Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Greenwich Pub Review - The Guildford Arms

*We received a complimentary meal for the purposes of review.  

  Recently, I guest posted over on True Colours while Casey was exploring Ireland and Scotland.
(Have you been reading the posts about her trip?  Wonderful!)

In my guest post I listed five of my favorite things about the UK.  Can you guess what number five was?


I've written about pubs before and they are a definite highlight of life on this side of the pond.
Not in a boozey-party way but as in one of life's comforts.

I've described them as the open plan living and dining room of the UK.
A comfortable place to gather with family and friends, share a meal and a laugh.
At least once a week either Matt or I will send a text that says
"Shall we meet at the pub for dinner?"

Last weekend we were invited to try another one that we'd not yet visited.
The Guildford Arms is in Royal Greenwich and just a ten minute bus ride from us.
So, on Saturday we popped over for a late lunch.

The Guildford Arms Greenwich Pub

Since the 1990's, because of changes in social attitudes and cheap supermarket alcohol, thousands of pubs have been closing their doors.  Reportedly more than 20 each week.

Pubs are having to reinvent themselves to remain relevant, adding food and entertainment to their offering.
 The Guildford Arms is a perfect example of this reinvention.
The Guildford Arms Greenwich Pub

 It's a beautiful building.  The ground floor pub is cozy and casual with lots of windows to let the light in.
On the first floor is an elegant dining room and the second floor is a private room.
It's a handsome Georgian Pub and they've done a great job of updating the space.
They also have a beautiful garden that is listed in Time Out's Guide to Best Beer Gardens in London.

The Guildford Arms Greenwich Pub

There are two kitchens, one that serves a bar menu and one for the main menu which changes seasonally.
The chef responsible for the menus is Guy Awford who is known for his distinctive modern British style.
He is also the chef behind the pub's sister restaurant Inside, which is recommended in the Michelin Guide and was the runner up in Time Out's best neighborhood restaurant.

Unlike many gastropubs, there was a very respectable beer range on tap.  Matt even counted.
(It's how he rates a pub.) Nine on tap with 4 from his new favorite brewer, Meantime.
They also have an interesting wine menu.  Our Pinot Grigio was lovely and served nicely chilled.
(I didn't have to embarrass Matt by asking for ice cubes.)

But, let's get down to the really important stuff.  The food.

There are several things that I like about this menu.

It's embarrassing but simply true that I'm a picky eater.  I'm not too keen on trying new things.
Sometimes gastropubs can try a little bit too hard to be "posh" and do things with food that just shouldn't be done.

This is just the menu that I want to see.  Really good solid ingredients cooked in an interesting way.
And the prices are more than reasonable for the quality of the food.

Homemade bread (still warm from the oven) with olive oil and balsamic
The balsamic was smooth and sweet.  Matt and I were fighting over it.

Duck Liver & Truffle Oil Pate, Pickled Vegetables, Frisee, Chargrilled Bread
Matt loved this.  The attentive server noticed him trying to get every last bit and offered to
bring him some more bread to finish it off.

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes, Aioli, Watercress, Lemon
Often with fishcakes, it's hard to find the fish from the fillers.  Not in this case.
Flaky white fish was the focus and the watercress dressed simply with lemon juice was the perfect partner.

Pan Fried Cornish Sea Bass, Confit Leeks, Artichoke, Girolles, Fondant Potato, Mushroom Foam
Matt and I always order different dishes so we can share and try more things.
I called dibs on the steak so he selected the Sea Bass.  He was very intrigued with the mushroom foam.
I asked for his review of the dish and he said that "it was very well cooked and melted in my mouth." 
I tasted it and it was wonderful.

Chargrilled Aged Hereford Rib-Eye Steak, Hand Cut chips, Green Salad, Garlic Butter
Few things make me happier than steak & chips on a plate.
I ordered it cooked to medium and it was served closer to well.
But, it was still tender and juicy and that garlic butter was perfect.

White Chocolate & Hazelnut Chunk Brownie, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Tuile
I mean, look at it.  Gooey brownie with whole hazelnuts.  Homemade vanilla ice creamYum!

Treacle Tart with Orange Buttermilk Ice Cream
This little slice of heaven was the star of the meal.
Sweet and citrusy... absolutely eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head-yummy-noises amazing.
 That orange buttermilk ice cream is something really special.

This is what they have to say on the website and is exactly what we found to be true.

"The honesty and quality of the food is very much our focus; with an emphasis on imaginative, Modern British cooking, using fresh produce sourced by local suppliers. From chutneys and oatcakes to pasta and ice cream we make everything we serve."

Really good service, excellent food & drinks served in very pleasant surroundings.
Add in a broad product offering which should appeal to just about everyone, and you have a recipe for success.
We can't really call ourselves "Foodies" but we certainly know a great meal when we have one.

We'll be back for sure.

The Guildford Arms
 Opening Times
Tuesday – Saturday  12:00pm – 11:30pm
Sunday  12:00pm – 10:30pm

Food Served
Tuesday – Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm / 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday  12:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday  12:00pm – 9:00pm

Visit Guy’s blog for recipes and cookery tips

Which three courses would you chose from that menu?

P.S.  You may have noticed that I'm starting to do more reviews on Oh, the places we will go!  I'm working really hard to expand and grow this blog and I hope to do more.  This is all new territory for me and it is certainly challenging to find a balance.  I want you to know that I always consider my readers before I accept any request.  The first question is always "Is this relevant to my life?" and the next is "Will this be of interest to my readers?"  I will always disclose when a post is in partnership.  I've only ever been asked to do an honest review and I will only ever do so. If you have any comments are questions, please feel free to contact me.  


 *We received a complimentary meal from The Guildford Arms for the purposes of review.
All photos, writing and opinions are my own.
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

You can find this review and many others in my
London Attraction Guide.


  1. Pubs are amazing... seriously one of the best things about the UK! And this one looks amazing too!

  2. Pub and free nosh - I am on my way. Okay, I am really just heading over for that cake!

  3. O goodness that steak and chips looks so good!

  4. I'd have the steak and chips - yum!

    It certainly does look like a good pub with a good feel to it. I miss good old English pub experiences and food!

  5. This certainly isn't your average pub food! YUM!

    I noticed you haven't posted in almost a week. That's not like you. Is everything okay?

  6. Thanks for checking on me, Sarah. It wasn't a planned blog hiatus, but I think I just needed a little break. All is well and I'll be back to full steam soon. I hope you are really enjoying Christmas in London!! I hope we can get together again soon :D xoxo

  7. Such a beautiful restaurant! Now I'm hungry
    :) Liz

  8. You can't beat a pub that serves great food!! 

  9. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)May 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Great to read a review about this place - it's quite local for me - I tried to go for the first time a few months back and bizarrely, when we arrived, there had been a strange power cut in that part of Greenwich just as we arrived! We waited for about an hour and then got hungry so turned around - been meaning to go back ever since and after reading this blog post, I definitely will!


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