Prior to launching myself across the Atlantic for a barrage of British culture and history lessons, I received warnings from all types of sources (friends, family, foodies) about the food I would encounter. But, I’ve decided to dive right in to every fish and chips basket that has fallen at my feet alongside a hard cider, and I haven’t disagreed with any of them.
I spent my first evening in London at a populated pub near my flat in West Kensington called Cumberland Arms. The bartenders greeted us warmly despite our strangeness, as the rest of the diners were clearly regulars who looked up hoping to recognize a face, but quickly fell back to happily chatting about their workdays. I ordered a Kopperberg hard cider, the mixed berry type, and it tasted strongly of black currant, a nice change from the typical Strongbow apple. Alongside it, I chose the homemade ravioli with chicken, spinach and ricotta for my main dish. The ravioli was fresh and subtly peppered with the chicken, but the spinach to cheese ratio felt a bit lopsided. The spinach was finely chopped and mixed in with the ricotta, so it tasted more like a vegetable than a dairy. The sauce of tomato and marjoram was simple and fresh as well.
The menu here changes monthly to showcase new Mediterranean twists, which isn’t a typical find in a British pub with a nostalgic name. But what they lack in typical fare they make up for in honest pints and wines in a laidback and welcoming atmosphere.