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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · united kingdom · London · Top European Restaurants by Martins Ritins

The Harwood Arms

Author: Mārtiņš Rītiņš0 COMMENTS

The Harwood Arms

The Harwood Arms is a traditional English pub, set in the remote London neighbourhood of Fulham, was previously known as the local restaurant - popular among the „indigenous", yet not particularly attractive to the tourist stream and freely available without previous booking. However, having been nominated for the prestigious Menu of the Year and Diners' Choice Awards and eventually joining the elitist ranks of the Michelin-starred eateries, the pub has earned international fame and now even its former regulars - Fulham residents - have to work hard to get a table.

For contextual reference, it should be noted that a massive pub reform process is currently underway in Britain: pubs and taverns are being transformed into gastropub-style establishments, which means that, to attract customers, a beer list is no longer enough. From this point of view, The Harwood Arms seems quite intriguing, serving traditional British fare yet defying the stereotype of overcooked food allegedly typical of the English cuisine. The Harwood Arms vindicates British food while preserving its age-old image, as enduring as the ancient myth of the ever-foggy London.

Foto: The Harwood ArmsFoto: The Harwood ArmsFoto: The Harwood Arms

The Harwood Arms features a typical old fashioned pub decor: simple wooden tables and chairs. The punters represent the cream of the neighbourhood: old-school countryside gentry - a genuine theatre of life you just can't stop watching. A typical sight is an entertaining company of old dears in which each octogenarian lady empties a bottle of wine and polishes off a starter, a main and a pudding, topping it off with some cheese and not forgetting to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the meal.

The main asset of The Harwood Arms is, of course, its food - quite aptly defined by its Country Comes to Town motto which implies an emphasis on seasonal food. Whenever a product comes into season, it promptly appears on the menu. If it happens to be the nesting time of pheasant, you will be offered pheasant eggs; if it is the right time for quails to lay eggs, quail eggs it is!

At The Harwood Arms they serve lunch and dinner menus; look for the latest special offers on the blackboard.

British tapas - croquettes, monkfish chips, kippers, rabbit in white wine or vermouth with herbs - are laid out on wooden boards and accompanied by fabulous venison broth. Butter is served on a marble slab, bread - in a little wicker basket. By the way, it should be made a crime to serve bread as delicious as that before the actual meal! You can't help but nibble on it, and lo - the first hunger is appeased. Then you must order from the selection of excellent wines and live beers. And that's just the beginning...

The starter of our choice is ox tongue - slow-cooked at low temperatures for hours or even days, soft and tender, served with cauliflower and warm cheese croquette - crunchy on the outside, hot and melting on the inside; the tongue is followed by beef cheeks, seared and braised in beer (the meat is fantastically rich in flavour!), served with pickled walnuts.

The seasonal pride of The Harwood Arms is Pheasant Kiev. Another distinctive feature - they use venison and pheasant egg in their Scotch eggs instead of the traditional pork and chicken egg.

The service here is cheerful, lively yet unobtrusive, just like the general atmosphere.

www.harwoodarms.com
27 Walham Grove
London SW6 1QR

 

Posted 05/2010

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