Harwood Arms: Happy to be in Britian

Pub life will never get old.  Matt celebrated this during my latest birthday by planning a day consisting of a pub, followed by a football match, followed by THE pub.  By this I mean the very first London pub to win a Michelin star.  But just because Harwood Arms is on the coveted list doesn't mean it's lost it's appeal, nor does it mean you have to starve for a week after.  It's surprisingly affordable with a superbly relaxed atmosphere.  From the outside, it looks just like a pub on the corner of a quiet street in Fulham, a place to slow down over a few ales.  The inside holds up to this conception, as soon as we were seated over a simple wooden table off to the side of the bar area, I had already unwinded.

First, can we talk about this bread?  We all have a soft spot for bread at the table, I often have to force myself to stay away from it to save room for the good stuff.  But this is the good stuff...freshly baked soda bread that's both dense and soft, and served with sweet churned butter and sea salt.  Maybe I'm being a girl, but I think the fact that it's wrapped up in this little pouch is actually making it more delicious.

Ingredients, especially meat, at Harwood Arms are all sourced locally.  I know, I too feel that this locally sourced, organic, fair trade, brouha gets a little irritating sometimes...but I appreciate it at a restaurant that doesn't scream for hipness. Venison is found across the menu and so we started with a venison platter appetizer to share.  And this is what arrived...kebab, sausage, terrine, mousse, some pickles, and to a shot of comsommé to wash it all down.  It's pleasing to the eye, and invites those who aren't too familiar with venison on a little journey.  Kebabs were probably my favorite in terms of taste, and the consummé was the most pleasant surprise.

For entrees we opted for a fish and, yes, again, venison.

A meaty fillet of  haddock with a watercress salad and some potato croquettes.  The haddock was buttery and flaky and who can go wrong with croquettes?  But compared to that venison platter, I felt that something was missing from the plate, something to give it a little more taste and substance.
The other venison dish was deeeelighful, the meat was so tender and had a very subtle game flavor.  It was served with some simple roast potatoes, some wild field mushrooms and braised red cabbage.  A perfect dish.
Dessert at this point was not necessary, but we did it anyways.  It was another board of vanilla rice pudding, lemon curd, custard, and donuts for dipping. The lemon was a bit too tart for my taste, but i loved the smooth rice pudding and can't complain about a shot of ice cream either :)

2 glasses of wine, one starter, 2 entrees and a dessert to share was about £70 total.  Definitely well worth it.









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