While grouse definitely don’t make a habit of living in London (we hear the high property prices have put them off), from 12 August you’ll be able to find some of these tasty birds in restaurants and butchers’ shops around the capital. Known as the Glorious Twelfth by both those who savour the taste of this wild game bird and those who do the hard work of shooting them for us, 12 August is marked in London by many restaurants’ traditional race to bring grouse from the moors into town for supper.
Whether you’re keen to try grouse on the 12th, prefer to let the birds hang for a few days or want to buy some to cook yourself, we’ve listed a few suitable venues below.
Where to Dine on 12 August
The Jugged Hare, Chiswell Street, EC1Y
The restaurant’s team clearly aren’t afraid of putting in the hours: they’ll be heading up to the Yorkshire moors themselves before racing back down to the Jugged Hare with the spoils. On offer that evening is a five course game and wine menu (£85), featuring roe deer, jugged hare and of course the all-important grouse. Diners can whet their appetite by following @TheJuggedHare #greatgrouserace on the day.
Rules, Maiden Lane, WC2E
Rules is, unsurprisingly, one of the most traditional places to find grouse on 12 August in London. This isn’t just by virtue of its generations-old history of serving good food, particularly game, but also because Rules owns a sporting estate that’s in prime grouse territory. Nor do you have to eat there to see that they really understand game: see their website for handy guides to grouse and other seasonal birds and animals.
Bluebird, King’s Road, SW3
Share a brace of grouse, sides, game chips and bread sauce for £25.50 per person at Bluebird: perfect for a Glorious date?
Wiltons, Jermyn Street, SW1Y
By the look of their Twitter feed, the staff are brushing up on their species recognition skills before 12 August, hopefully that includes what they look like on the plate, too. As usual, Wiltons will be serving grouse on the night.
Bibendum, Fulham Road, SW3
If you have £36, plus the supplement for grouse, then nunc est Bibendum: for that price the restaurant will give you a two course menu that includes roast Yorkshire grouse on a brioche croute with grouse liver and foie gras pâté, game chips and bread sauce.
Other Places to Catch Grouse During the Season (up to 10 December)
The Cinnamon Club, Great Smith Street, SW1P
If game chips aren’t your thing, try grouse a different way at the Cinnamon Club, where you’ll find an intriguing game high chai. Available in September and October only, this special afternoon tea menu (£20) includes a Bengali spiced grouse and beetroot puff, tandoori partridge and chutney sandwich and a Bombay style venison burger in a cumin brioche.
Le Gavroche, Upper Brook Street, W1K
Finns of Chelsea Green, Elystan Street, SW3
This cosy café and shop has a reputation for serving great game dishes, and will have grouse on the menu later on in the season.
Butchers Selling Grouse
You can’t buy grouse from M&S this year, but there are many great local London butchers who’ll have it in stock.
Lidgates, Holland Park Avenue, W11
Perched close to Holland Park tube, this friendly butcher is a reliable stockist of grouse. In addition, you can follow them on Twitter for recipes, insights and meaty witticisms.
O’Shea’s, SE1 + delivery
Not only do they stock game, but O’Shea’s promise to deliver to most London postcodes within 24 hours.
Jago’s of Chelsea, Elystan Street, SW3
Jago’s are well known in the local community for their extensive knowledge of game, and this is a great bet for finding grouse — as well as pheasant and partridge — during the season.
Hussey’s, Wapping Lane, E1W
This butcher and licensed game dealer is a firm local favourite for grouse, not to mention partridge, woodcock, snipe, duck and more. Telephone beforehand to check what they have in stock.
Macken Brothers, Turnham Green Terrace, W4 1QP
You can buy kangaroo from this West London butcher, which makes grouse look positively pedestrian. It’ll still be in stock, however, so head down there during the season to pick up a brace or two.
Allen’s, Mount Street, W1K
Allen’s supply grouse to many of central London’s restaurants, so it’s no surprise that this is a great place for consumers to buy them too.