Today: Official Opening of Victoria Freehouse In Old City

Replacing bubbly with “bloody,” the Victoria Freehouse officially opens today (after a couple days of unofficial soft-opening) in the former home of Swanky Bubbles in Old City. The second location for the owners of Haddonfield’s The British Chip Shop, the Victoria Freehouse serves traditional English fare for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

And traditional it is. The menu reads like a Monty Python sketch satirizing an SNL skit mocking British, uh, “cuisine”: mushy peas, potted gammon, country fish pie, sherried liver parfait, and with dessert refusing to be upstaged, a blackboard that broadcasts the pudding special of the day. What is that stuff and why do they eat it?

But lest we Yanks get the last laugh about their comestibles, the English owners have cut us off at the pass. They write on their website:

“Before you scoff at British food… Central London has become a hub of good food, especially gastropub fare.  With the renowned outdoor markets to the opening of some stellar restaurants throughout the city London has become a melting pot of good food.  The Brits are very connected with their land, and have some of the best meats, cheeses, and produce in the world.  British fare is the original comfort food-quiet, straightforward, and simply good.”

So in other words, try those mushy peas before you toss them. And wash them down with pub wines, whiskeys, scotches or an assortment of bottled and draft beers, including ten taps of mostly UK offerings, plus two served on the old-school British hand-pump. If there isn’t yet a Philly chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale, there will be soon, and here’s where they’ll meet.

Mushy peas aside (sorry, we just can’t shake the humor in that one), maybe the best thing about a new British pub opening not far the site of the dearly departed, soccer-friendly Dark Horse Pub: early morning football matches on the telly. Now that, we say, is bloody awesome.

Victoria Freehouse [Official]