Despite being a dedicated amateur cook and lover of food, who uses cooking as a form of relaxation, there are days when I just can't face the prep. Today was one of those days. The reason being that after two very late nights, slightly too much alcohol I simply fancied someone else cooking for me for a change.
Off we went to try out The County Arms, only a stone's throw from the actually rather attractive looking Wandsworth Prison (I know it sounds peculiar to admire a prison building but it really is very impressive looking), and facing Wandsworth Common it's somewhere I'm forever driving past mentally adding it to my places to try list. So today was to be the day, as none of us fancied travelling too far from home.
Bright, busy and filled with groups of friends and families, I immediately loved the atmosphere, hankering after those long gone days of idling away an afternoon in the pub with friends, drinking wine, reading papers and sharing stories. Stylishly decorated in muted colours, greys, whites and blues with gorgeous book wallpaper, and in the main dining room a swallow paper contrasting beautifully with the old wooden furniture. It is a sprawling pub with a gorgeous garden (which in this freezing weather we didn't venture out to I'm afraid so can't report back). As we sat waiting on one of the cosy sofas in the bar area for our table to be ready, plates of delicious looking food kept whizzing past leaving a tantalising aroma behind them.
We were not to be disappointed one little bit. We ordered Crab croquettes with a tomato and lime salsa, which were crunchy freshly fried and yummy. Matilda's sausage and mash arrived at the same time which was a great idea as she was ravenous. Hers was very tasty too, unlike so many other places where the children's food is bland and tasteless. Then came our Roast Loin of Pork with roast potatoes done in goose fat, Yorkshire pud and vegetables. It was just what we needed, a plate piled high with succulent meat, perfectly crunchy crackling, plenty of gravy, and freshly cooked quality vegetables.
The piece de resistence was the pudding though. I think it is possibly the best Sticky toffee pudding I've had. Served with salted caramel ice cream I was secretly upset I'd agreed to share it with the husband. On the right side of sweet with the unexpected pleasure of a couple of caramelised banana slices tucked into the cake, oh I felt I was in pudding heaven. I will go there purely for that pudding.
A highly satisfying lunch enhanced by the kindness of all the waiting staff, who were super friendly particularly with Matilda. Thankfully, she didn't let us down and was extremely well behaved, forgive my smug face as I recall one child scooting around the pub and another having a tantrum under a table. You know what? The staff didn't bat an eyelid, even though they had to endure the obstacle course. This is a gem of a place and we're lucky to be within a short driving distance of it, we'll definitely be returning, and I just may pop in mid afternoon one day on my way back from a client's for some more of the Banana Sticky Toffee pudding!