I have to admit that I only go to Battersea Park when they have some kind of fair going on. I’m a regular at the Affordable Art Fair as well as the Decorative Art Fair. The pub I go to for the necessary after-fair drinks is The Mason’s Arm on Battersea Park Road. The pub has a very friendly atmosphere and has a wide range of patrons. Normally the crowd consists of families with children, some older guys reading the paper and groups of friends having a chat. I hate it when you step into a pub and the old geezers at the bar look you up and down. The Mason’s Arm is a lively pub without being noisy and overwhelming … so … clearly not a Weatherspoon’s. The decoration is also very different to some other chain pubs. Lively and colourful with miss-matched furniture and some artwork on the walls. I always approve of places with artwork.
This time around we went to the Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair and we each managed to buy a lovely little print. Flush with the pride of our purchase, we decided to share a bottle of red and a meal. Normally we just pop in for a drink and maybe some chips, as they are really good here. When we looked over the menu, we were pleasantly surprised that it had some really great vegetarian options. Neither me nor my friend are full-time vegetarians. She eats fish and there are rumors that she also considers chicken as an option now, and I’m just a very picky meat-eater. In the end the lure of Yorkshire Pudding was too strong. We both ordered the same dish: Spinach roulade which came with duck roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, parsnips, carrots, curly kale & gravy. Wait … no curly kale. The waiter actually didn’t say anything when he sat down the plates, which is a minus point in the service, but kale or no kale, it was a good-looking plate. Honestly, we didn’t mind the cabbage.
I have to say the roulade was delicious. The sponge actually had a spinach taste to it, and the filling was a mixture of feta, butternut squash and mushrooms. Loved it. Sadly the Yorkshire pudding was not great. It just felt and tasted like cardboard. I left half of it on my plate … which never happened before with Yorkshire Pudding. We replaced dessert with some cheese to finish our meal. The pub gives you the option to buy the whole cheese plate for £11.50 or just the cheeses you want for £2.50. You also get apples, celeriac, water biscuits and apple & brandy chutney with it. When the plate with our two chosen cheeses (Blackstick blue, Cornish yarg) arrived … well … we were a tiny bit disappointed, but then you cannot expect wheels of cheese for £2.50. Also … celeriac leaves? In the end we were rather happy with the portion sizes, as the cheeses were really nice and filling.
The whole meal was just so satisfying. Just what you need on a Sunday afternoon: good company, good wine and some great comfort food. If you are in the area and looking for a decent meal and a drink … the The Mason’s Arm would be a good choice.
The Mason’s Arms
169 Battersea Park Road, SW8 4BT
020 7622 2007