Behind the scenes with Georgie Pearman and Ben Tish at The Princess Royal, Notting Hill
After a major renovation of this beautiful building in the heart of Notting Hill Georgie Pearman, director and chief in charge of making everything look fantastic at Cubitt House shares her view of the design, her favourite craftsmen and women and her favourite spaces at The Princess Royal. We also have caught up with Ben Tish, chef director of Cubitt House, to give us a bit of insight into the exciting new Mediterranean inspired menu.
“The focus is really on the horseshoe bar”
Georgie Pearman, Director
Can you tell us a bit about the design concept for TPR?
The Princess Royal has been a pub since Victorian times hence its name. We uncovered the mosaic flooring in the porch with the original name on it and thought that it should be taken back to what it was originally. We knew we wanted to offer great food and have always loved Ben’s food so wanted to put that with great wines, beers and cocktails in a traditional but stylish environment. We really hope everyone likes it. I’ve tried to use, wherever possible, British wallpapers (like those from Guy Goodfellow) or fabrics from fabric houses like Soane, Robert Kime, Ian Mankin and Rapture and Wright. The taps, showers and baths have come from Lefroy Brooks – a British bathroom manufacturer who have been making beautiful, high quality taps and bathrooms since 1900 in the UK.
What sort of a space have you designed?
“The focus is really on the horseshoe bar where we’ve got a seafood counter (with tiered trays of oysters, crab & other seafoods). We love a good bar with amazing cocktails. There is nothing nicer than the sound of a cocktail being shaken. It just feels like it’s going to be a good night. We’ve got 2 large feasting rooms for parties of 20 and 8.”
Where do you think is your favourite spot in the building?
“I love Ginny Blom’s gardens. She was voted House and Garden’s Designer of the year in 2021 and for good reason. I’m really excited to see what she will create in the garden and I imagine that on a lovely summer’s day there will be nothing nicer than sitting outside with a glass of chilled wine and a salad with friends and family.”
Can you tell us about a couple of designers or craftsmen that you’ve particularly enjoyed working with?
“I work a lot with people based in Stroud just because there seems to be a huge concentration of really talented artisans and creatives around those valleys for some reason. I work quite a bit with Nicola Grellier – I love her art. Her daughter, Nettle, is also extremely talented and both of their art is showcased (amongst others) at The Princess Royal. The Whiteworks Group does beautiful hand printed wallpapers, printed in the Stroud valleys by hand. I think they’re stunning. I’ve always used Lewis & Wood. Stephen Lewis has been working and designing fabrics and wallpapers for years and they are always stunning. I’m not sure I’ve ever done a project without using Lewis & Wood in some way. Lastly, the antiques markets and shops of Stroud and Tetbury are fantastic for sourcing various bits and pieces alongside the larger antiques fairs of Ardingly & Newark & further afield within Europe.”
Ben Tish, Chef Director
It must be exciting to design a menu for a brand new pub. Can you tell us about the ethos of the eating experience at The Princess Royal?
“The food is influenced by the flavours of the Mediterranean which I love- Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal and parts of North Africa. The menu is designed to be flexible and familiar, with a foundation in the fact it’s a pub, first and foremost. We will be highly seasonal and a focus on British coastal and Mediterranean seafood. We have a raw bar. There’s plenty of snacks- small plates that are great for sharing and perfect partners for a drink or two.”
What is your favourite thing on the menu? What do we HAVE to order when we come?
“I like the bar snacks, the fried pizzas with truffle are very moorish and also the nduja on fennel biscuits. We are doing a lovely burger with nduja and tallegio and there will be a decadent aubergine parmiginana. We have a josper oven and will be cooking a T bone steak in there for our spin on a Florentina.”
Your suppliers are obviously the key to what ends up on the plate can you give us some examples of where you think the quality of the produce is vital?
“All round really but our seafood is crucial to the concept and we use Wright brothers. Their seafood is the best quality around. It’s day boat caught where possible, and seasonal and sustainable always. As we have a raw bar it’s paramount, we have the freshest fish.
I’ve used Natoora for many years, their vegetables are the best and they are hyper seasonal. I’ll be using the best from Italy and Spain but also seasonal produce from their own farms in Cornwall.
We have several meat suppliers: Hannans, Walter Rose and Taste Tradition– all specialising in butchering the highest quality meats- from animals born and raised through the highest standards of regenerative farming- which basically equates to incredibly delicious meat.”