The Truscott Arms is back with a bang as Henry Harris (formerly of Knightbridge’s Racine, RIP) takes over the kitchen to relaunch the favourite local as Hero of Maida. He will oversee the Maida Vale gastropub’s relaunch as chef director alongside business partner James McCulloch. It is the third project from Harcourt Inns, following Three Cranes in the City last year and The Coach in Clerkenwell earlier this year.
The Truscott Arms closed in August 2016 after a lengthy legal battle over rent increases but was purchased by a private equity firm in 2017.
Harris is joined in the kitchen by head chef Steve Collins (formerly of Les Deux Salons, RIP, and before that Corbin & King’s Bellanger). His knowledge of regional French cooking complements Harris’s vision for The Hero of Maida, which is modelled on traditional French bistros and seasonal market ingredients.
Front of House is overseen by Thomas Blythe, who was GM at St. John and St. John Bread & Wine for 12 years.
The old Truscott Arms’s legion of fans will be delighted to hear the pub’s signature Sunday roast menu has been reinstated, with classics including seven-hour slow-roasted shoulder of lamb and rosemary. Seasonal vegetables will be championed in daily changing menus, with dishes like: Lamb rump and artichokes barigoule and a classic Fish soup. The bar will serve fresh salads and sandwiches throughout the day.
The ground floor of the Victorian corner site will be built around a sprawling zinc-topped bar serving well sourced ales & beers, including Timothy Taylors Landlord and Stiegl’s Goldfrau. Upstairs, the dining room menu will be matched with a wine list focusing on old-world choices, from Beaujolais, to Rioja and Chiantis and will serve signature cocktails and aperitifs.
The Hero of Maida takes its name from the now vanished pub, Hero of Maida, in which the hero in question was General Sir John Stuart, whose triumph at the Battle of Maida did much to restore British morale. This pub not only inspired the owners but is in fact the reason why the area Maida Vale was coined such, as well.
Harcourt Inns also includes The Harcourt (the quite brilliant, Scandi-influenced gastropub in Marylebone), as well as the Three Cranes in the City, The Coach in Clerkenwell, and now the Hero of Maida.
Harris was chef-patron at Racine for 13 years until he sold the business 2015 citing the increasingly ‘non-dom’ status of Knightsbridge residents as the reason for falling neighbourhood trade. In 2016 he was announced as the chef-patron of The Dog & Badger in Buckinghamshire but left before the restaurant-with-rooms launches in July last year over ‘artistic differences’ with the property owner.