Tucked away in leafy Richmond is a gem of a pub called The Mitre. Full of original features with huge stained-glass windows, cosy interiors and woodburning fire, oh and did I mention Rudi the resident pup! You might have heard of him; he’s been voted Britain’s cutest pub dog! A beautiful golden show-type Cocker Spaniel who belongs to Chris and Gillian, owners of The Mitre.
The building was originally built by the church as a coach house in 1865 so it’s steeped in history and full of character; now it’s the local watering hole acquired by Chris and Gillian six years ago. The pub stands proud in the middle of St Mary’s Grove, a tree-lined residential street in Richmond with its cream exterior full of bright flower baskets and round the back, a delightful beer garden festooned with twinkly fairy lights.
Blood, sweat and tears have gone into transforming this knackered boozer to the charming pub it is today. Throw Covid-19 into the mix however and while many hospitality venues have sadly been a victim to the pandemic, The Mitre has survived and is thriving, it’s the beating heart of this little piece of Richmond.
“We’ve had to re-invent ourselves” says Chris and with the emphasis very much on going green and “saving the planet.” The Mitre is proud to be eco and environmentally-conscious having gone through a complete overhaul during the pandemic. Dipping into their savings and with a little bit of help from the government, The Mitre now offers authentic Italian pizzas from very special woodburning-type ovens without the wood using electricity and the results are outstanding. Not only this, the pizza boxes which are used in their take out service are biodegradable, even the home delivery scooters are electric; that’s quite something. The Mitre is a truly sustainable, ethical, and ecological business, nothing goes to waste.
The pizza side of the pub opened after the pandemic and named after Chris’s dog, Rudi and it was a real pleasure to discover their delectable pizzas for myself when my husband and I paid a visit to The Mitre couple of Saturdays ago.
It really is cosy inside with the traditional fire, wood floorboards and Chesterfield leather chairs but it’s the warm and friendly vibe that really impresses. It’s a pub full of life with locals and newbies like us and while, we’re there, there’s a party happening round the back in the beer garden. It’s a family friendly and dog friendly pub as you can imagine with Rudi roaming freely around like he owns the place and indeed he does. He is a gorgeous dog, attempts to pet him are futile, Rudi is a dog who is showered with affection but when Chris comes to chat, that’s our opportunity to spoil Rudi with love, I am smitten. But we are here for pizza, and we can’t wait to get stuck in.
The Mitre has a selection of refined classic beer, ale and bitter as well as wine and spirits while the pizza is a build-your-own concept with a few starters to pick from.
Neapolitan Margherita is the base and has lots of toppings to choose from including parmesan shavings, rocket, olives, caramelised onions, chestnut mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, ham and Parma ham, Italian salami, blue cheese, ricotta, chilli and Nduja, an Italian chilli paste.
You can also choose from small plates to share; garlic bread with pesto, mozzarella and parmesan, dough balls, olives, Caprese salad with Burrata. There are also toasted sandwiches if you prefer with equally exciting fillings like cherry tomatoes, pesto, rocket and mozzarella or salami, chilli, caramelised onions, and blue cheese or how about Parma ham, rocket, parmesan, and mayo, it’s hard to choose.
My husband settled on the Calzone pizza which is a folded pizza enclosed with a choice of fillings just like with the pizza toppings, you choose. I chose to have pizza with a simple rocket and parmesan topping.
Chris tells us that pizzas cooked in traditional stone ovens take 90 seconds to bake while in the electric “stone” ovens, that figure doubles to 3 minutes, not bad – I had no idea since no pizza has ever come to the table that quick! When our pizzas do arrive, they look super delicious and taste so, you wouldn’t even know that they weren’t baked in a stone oven, they’re as good as the ones mama makes in Italy. They’re thin and crispy with the perfect amount of topping. Mine is simple but that’s how I like my pizzas to be, I love to let the simple ingredients sing while my husband’s calzone is equally yummy pungent and full of spicy garlicky aromas. We have wine and beer to accompany our pizza as well as a Caprese Salad which has a base of rocket leaves, oregano and Italian olive oil marinated cherry tomatoes and a giant creamy burrata in the centre which is sublime.
The Mitre don’t do dessert preferring instead for their authentic pizzas to be the star of the menu and they really are, I can’t fault them in any way. The idea of choosing your topping/filling is great, you have total control choosing exactly what you want to go on your pizza. While Chris comes over to say hello with Rudi of course, we enjoy a gin and tonic and another beer.
We’re super impressed by Chris’ story, his journey and his unwavering drive and ambition in making The Mitre a true local once again. You can see that it’s just that by the many regular customers who’ve become friends along the way; a good old-fashioned local in the middle of urban London in super trendy, uber-cool Richmond-upon-Thames. The Mitre isn’t showy or poncy, it’s loved by everyone in the area and that includes Rudi the most lovable pub doggie!
The Mitre serves pizza from Wednesday through to Sunday, dine in or take away.