Tag Archives: Anchor & Hope

Canton Arms, 177 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XP

I was excited to cycle (yes I’m following my own rules and feeling smug) to the Canton Arms in Stockwell/Kennington for Sunday lunch with a very glamorous Juicy Jigsaw.

I was excited because not only was I starving after rather too much vino the night before, I was dying for some nice meaty pub grub, and the team behind the Canton Arms are related to the Eagle,  Anchor & Hope on the Cut and 32 Great Queen Street, the latter two real favourites of mine and home to some of the best British cooking I’ve had.

We were invited to eat at the bar which was fine, only I’d have preferred to eat at one of the empty tables, but they keep the outside tables and front of the pub for beer drinkers, which I’m sure will appeal to traditional pub-goers. I seem to be on a terrible-ordering spree, but to be fair my starter of choice (beetroot, horseradish and cod’s roe) was sold out by 2.30pm so I ordered the Spanish ham and melon starter, possibly because I was thirsty and I thought the melon would refresh me. It was nice but Juicy J totally outdid me with a delicious aubergine starter.

We then, for obvious reasons, tucked into a very alcoholic bloody mary made with lots of fresh stuff and nicely spicy.

Finally, Juicy J had the mackerel risotto which tasted just wonderful (ordering envy) and I had the roast lamb with a sort of dauphinoise potato celeriac mix. It was good, and the meat was lovely and tender, but I could have done with some veggies (my fault for not asking maybe) and it was a little plain. I would have loved there to have been some interesting game on the menu, or even a nice shepherd’s pie or similar, but gastropub-wise it was still a great choice.

But then I spotted it – on the blackboard chalked up in crayon, the stuff of my Great Queen Street dreams – the meat sharing plates. That day they had lamb – big, fresh and organic I’ll bet. You could order lamb shanks between four I think, and lamb shoulder between five “ish”. There were a few groups in there and this would be my best bet for Sunday lunch – simple, well-cooked, wholesome and hearty.

So while I thought the service was great, the food tasty, I think the best thing to do is to head there in a big group for Sunday lunch and take advantage of that week’s group offering, or to try the infamous foie gras toastie bar snack. I’d also have loved to try the cassoulet for two, had it been on the menu.

At the end we paid £30 each for starter and main, bloody mary, pre-lunch hangover-quashing orange and lemonade and coffees. I’ll certainly be back, en groupe, with a whole afternoon and an empty belly to appreciate that week’s specials.

Canton Arms on Urbanspoon

Best steak/meat feast in London – Santa Maria Del Sur/32 Great Queen Street

Sometimes, the body just craves iron. Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway. There are some nights when only a big juicy steak will do – so below are my ultimate meat feast restos in London. My other guilty pleasure is the perfect burger – I have to have at least one a month. My new year’s resolution is to find the best burger in London (and renew my gym membership obv) so keep an eye out in 2010.

Santa Maria Del Sur, 129 Queenstown Road, London, SW8 3RH, 020 7622 2088

I actually went to Santa Maria Del Sur in summer on a quiet Saturday night with El G, having been recommended it by Lady B; and I couldn’t believe it when I switched on Gordon Ramsay’s F Word last Monday night and saw it compete for, and win, the Best Local Restaurant Competition for the Americas .

If you live in Clapham or Battersea, its definitely worth a trip to Queenstown Road to visit. It feels like a proper local restaurant – the sort of place you can roll off your sofa after Harry Hill’s TV Burp, shove on a pair of jeans and trainers and go along for some grub. It’s cosy, romantic, and the staff are incredibly friendly. The ones we met were all Argentinian and the manager, Jose – who featured on the F Word – has the biggest biceps I’ve even seen (apparently a feature of Argentinian men, ladies).

Its a place for Argentinian wine and steak – simple, perfectly cooked, flavoursome. There’s nothing pretentious or fancy about it, they are proud of their Argentinian roots and know how to cook a steak perfectly. Great for steak lovers, chilled out dinners with friends (they do a shared meat platter) or partners, and a nice relaxed Saturday night out.
Santa Maria Del Sur on Urbanspoon

32 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AA, 020 7242 5560

I’d also recommend for meat eaters the wonderful 32 Great Queen Street, sister restaurant to the Anchor & Hope on The Cut, and home to traditional British cooking – gamey, heavy, and tastes like what is on your place was jogging along the hillside just hours before – it probably was.

Great for relaxed Sunday lunches or chilled out dinners with friends – superb British cooking with pates, soups and terrines to start, and fresh fish or meat as a main. At the Anchor & Hope version we shared pheasant and rabbit; at 32 Great Queen Street I had tasty pig’s cheeks and El G had lamb’s neck which looked like it had been guillotined off there and then. Some of our friends ordered the beef rib between six and got half a cow on a plate, cooked to perfection, a slab of rare beef with blood swimming round it. The boys were drooling a la Homer Simpson and someone mentioned the “meat sweats” – the sort of food I’d imagine served in a country mansion after a hunt years ago. Something your dad or boyfriend would love, and they were super nice to my veggie friend Lady B too.
Great Queen Street on Urbanspoon

Another noteable mention, is the Stonhouse in Clapham – great for a steak and a glass of Malbec – for the iron bien sur…