Drink Pints & Eat English Mushy Peas at the Princess of Wales Pub

The night I was learning sign language at Gordon’s Wine Bar in London I spotted a nearby pub that was yearning to be my first British pint and English mushy peas experience.

Luckily, I had just about mastered the London Underground and would fairly easily be able to find my way back to The Princess of Wales Pub the next evening.

The Princess of Wales Pub in Charing Cross is named after the secret first wife of George IV. He wed a Catholic woman which his father declared illegal because he would no longer be able to hold the reign of Prince Regent with a wife of that religion.

Perfect. I adore drinking and dining at places with dramatic history.

Princess of Wales in London

The previous night, the bar was crowded, overflowing onto the sidewalk. It was a sea of suits. Tonight, we had arrived well after the 5:30 rush and it was fairly vacant. Not a single person belly up to the bar waiting for their pint and English mushy peas.

I ordered a pint of the UK Adnams Lighthouse, while Peter apparently forgot what country we were in and ordered an Italian Peroni. At least it came in a really cool glass.

My English amber beer was served at about 55 degrees, a little warmer than I am used to, but typical for the UK. In the States we keep our brews under 41. The mountains on the Coors Light bottles will not turn blue at anything higher.

And here it is.

My first sip of my first pint, in my first pub, on my first trip to London. That’s a lot of firsts. Just how I like it.

After we settled into our booth with our brewskis, it was time to order some traditional pub food (aka: fish & chips, beef pie and English mushy peas).

Though I was eyeing the Shepherd’s Pie, the waiter recommended the Beef Rib Pie instead. But, neither came with any mushy peas, so the Fish and Chips was a must too.

I had imagined mushy peas to be similar to a pasty split pea soup. And this wasn’t too far off.

I love eating green peas, sometimes dinner is a huge bowl of sauted shallots, crimini mushrooms and peas. It makes for the perfect meal. But, I do not love these mushy peas.

How could that be? There was just a little something about the texture, and maybe alittle something about the taste, that does not translate into goodness for me.

Are you a mushy pea fan? Have you had pints at a London pub?

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15 thoughts on “Drink Pints & Eat English Mushy Peas at the Princess of Wales Pub”

  1. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of English style ales. There is a brewery near my house that does English style cask conditioned ales and the warm, flat nature of them just doesn't work for me. Maybe it'd be better in an actual London Pub though.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of mushy peas, but will give them a go every now and again.  But tell me have you tried Pie and Liquor in London?  When I was little and still living in London, this was something my Dad got us to eat.  And no it isn't a pie and a pint!

    • I did not try Pie & Liquor when I was in London. What is it? And do I need to go back to get some ;)

  3. Ale does take a bit of getting used to. Took me a while to get into ales properly after I moved to London, but after you get into them, then lagers just don't quite cut the mustard any more so to speak :)

    • I’m sure that if I lived in London I could get used to them, but it would take awhile ;)

  4. Lordy, how I hate mushy peas! (And that's coming from an English lass, btw).  Mushy peas are made with marrowfat peas, and if there's one thing I detest, it's marrowfat peas.  The flat taste, the nasty texture, ugh.  Give me a nice crisp garden pea any time!

  5. Not a huge fan of mushy peas, but I found them to be better than I expected. The texture was probably my least favorite part: :) If you love pubs with a history, check out The Grapes in Limehouse. My sister took us there on a visit last year and we all had a blast. You can read up on their history and famous customers on their website.

  6. Mushy peas were actually a lot better than we thought they were gonna be… shame that most of the fish served up in British pubs is terrible. They need to come and learn a thing or two from us Aussies!

  7. English ale take a bit of acclimatization, but very quickly you learn that ‘lager’ (ie American/German beer) is a very lightweight substitute.
    Best meals in a pub are ‘Bangers & Mash’ or Shepard’s Pie or if in the right pub, ‘thin sliced Scottish Roast Beef. Leave the Fish & Chips to their own home….a chip shop.
    Mushey Peas are a filler that some use just to put something green on the plate and are not a gourmet dining experience, they only taste edible when mixed with mashed potatoes.

    derek (in Petaluma)


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