Latest opening: The Pig's Head

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Latest opening: The Pig's Head farm to fork gastropub in Clapham’s Old Town

Related tags Pub & bar Gastropub Noble Inns Sustainability

The London-based publicans behind of The Princess of Shoreditch and Islington institution The Pig & Butcher have launched a new farm to fork gastropub in Clapham’s Old Town.

What: ​A new gastropub 'with a conscience' in Clapham’s Old Town. Housed on the site of former Clapham pub The Rectory, The Pig's Head bills itself has being 'planet-friendly', and champions local produce. Working towards both carbon neutrality and B Corp certification, the pub adopts a 'sustainability-first' approach that uses whole animals to reduce wastage and emissions; and composts 90% of its food waste on site. UK farmers supplying the pub with native animals opt for regenerative methods, and around half the menu is dedicated to plant-based dishes using native produce from family-run farms.

Who: ​The Pig's Head is the latest venture from London-based publicans Maria and Scott Hunter, who were behind Noble Inn’s venues including The Princess of Shoreditch; The Pig & Butcher in Islington; and the Smokehouse restaurants. For this opening, the couple have partnered with their Pig & Butcher team Michael Chan and Jack Ross, who head up the kitchen and front of house respectively. It marks the first opening for Maria and Scott under their newly-formed Antidote Projects business. According to the pair, The Pig’s Head marks the start of a new string of 'planet-first projects' that will all have sustainability at the core.

The food: ​Chan's daily-changing menu includes both sharing or go-it-solo dishes, with prices across the board pitched to be as approachable as possible. Smaller plates start at £2.50, with larger plates primarily ranging from £10 to £20 each. Snacks include fried Cooley Gold oyster with smoked seaweed mayo; smoked bone marrow and turnip dip with sour crackers; crispy pig’s head with pickled radish and creamed leeks; and a superb Paddock Farm scotch egg. Larger dishes, meanwhile, include The Regenerative Farmer's ewe shoulder with slow-cooked belly, braised celeriac, carrots, roasted cauliflower and sour rye crumb; and steak pie for two with Lyons Hill Farm beef suet top, beef dripping cabbage and mash. As mentioned, around 50% of dishes are plant-based, with highlights including beets with pickled comice pear, chestnuts, and a watercress and mustard dressing; fire-roasted red kuri squash with burnt orange, red sprout tops and pumpkin seed 'ricotta'; and 'shepherdless pie' of mushroom and Hodmedod's 'black badger' peas, served with hipsi cabbage.


The drink: ​As well as local craft beer, The Pig's Head has sourced UK spirits made by small-batch producers. British alternatives are used over imported produce, swapping calvados for Somerset cider brandy. House spirits include 58Gin (who turn wasted Kentish apples into alcohol); and Sapling Vodka who plant trees for every bottle sold. The menu also features six wines by the keg (available by glass or carafe), and 21 varieties of English wine from estates including Tillingham, Oxney and Wales’ Ancre Hill.   

The vibe: ​Maria and Scott have scoured antiques fairs, collecting pre-loved and vintage furniture to make up The Pig's Head's décor. Chairs, cabinets and coasters are up-cycled or reused, giving the pub a rustic village feel. There’s antique crockery, vintage bone-handled cutlery and mismatched pre-loved tableware. The original Rectory pub features have been restored or reinvented, with original timber walls and exposed pillars complemented with hand painted, custom-made delft-style tiles along the bar wall. The open kitchen overlooks a bright and spacious 40-cover dining room, with a further 60 covers available in the bar area for drinking and dining. 

The Pig's Head founders Maria and Scott Hunter

And another thing: ​Every area of The Pig's Head operation has been designed with sustainability in mind, including in the rest rooms, where all waste paper towels are composted using an in-house composting machine. Keen horticulturalists can ask for a free doggy bag of compost to takeaway.  

87 Rectory Grove, London SW4 0DR

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