Lying in bed on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, appreciating the fact that my partner Rocket was home from Scotland after an extended trip away and even more so because he was to return to the beautiful highlands again the following week….I was flicking through the blogs I follow when I very much enjoyed a post by The Londonist, to be found here. In the article they describe where a good Sunday lunch can be found in London – and whilst I have my own views on those I’ve tried so far, Rocket and I are always keen to hear of others.
So, useful information duly parked away we commented that The Canton Arms was one of those recommended and it has been on our to do list for a long time – not least of which is because it is very much on our door step but also because we have enjoyed the sister pub Anchor and Hope.
Our original plan for Sunday had involved a long walk for our little dog, so we checked in with the pub first to see if the two could be combined and ‘yes!’ they said – they walk dogs….No, they don’t really, we would walk the dog and they would allow the pooch to join us for lunch in the bar only, not in the dining room, so all good.
South Lambeth Road, just along the road from the well served Vauxhall is an eclectic neighbourhood as is the nature of our belle Capital.
So we arrived into what is very much a proper pub, by which I mean, a no airs and graces, solid dependable good service no frills traditionally ‘done to’ bar area, staffed by welcoming unpretentious staff members who can demonstrate their skills at making a decent Bloody Mary or G&T as well as being able to pour a suitable pint. A good start, a great start when you consider the shortcomings of some so called gastro pubs.
The bar area is more basic than the dining room, some would say shabby but I would say it was after the great tradition of London boozers, the dining room not luxurious but cosy with it’s warm wood panels and lively hubbub.
This isn’t a flowery menu, that is to say it is not one where the description extends into a novel with quoted place names and unexplained ingredients or techniques, it is fairly brief but with enough of a hint as to what can be expected, sufficient to whet your appetite.
We started with their own terrine, and the fois gras on crumpet. I don’t do fois gras, but a home made crumpet is a thing of beauty and it’s soft buttery loveliness got things off to a good start. The terrine was hearty to say the least and served with some very tasty toasted bread.
The Pork arrived and was in thick but tender slices, several of them so the portion sizes were not merely a myth. The lamb slowly and tenderly cooked was falling apart while still moist on a bed of bulgur soaked in the lamb juices. The pork with the addition of mustard fruits (delicious – I am away to find a suitable recipe for our Christmas repast) a few green beans and roast spuds was flavoursome and re-affirms the quality of produce available in this country.
To do justice to our mains was to eschew dessert although we were sorely tempted by the Pear Galette.
One of those occasions where you are not disappointed, a thoroughly decent pub with outstanding food and a good selection of well kept real ales, what is not to love?