As spring blossoms in Twickenham, one of the town’s one-time ugly ducklings is finally coming into full bloom thanks to a little local knowledge, writes Stuart Amos.
Successive owners of Harrington’s, the Wine Bar, Harry’s and Harry’s on the Green have all tried and failed to bring long-term success to one of the Green’s prime locations.
But long-standing Twickenham residents Garry Tallent and Sandy Masson opened TW2 Bar & Grill in February on the site of the former wine bar and it is proving a hit.
The pair have invested their own money in the project – plus 30-years experience of working in Michelin starred restaurants and international hotels – and are hoping their passion for the job bucks the trend of the venue’s chequered past.
“We saw an opportunity and went for it,” said head chef Garry.
“We don’t want to open a chain or anything like that. We just want to earn a living and focus on this being a success.”
The attention to detail is paying off.
The menu is constructed as much for those wanting a quick bite after work, as for people looking to celebrate a special occasion or perhaps treat the other half.
It concentrates on strong, well-cooked and simple British dishes – using the best British produce – and it delivers.
The tender lamb rump on a bed of bubble and squeak is delicious, while the toast and marmalade pudding is a fine variation of your mum’s classic bread and butter creation.
According to my wife, the vegetarian Glamorgan sausages are to die for and the Aberdeen Angus 28-day hung steaks are among the best in the area. The TW2 surf and turf for two – a whole lobster and a pound and a half of beef – sounds a must.
The decor, under Masson’s influence, has given the place a new lease of life, while the bar is stocked with a select, but carefully chosen wine list and a good selection of specialist bottled beers.
An approach designed to appeal more to Twickenham and Strawberry Hill’s staple clientele rather than crowds of boozy rugby fans.
TW2 may have just found a winning formula when the cricket season is in full swing on the Green and if diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then this little gem may just provide the matching tiara.
TW2 Bar & Grill 80-82 The Green Twickenham TW2 5AG Tel: 020 8898 9298 Email: email@example.com Opening hours Bar — 4pm to 11pm Monday to Thursday 9.30am to midnight Friday 9.30am to midnight Saturday 9.30am to 9pm Sunday Grill — 5pm to 10pm Monday to Thursday 10am to 10pm Friday and Saturday (Brunch from 10am to 1pm) 10am to 5pm Sunday (Brunch from 10am to 1pm)