IT was a rainy night. The kind of rainy and cold night where you suddenly feel that wearing high heels and forgetting your umbrella at the office were far from being your smartest choices of the day.
All the girls will picture those two actors kissing under the rain, as if nothing could stop their moment of absolute romance. Well, that is not what happened.
It was dark. It was cold. It was pouring. Suddenly, in the distance, you could spot a light streaking out of a doorway, indicating a possible end to the damp and dreary nightmare.
Without thinking, I followed the light. It brought me to a warm place; warm people, under warm lighting, talking of warming things with a cool drink in hand. Others were enjoying meals at heavy wooden tables while waiters juggled plates and swayed between the crowds.
I was soaking, I was out of breath but I felt welcome. I had found the light. I had found the Harwood Arms. Home of the unexpected yet much deserved Michelin star.
While people in fairy tales enjoy warm and comforting food to recover from their journeys, we relaxed with a (comforting) glass of wine and the Arms’ now legendary Scotch eggs. As my Scotch eggs ever, it was hard to judge just how legendary they were, but the breaded crispiness, smooth whites and leaking yellows do have a lot to say for themselves.
The half dozen Hereford snails with oxtail braised in stout, parsley crumbs and bone marrow didn’t have the chewiness that you usually expect of snails and the bone marrow added a good buttery mellowness to the whole dish.
The braised shoulder of roe deer was quite the beast. Presented as being a dish for 2/3 people, a doggy bag was definitely going to be on order.
Perfectly cooked after having been marinated in cider and then glazed with honey, the meat was tenderness and sweetness itself. The celery purée and the cabbage added a bitter taste to the whole dish, bringing a good balance.
The sticky toffee and date ice cream with lemon curd and caramelized brown bread was not exactly the expected rich sticky pudding as the sticky toffee and date ice cream missed a good kick, which, unfortunately, the lemon curd overpowered a bit too much.
After the traditional hot chocolate, it was now time to leave this charming place and continue my fight with the outside world. The couch and comfortable chairs next to the fireplace were an invitation to stay a little bit longer but midnight was just a tick away and we didn’t want our carriage to turn into a pumpkin.
I still had my glass shoe when I came home but the Harwood Arms had played the perfect charming prince for the evening. Give it a few years and I won’t be surprised to see it becoming a king.
The Harwood Arms
27 Walham Grove
London SW6 1QR
020 7386 1847