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