"Contemporary cool with a retro vibe"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Winter is a sad enough time with our depriving oneself of good grub; it’s the time to lay down the kale smoothies, sack off January diets and seek out a proper London pub for a hearty roast and the recently re-opened Fentiman Arms just south of the river is a good start.
‘Contemporary cool with a retro vibe’, in the heart of Vauxhall, the original pub features have been gently restored to expose period woodwork, contrasting with statement walls of the deepest blue, vintage cricket prints - a nod to cricketing mecca The Oval - and reclaimed wooden classroom chairs. Bookshelves laden with classical literature, dictionaries and nostalgic toys play their part in immersing cricket fans, beer aficio-nados and neighbourhood foodies into the vibrant hideaway that is The Fentiman Arms.
Upstairs you’ll find a brand new dining room, The Refectory, reminiscent of a schoolmaster’s study, with quirky harlequin wallpaper, zinc-topped tables and bookcase-lined walls, while the Library Room at the back of the bar features nostalgic Penguin books wallpaper and gives easy access to the heated terrace and shel-tered beer garden.
Reflecting the school time vibe is the monthly-changing Back to School menu, featuring childhood favour-ites like bubble and squeak; liver, bacon and onions with jam roly poly to finish. Available at a set price of £20, Monday to Thursday, this is one school dinner not to be missed.
Those after a little more sophistication can tuck into The Fentiman Arms’ seasonal British menu; must-try mains of whiskey and maple glazed ham with fried duck egg, pineapple croquette and triple cooked chips; wild boar and sage sausages with smooth mash; or a garlicky chicken Kiev, all update classic British dishes with a distinct Geronimo twist.
We started off with a chicken liver parfait with winter pickle and toasted sourdough, pleasant enough but clearly straight from the fridge - it would have been a whole lot more flavoursome had it not been quiteiso cold. The baked camembert however was a sterling choice.iRude as it is to consumer anything else on the Sabbath, we followed our starters by both tuckini into a hearty roast, a veritable mountain of crisp roasties, veg, a slab of meat (mine succulent, salty gammon, hers a melt in the mouth piece of beef) topped with a Yorkshire pud and oodles of gravy. Be warned - it’s deceivingly filling; while it doesn’t look like a big enough plateful, it will most certainly leave you stuffed to the gills. Though we still - just - managed to find space to squeeze in a proper old-school tasty Bramley apple and cranberry crumble with custard. Would have been rude not to.
While The Fentiman Arms does a good line in beers, with craft brews in the fridge and Sharp’s Doom Bar, Meantime London Pale Ale (a Fentiman favourite) and Wimbledon Tower Pale Ale all on tap, our waitress was particularly clued up about the wine list, recommending a very good Viognier. On the whole for a cosy, affordable and deliciously filling Sunday roast, it was a winner.
Laurel reviewed Fentiman Arms on Mon 30 Jan 2017