In London, finding a good Sunday lunch can be quite a challenge. Many places to eat don’t offer a traditional Sunday roast in light of more jazzy things on the menu, and many offer a substandard quality of “carvery,” moonlighting as the feast that it should rightfully be. Notes such as an Englishman and his castle spring to mind…
By fair means or foul, any true Brit will try to secure a Sunday lunch to complete their weekend and I found the perfect place to do exactly that. It was during the snow that was dumped on us in mid-January and outdoor activities were seriously limited; not because it had snowed, but in fact, there was a blizzard outside and had been for the previous 2 days.
The Hardwood Arms is known for being the “only pub in London with a Michelin star” (this is actually no longer true, the Malthouse has been awarded one too and coincidentally, it is just around the corner in Fulham). Lunches and dinners at this famous pub had been raved about by everyone in the vicinity so I thought that I must go and give my verdict.
After battling our way through the snow, we finally made it and promptly ordered the slow cooked haunch of venison. They kept us waiting… (clue is probably in the name) and so we did devour copious amount of the deliciously heavy, moist and almost unleaven soda bread, baked on site.
When the venison arrived, it was like an oil painting. Served on a wooden chopping board, the meat was pink and succulent and accompanied by delicately seasoned potato dauphinoise, raw beetroot, some mushrooms & parsley and pea shoots. It also came with delicious vension gravy. There should have been far too much meat for two girls, but we did manage to demolish the entire thing (waste not..)
As we were leaving, we made another reservation for 2 weeks later; this time with the addition of 2 boys. On this occasion, we ordered two roast beef – one is enough for 2 people and we devoured the entire lot.
The beef was served with melting bone marrow on the top, roast potatoes, yorkshire puds, cauliflower cheese and some spinach. The meat was cooked perfectly for me (medium-rare, and not that we got a choice). This hearty fare was washing down with a good bottle of red – sorry, to be a let down but the name has escaped me.
I thoroughly recommend the Harwood Arms for it’s fabulous Sunday lunch and impressive wine list, although be prepared to wait for a week or 2 for a booking as they are very popular. On a final note, even if your travel plans are wrecked by a home game for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, your Sunday afternoon won’t be completely spoilt as luckily, there are no TV screens in the pub!
The Harwood Arms, Walham Grove Fulham, London SW6 1QP
020 7386 1847