Penny Lane is famous in near enough every corner of the world.
The pressure of having an establishment in this area would suggest an extremely hard expedition but the Tavern Co has been effortlessly and successfully holding down the fort for some years now and in the process has managed to create an atmosphere that has punters dying to come back. It is a rudimentary belief that Mexican restaurants should adhere to the usual stereotypes associated with Mexico, The Tavern has fruitfully incorporated modern Mexican food with Motown making it an fascinating medley. It is almost like entering a bazaar with the array of funky ornaments that hang off the walls. Before we had even sat down to eat, we had come across a steam train that makes the journey around the waiting area, entertaining everyone’s eyes and distracting them from their hunger. As we were beckoned to our table, we walked past an old-school popcorn maker that looked like it had come straight out of a diner in the film Grease. It had nestled itself in between a retro-fruit machine that was wooden and intriguing. So retro – we couldn’t work out if the big jackpot came out in shillings and sixpences.
The hardest thing after being seated was to actually deter our eyes from the showcase of ornate items that hung just metres from us. So intricate and absorbing it was almost like they all had a bookcase- like presence due to the fact each embellishment looked as if it had its own story. It was as if each item was as significant as the bricks in the wall. Saxophones, guitars, trumpets, banjos and clarinets collide together in a nice analogy of the atmosphere present in the Tavern – all walks of life huddled together. You will find the yummy mummies leaving their reserved manners at home as they disregard any cutlery and tuck into ribs with their fingers. Families who want a mid-week treat without breaking the bank are present, as well as the students that surround the area who celebrate a student loan instalment by passing a large cumulative percentage of it in return for great food and unbeatable atmosphere. Let’s not forget the romantic character that the Tavern has created, to some couples this is a second home. At night time the whole place is lit by candle which transforms it into the perfect place for a lover’s retreat. The relaxed cosiness means you can hold your partners hand over the table in between courses without on-lookers batting an eye-lid.
We finally managed to detach ourselves from the arabesque decor for enough time to order our food. We started off with home-made foccacia bread with a balsamic dip. The garlic and buttery infusion that covered the authentic rosemary flavoured bread was a perfect combination with the sweet balsamic pattern it rested on. We went on from that to a Cajun spiced and blackened chicken with Texas style wedges, side salad and homemade coleslaw. The spices had been deeply embedded into the chicken and as soon as the knife sliced elegantly through it, the juices that had been contained during the cooking process, profusely poured out which triggered off a synchronised reaction in our mouths. As the world is such an unpredictable place, we usually order our desserts first, in case something drastic were too happen! If it did, at least we knew we had consumed our sweet. We couldn’t see past the warm chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream that will have you sucking on a spoon harder than Gregg Wallace from Masterchef. As well as great food on offer, they also have a delicious cocktail menu for all you people who drink on day’s ending in ‘y’. All the usual suspects are present but there are some classics with modern twists, the Blueberry Martini being one of them. We can’t look past the Strawberry Daiquiri’s and the Bellini’s every time we go there. They taste so good it’s hard to believe they’re alcoholic which can be quite interesting as the night goes on.
There is a place that everyone feels at their most comfortable, as much we all try to be explorers in this journey that we call life, there is always that one place you find any excuse to return back to – whether it be a graduation, a birthday or an idle Tuesday. The journey of a meal in the Tavern is a small snapshot of what it’d be like to drive down the Mother Road of Route 66 with the sights you see and the characters you encounter. This very place has always had this sense of allure over us and we urge you to head down today to experience it for yourself. They recently won the best breakfast in the UK for the second year running and went from serving 15 people breakfast on a weekend a couple decades ago to close to 3000. Follow them on Twitter or give them a like on Facebook.