but up until now, that's been down to its pies.

A three-time winner of the British Pie Awards it even had its own pie room. That room has now been turned into a rather lovely looking upstairs dining room heralding the arrival of The Guinea's Oisin Rogers who is now also in charge here. He's brought with him Guinea chef Nathan Richardson who's created the menu here and, as the restaurant manager, Dominic Rowntree (aka blogger Samphire Salsify, most recently seen at Davies and Brook).

Where exactly is it?

You'll find it on Mill Street just off the top end of Regent Street. The nearest tube is Oxford Circus.

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

Here, obviously - it is a pub, after all. And - if the weather's good - you might be lucky enough to get a seat out on the not-so-secret roof terrace. They have a range of casks ales and craft beers and Oisin has made himself personally responsible for the Guinness, which we can attest was very good indeed.

So what's on the menu?

Downstairs in the pub, it's still pie territory with at least three pies on at any one time. But upstairs you can still try the pies but also a more refined British menu. Here's what we had:

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewBone marrow straws - puff pastry straws brushed with bone marrow and baked and then served with a bone marrow mayonnaise (£3). These should start off any meal at The Windmill we think.

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewCrab with chopped egg (£4.50) - quite simply a steal for Mayfair, lovely mixed crab served with warm brioche.

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewCheese terrine with charred spring onion (£8) - blow-torched spring onions served with a mix of cream and white stilton. Almost like having the cheese course for a starter. So good that we could have almost had it again for the actual cheese course.

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewChicken and bacon pie (£16) with a mustard and cream sauce - based on this, we can see where the excellent pie reputation came from...

windmill pub mayfair restaurant review...and as you can see, the pie is filled to the brim. A truly excellent piece of pastry-covered goodness. 

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewDry-aged beef forerib with a brioche bread sauce with bone marrow and dry-aged beef fat running through it (£24). Served with a classic red wine jus.

That's quite a meaty selection. What's on there for vegetarians or vegans?

Vegetarians do better from the menu than vegans - with choices like potted mushrooms, that cheese terrine and a vegetarian pie too.

Room for dessert?

Definitely. We were almost swayed by the cheese plate which sounded very good, but instead plumped for these:

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewMarmalade custard (£7) - with an intense flavour of marmalade cutting right through it. 

windmill pub mayfair restaurant reviewTreacle tart (£8) - a very good version and, quite properly, served with cream.

And to drink?

Vladimir Olaru, who's head sommelier at The Guinea Grill has come up with a very appealing short list with Jacopo Focacci of Berkmann Wines. There are about four or five choices under red, white and sweet and we particularly enjoyed the Izzaro Rose sparkling from Provence to start (£7.60)

If you're after something really special, you can also choose anything from the 300 bin Guinea Grill list and they'll send someone over there to get it for you.

Overall thoughts:

Sitting here for a long Friday lunch on a sunny afternoon, we felt that all was as well with the world as it could be in these uncertain times. We thought the Windmill has all the finesse of the Guinea but it's a little lighter and brighter - both in the dishes and the surroundings. A very appealing spot for a long lunch or a longer supper.


More about The Windmill

Where is it? 6-8 Mill Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2AZ

How to book: Book online or call 0207 491 8050

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @windmill_pub


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