Greenwich has long been a favourite spot of mine for a relaxed afternoon, browsing the market, visiting one of the museums and catching ‘that view’ from the park. One downfall I have often noted however, which is particularly prevalent in winter months when the appealing market food is made less so by the thought of having to stand in the cold to eat, is the lack of good places to eat. Sure there are the chains which you’ll find on many a high street, Cafe Rouge, Nandos, etc. But what about the independents, or a cosy pub, perhaps I haven’t looked hard enough. The main centre instead seems crowded with eateries perhaps aimed at the tourist crowd, brightly signed Chinese and Mexican restaurant’s stand unappealingly in the hub of Greenwich town centre.
So when I was invited to try the newly revamped Guildford Arms I was intrigued to see if there is in fact more on offer than the brash signs of said Greenwich restaurants. So on the corner of a residential road I found myself at the Guildford Arms on a winters Sunday afternoon. It’s a gorgeous Georgian building which has been artfully decorated and it’s just a short walk from Greenwich DLR and overground station.
The door opened onto a smart cosy looking pub and almost to my disappointment we were led upstairs. But not to worry housed on the first floor is a more formal dining room, but still relaxed enough to be dressed in your ‘I’ve just been walking around a windy winters park gear’. The menu looked impressive, the work of Guy Awford, and despite the tempting presence of roast dinners I was pleased to see there was still other dishes on the menu on a Sunday, which is often something pubs omit.
The food is restaurant standard, with prices to match, but the presentation and flavours of the food more than warrant this. To start we ordered the leek tart, which came with a light salad and we also had the salt cod fritters. An above average medium rare cheese burger and salmon with puy lentils and greens made up our mains. There was a generous portion of salmon which was excellently accompanied by the lentils providing a good mix of textures. We finished with one cheese board and a treacle tart with vanilla whipped cream, delicious. Wines are available by the 500ml carafe here which I think is a nice touch, a bottle at lunch is sometimes more than you need.
The Guildford Arms is as much a restaurant as it is a pub, so if you prefer a more relaxed dining environment it’s worth sticking downstairs. The garden looks like it would be fabulous in the summer and there’s an upstairs room available for private hire. Surely The Guildford Arms is one to incorporate on your next trip to Greenwich, or if your local and haven’t yet been, what’s stopping you?!
The Guildford Arms – 55 Guildford Grove, London, SE10 8JY