Friday 27 June 2014

Guildford Arms, Greenwich

A couple of weeks ago I went to the launch of Mimi's wonderful book Noodle! (regrettable exclamation mark is correct) - which will get a whole post of its own one of these days. It was loads of fun, got to put several faces to twitter names and I think it is safe to say that a jolly good time was had by all. One of the people I met was the lovely woman who does PR for one of the launch party sponsors (SeeWoo supermarkets). She very sweetly followed up our meeting with an invitation to try out The Guildford Arms, in Greenwich.

Now, normally an invitation to go to Greenwich would be declined with thanks due to the relative inaccessibility from my North Western neck of the woods, but this happened to coincide with a long-standing date to meet up with a couple of friends at the Fan Museum. Clearly, it was Meant To Be.

The Fan Museum didn't hold our attention for quite as long as we'd planned for (only 37 minutes, including reading the guidebook cover to cover), so we had some time to kill before our lunch booking. We wandered about the market and quite by accident I bought a very pretty dress. Then, fortunately, it was time to head towards the pub, before I spent any more money.

The Guildford Arms is a little bit out of the way, a very pleasant stroll downhill from the main bits of Greenwich. When we arrived I thought for a moment that we were going to have the whole pub to ourselves, but of course as it was a beautiful day the action was all outside on the terrace and in the garden. Sophia had completely misinterpreted the weather forecast and was wearing Melbourne autumn drag, and Ellen wasn't wearing sunscreen, so we took a comfortably shaded table on the terrace.
The weather was crying out for a jug of Pimms, but Ellen was driving and I wanted to be moderately respectable, so I ordered a glass of the house white. Once supplied with water, wine and menus, I realised there was likely to be a slight space problem - there wasn't really enough room left for plates, let alone any sort of side dishes. But that really was the only flaw in a superb demonstration of what pub food can be like.
 Sophia's cheeseburger had just tomato relish and cheese on it, much to her relief (she is a vocal opponent of lettuce on a burger). The salad garnish stayed unmolested, but the whole burger and a decent proportion of the chips disappeared, which was pretty impressive given that she generally has quite a dainty appetite. 
 Ellen and I both had cod and chips. And very good it was too. I am such a sucker for the muslin-wrapped lemon. I know it must be a pain in the backside for the kitchen to tie the lemons up in their little nappies, but I think it makes the plate look so polished and it is so much nicer than having bits of seed flying about. The pea puree tasted more like proper marrowfat mushy peas than most of the peas fraudulently called mushy, but I still appreciated the accuracy of the title. The fish was well-cooked and fresh-tasting, the batter light and not too greasy. I think this was the best fish and chips I have had this year.

We saw several plates of food being taken to other tables, and they all looked similarly good.
With the weather being so lovely (it really is - I can't help banging on about it because it is such a treat) and the fact that this was the first time in six months we'd managed to catch up, our lunch was feeling very festive. And a festive lunch calls for dessert (and another glass of wine).

Sophia's brownie was delicious - very moist and nutty but not dense.
 But my pannacotta was absolutely the dish of the day. Very light, subtly flavoured with lemon verbena, the raspberries dressed with just a drop of grappa, it had the most perfect wobble (video below).

Would I go back to the Guildford Arms if I was paying myself? Absolutely yes I would, without hesitation. It's definitely worth the visit even if you don't have a date at the Fan Museum.


Joanne said...

What a delicious menu!

grace said...

everything looks so tasty, from the melted cheese on the burger to the crispy crust on the cod! and the panna cotta must've been pure decadence.


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