Tag Archives: Duchy Arms

Earl of Bedlam, king and queen of Kennington

London 2015’s answer to Tommy Nutter, fashion house the Earl of Bedlam reside down a little mews off Walnut Tree Walk, having previously occupied a shop in South Kennington:

Earl of Bedlam flier - kenningtonrunoff.com

Tailors to some of Kennington’s slickest suited and booted (including Mark Hill of Antiques Roadshow and Counter Brasserie fame), they also dress musical luminaries from across the spectrum – Nile Rodgers, Simon Le Bon, Goldie, Bez and Roger Daltrey have all been spotted in Earl of Bedlam garms. Nile is such a fan that he had the Earl head down to the studio to give Bedlam t-shirts  to the band and Mark Ronson when he was making the most recent Duran Duran album.

Earl of Bedlam staff, clients, models, friends & family by Jill Furmanovsky for Jocks & Nerds in Bedlam Mews with horses from Vauxhall City Farm, (Mark in the hat front right, Lady C next to him)

Earl of Bedlam staff, clients, models, friends & family photographed by Jill Furmanovsky for Jocks & Nerds in Bedlam Mews, with horses from Vauxhall City Farm (Mark in the hat front right, Lady C next to him)

We are still waiting for our Kennington Runoff-inspired three-piece suit crafted from baby llama wool shorn off the latest arrivals at Vauxhall City Farm, but we are indebted to Lady C and Mark at the Earl of Bedlam nevertheless for their endless supply of local tips and information. More ferociously networked than any other Kenningtonites we can name, they are true pillars of the community. Running  social media for the Duchy Arms when they relaunched, creating limited edition Bastille Day t-shirts for the Boule-In, designing the uniform for Counter staff, hosting jazz gigs, and propping up the bar at the Royal Oak (otherwise it would fall over) – these are all in a day’s work for the Earl of Bedlam, and still they find time to field stalls at both the Kennington Village and North Lambeth Parish fetes.

Earl of Bedlam t-shirts at Kennington Village Fete - kenningtonrunoff.com

Read more about their interesting story here.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 2 – The Duchy Arms

Positives: Some of the best pub food around, cooked by Prince Charles’s former chef. Great, hand cut chips. Get in quick before the hordes discover it.

Negatives: If you’re looking for a light bite, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is their fish pie for two:

Duchy Arms fish pie for two, with handcut chips and spinach - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: TBC

Address: 63 Sancroft Street, London SE11 5UG

Duchy Arms - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 1.

Duchy Arms brunch – best in Kennington?

Yes, the Duchy Arms do brunch on Saturdays (they say from 12 but actually seems to be more like 12.30pm to 3pm) and so have become a contender for the Tommyfield’s title of best breakfast/brunch in Kennington.

This is their scrambled masala eggs, spinach, chili jam and sour cream. Very tasty and perfect for brunch, if a bit much for breakfast:

Duchy Arms scrambled masala eggs, spinach, chili jam and sour cream - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also do more traditional options like eggs Benedict:

Duchy Arms Eggs Benedict - kenningtonrunoff.com

Their inaugural brunch menu is here, although it does change.

The food is really top notch at the Duchy Arms, and the pub doesn’t have the slight odour that the Tommyfield has (yet). All-in-all we just about prefer the Tommyfield’s breakfast menu but they’re both very good indeed.

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.