We have never claimed to be restaurant critics! However, as the saying goes, we know what we like, so here are four restaurants/pubs that we would recommend if you are in London.
We enjoyed two visits to the Harwood Arms. They‘re the only gastropub in London to have a Michelin star and are known for their wild game, of course, we had to go. Check out harwoodgame.co.uk if you would like to see more.
We dropped in on a Saturday, no reservations, oops. You need to make a reservation 2 to 4 months ahead for weekends. Who knew! So we sat at a table in front of the bar and ordered a selection of their “bar snacks”. Not a bad thing as we got to talk with the guys behind the bar and they offered us samples of ale and their homemade Bloody Mary mix. I adore Bloody Marys and the mix was fabulous! He said it would be a lot better with the vodka, but it was pretty darned good without! The ale was great too! We ordered rabbit shoulder served with Oxford sauce, cauliflower cheese croquettes with housemade picallilli, their famous “Scotch” egg made with deer meat. Wonderful bread and butter was all that we needed. It was all fabulous and we were determined to go back during the week for lunch.
Lunch at the Harwood Arms, woo hoo! When we walked in, the staff remembered us from the previous Saturday (always a nice welcome). As soon as we were seated at our table, our waiter, Ed, presented us each with a half pint of their wonderful ale. What a nice gesture and what a deliciouis ale! To start, we shared Roe Deer terrine with house pickled walnuts and prune compote. Then followed with two mains: short rib red ruby beef served with oxheart and smoked bone marrow, girolle mushrooms and parsnips and for me Herdwick lamb neck with artichokes and rosemary goat cheese curds. We are in England, so of course, are committed to ordering a pudding! A wonderful vanilla pearl barley pudding served with stewed plums and yogurt sorbet and quince, sherry trifle. The entire lunch was delicious, the service excellent all in a casual, rustic English setting. We would go back in a heartbeat!
The Henry Root was very close to our flat and seemed like a good choice for dinner after a day spent at museums, wine tasting on Kensington Church Street at the Kensington Wine Rooms (a great place where you can sample different wines using a pre-loaded credit card), certainly worth a visit! The Henry Root is a really busy place, both the bar and the restaurant is crowded, luckily we made a reservation! We treated ourselves to a glass each of Prosecco; then shared a smoked duck starter served with a frisee salad tossed with a delicious hazelnut oil vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts & pomegranate seeds; very, very good. The duck was really creamy and mildly smoked; a winner! For our mains: medium-rare venison accompanied with braised red cabbage, caramelized apple & madeira jus and for me the roast partridge served with Alsace style cabbage with bits of bacon. We really liked both our mains, they were perfectly cooked and delicious. Like I said earlier, “pudding” is a must in England so we “suck it up” and order a Treacle tart (against our better judgment). The tart was absolutely fabulous, lemony and not as sweet as we thought it would be, served with a nice dollop of clotted cream. The English know a thing or two about cream!
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