Not all 'gastro-pubs' are created equal.
Some are just pubs with a big kitchen.
Some are superfancy fried food joints.
there's pubs like Anchor & Hope or
The Harwood Arms
who blow you away.
Compared with food-centric American cities, London is not known for 'destination eating.' Meaning, unless for a Michelin rated experience, Londoners will rarely travel clear across the city for a meal, a drink, a baguette or a sweet thing. One has one's 'local,' and that about does it. For the food obsessed, though, there are of course exceptions.
I went to The Harwood Arms once, by happenstance. Close friends of mine were married in Fulham, and booked the gastro-pub for their meal and reception afterwords. It was one of the most seamless restaurant 'large party' experiences I was ever part of. The house decorated a long farmhouse table in clementines and rose petals, and when our pre-arranged meal came out, many of us were rendered speechless as the food was gorgeously presented, well-executed and stunningly delicious.
But every time I attempted to go there again, from late winter to early spring, they were booked to capacity and unable to seat me.
Until last Bank Holiday Monday.
San Franciscan friends were visiting and I wanted to introduce them to a piece of London they might not otherwise be in the know about.
Our entire meal, complete with an ending of every single dessert (or pudding, as it is named in Britain) is documented in a set on flickr.
I beg of you to make a booking here. Especially if you know you're on your way to London.
I dare say you will not be disappointed.