A model makeover - we Test Drive The Cleveland Arms in Paddington

pateThe smoothest chicken liver pate with a mountain of toast and cornichons - a snip at £6.

So what do we need to know about The Cleveland Arms?

This 166 year old London pub was taken over two years ago by landlord (and film producer) Maria Tamander who stripped the whole place back, giving it a lovely makeover without losing any of its boozer charm. She brought in a chef of note - Louis Linwood - who previously worked at Oldroyd in Islington.

Where exactly is it?

Just off Cleveland Square by Paddington.

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

Here. It's one of the best pubs in the area - even if you're not eating, it's worth visiting for a quick drink.

And where's the best place to sit? 

At first glance, you might think the dining room at the back of the ground floor is best - and it may well be for lunch - but in the evenings, the downstairs dining room with its open kitchen is quite lovely with its Tudor-style brickwork and candles everywhere.

So what's on the menu?

It's a pretty simple pub menu that changes regularly - four starters, four mains and four desserts - with the odd lunchtime special. And, as we were there for the popular Cleveland Square fireworks, they also had a special on for Bonfire Night.

Here's what we had.

brandadeWe love a good brandade and this with a soft boiled egg and sea purslane was just the ticket. (£7.50)

porchettaThe evening's special - and perfect for a winter night's treat - porchetta with greens and apple sauce.

gratinA really good gratin that came with the pork.

chipsYou'd think having the gratin would mean we wouldn't order a side of chips. You would be wrong. And thank God we did - just LOOK at these. They really were bloody wonderful. 

steakBavette steak with watercress, roscoff onions and garlic butter. Not the best dish for a date - unless you're both having it - but top notch if your dining companion doesn't mind the garlic fumes (£15.50).

What are the veggie options like?

A quarter of the menu is veggie friendly with a similar amount for pescatarians. We saw a fair few folk having the Delicia squash, chestnut, pecorino and sage risotto (£10.50). and it looked lovely.

And to drink? 

The wine list seemed pretty good value for this part of town - with most in the £20-£30 bracket. Our bottle of Terra D'Alter from Portugal (£29) was just what we were after - light and fruity.

Overall thoughts:

Given that this is multi-million-pound flat territory, this W2 pub seemed to have a really nice mix of locals and well-heeled residents as its clientele. Even packed to the gills on bonfire night they coped pretty well with the influx. Exactly the kind of place you wish was on your own doorstep.


More about The Cleveland Arms

Where is it? 28 Chilworth St, London W2 6DT

Find out more: Follow them on Instagram @theclevelandarms/


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