Duchy Arms – now the best pub food in Kennington?

Duchy Arms - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Duchy Arms used to be an old men’s pub (their old website is still live), then after it closed it was briefly a squatted “community centre” with classes on how to feel comfortable with female body hair and such like.

Next we heard of it was an article on the website of an unpleasant but popular newspaper whose name we prefer not to write, reporting that Prince Charles’s chef Visen Anenden had quit to become the Duchy’s head chef, with investment from Prince Charles’s valet Tim McCandless, and the pub (located on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall) would be serving some of the Prince’s favourite dishes. All of the above live in Kennington except Prince Charles who owns Kennington but weirdly lives elsewhere. The newspaper also reports that Tim’s co-investor is Kowsar Hoque. Could this be the same Kowsar Hoque whose “customer is always wrong” attitude has brought such colour to his Kennington Tandoori’s TripAdvisor page?

So anyway, we finally made it along to the Duchy for Comfort Tuesdays, where they serve comfort foods such as chicken kiev, Home Farm at Highgrove (that’s Prince Charles’ farm) veal burger, and apple crumble. We had the globe artichoke, salsify and chard macaroni cheese which basically a posh version of a rather good dish Pret a Manger have started doing recently:

Duchy Arms globe artichoke, salsify and chard macaroni cheese - kenningtonrunoff.com

And the Home Farm at Highgrove Welsh lamb shepherd’s pie:

Duchy Arms Home Farm at Highgrove Welsh lamb shepherd's pie - kenningtonrunoff.com

Both were pretty much flawless. Could this be the best pub food in Kennington? We need to go again on a different night but yes, we think it could. Visit their Twitter to see their menus.

The wine list starts at £18 and stops at £29.50 for a dry sparkling rose. For real ale fans, they have Seafarers on tap for £3.75 a pint, as well as London Pride, and four guest ales in bottles

They’ve done a decent job on the interior as well (not that you can really tell from this photo):

Duchy Arms interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

So if you value great food, get along there soon and often – the Duchy Arms needs support. When we were there, there were ten customers including us. When we walked past on Saturday afternoon, there was one person in there that we could see – the barman. It’s not the most prominent location (on Sancroft Street), but it’s only a quarter of a mile from The Dog House and The Tommyfield and it’s well worth the effort.

Our message to the Duchy Arms is: sort out your website and your marketing – if you put half as much effort into this as you do into your food, you’d be rammed every night. And don’t let Kowsar near your social media.

Update: the Duchy Arms do have a new website, here.

10 thoughts on “Duchy Arms – now the best pub food in Kennington?

  1. Cathy

    Hello Whoever You Are
    I can’t quite fathom what you are hoping to achieve by making such a personal attack on a local businessman, whilst you hide behind your own anonymity.
    It is not the first time you have made incorrect and derogatory claims about the Kennington Tandoori. (See my comment on 23rd February, copy below.)
    On the one hand you have, quite correctly in my opinion, suggested that the revamped Duchy Arms is a great addition to Kennington; however, you then choose to personally slag off one of the owners!
    I found this to be very unpleasant, unnecessary, unprovoked and quite unexplained!
    Of course, I shall forward this all on the the good Doctor concerned.
    I do hope you will reconsider.
    Cathy commented on The top ten best restaurants in Kennington – numbers 10 to 8:
    The votes have been ignored counted, so now we begin our countdown of the top ten restaurants in Kennington: 10. Mamuśka pros: it’s great fun and cheap cons: Polish food can be somewhat utilitarian hygiene rating: 5 9. Gandhi’s/Kennington Tandoori – we can’t choose between them so we haven’t pros: you might see someone famous cons: it […]
    KT – search again
    You’ve linked to KenSington Tandoori
    Our KT has a hygiene rating of 5

  2. Susie

    Really like what they have done with the Duchy Arms. The owners proudly showed the second room they were just finishing decorating when I visited in September. I agree it needs to be supported as it was pretty quiet. I plan to return to sample the food.

    Also, not sure how else to contact the writer of this blog directly to mention this, but just wondered if you have noticed the changes to the White Lion pub on Kennington Park Road? Normally a pub i would avoid, it appears to have been done up recently. Not been in yet but may well be worth checking out.

    1. Kennington Runoff Post author

      Hi Susie, we have been in to see a play and weren’t convinced they’ve got the decor or the menu quite right, although we haven’t eaten there yet. Let us know if you try it please.

      1. Susie

        I popped into the White Bear for a drink on New Year’s Eve. The decor seemed a real improvement on what was there before and it had a much less intimidating atmosphere. I was not overwhelmed though overall, plus the Youngs beer tasted very watery. They seemed to be serving pies but I did not sample the food and didn’t see a menu. Ended up seeing the New Year in at the excellent Duchy Arms. The owners are very friendly and the atmosphere is great. There weren’t many people in so they gave everyone a free glass of champagne which was a lovely gesture.

  3. Chris B

    I have to say that I had a very good dinner in The Duchy Arms recently. I think its now a really nice alternative to the other pubs in the area which, although all are good, are perhaps just a notch below the Duchy if you are looking for a classy yet relaxed venue.

  4. Pingback: Duchy Arms brunch – best in Kennington? | Kennington Runoff

  5. Rich H

    I wandered past the Duchy earlier today, after visiting the Newport Gallery, and decided to drop in and try out the beer. I really like the location, it’s close enough to wander from Kennington, but far enough to enjoy the peace and quiet of an almost-country pub. The place itself is refreshingly relaxed and nicely laid out, the staff are delightful and the food…. I’ve not tasted such a magnificent Sunday roast in a long time, and for the price, superb value. I think this’ll be my new pub of choice in the area. I hope many more people drop in and try it out!


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