The closest London Underground stop to the Harwood Arms is West Brompton. The Harwood Arms is a pub. Ruth and I were determined to eat here because the Harwood Arms is no ordinary British pub. It’s Michelin rated and has a chef, Sally Abé, with a growing reputation. The Harwood Arms specialty is game.
Sally Abé began her career as a chef at London’s Savoy grill before moving on to Gordon Ramsey’s Claridges for 2 years. Next she was sous chef at a 2-Michelin-starred restaurant called The Ledbury. She has been at The Harwood Arms for 1½ years and is married to Matt Abé, chef de cuisine at Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. Why she is enhancing her culinary skills as Head Chef at a historic pub was something of a mystery to me. However, I think I found a clue in a comment she made on thestaffcanteen.com. “I spend a lot of time looking at old English recipe books and I try to find old recipes to bring into the modern day.” Expect Sally to eventually move on. In the meantime, if you happen to have a meal overseen by her at The Harwood Pub, you will be in culinary heaven.
Because we are not especially gamesome, Ruth and I ordered sole for our lunch/dinner. Accompanying it were the best potatoes and bread I have ever eaten. Ruth decided to splurge and have dessert. The photo of it above speaks for itself. Elisabeth, The lady who took care of us while we dined, pointed to a man sitting at the bar and told us that he eats his mid-day meal every day at the Harwood Arms and returns every evening for dinner. I fully understand this loyalty.
My Fodor’s travel book noted, “British game doesn’t get much better than….at this game lover’s paradise”, which is this city’s only Michelin-starred-gastro-pub off Fulham Broadway. The book’s entry goes on to rave about its game-based dishes like haunch of Berkshire roe deer…and Muggleswick grouse, which made me certain that Ruth and I missed the opportunity of a lifetime to sample historic British pub cuisine. We blew it by ordering the wrong but decidedly delicious things. harwoodarms.com reports, “We strive to use as much wild food as possible as we believe sustainability is of utmost importance”. Websites are as full of praise concerning the food at The Harwood Arms as I am.
For its 10th anniversary as a gastropub in May, 2019, Sally worked with 3 former head chefs to create a 7-course tasting menu that reflected the every day food at this atypical pub. I’m sure the man who dines there twice every day attended this occasion!