It’s not very often that I venture to West London. However, it was hearing that Hippo Inns had opened a cosy pub in West Kensington that sparked my curiosity to head on over to the land of the unknown. The Colton Arms is one of their newer venues, offering a great local for residents, and proper tasty grub... as we soon found out.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Coming out of West Kensington on a Saturday night, CityMapper was our greatest friend in finding this venue. We made our way through residential parks and after 10 minutes of walking, we found what we were looking for. Situated on a sleepy suburban road, this area makes you feel like you’re way away from the London bustle; flower baskets hang from nearby neighbourhood windows and you can hear the faint chattering of the clientele inside.
Making our way in, I was amazed to see the size of the original pub... it's pretty tiny. Having undergone a recent refurbishment, this venue was a local hub, but Hippo Inns have recently put their spin on it, making it a gastro style boozer with a lot of love. The interior of the pub is fabulous; the lighting is enriched by the tea lights dotted around as well as the random lamp shade across the venue. The big brass bar welcomes you to drink right away, and when we were there, the fireplace had a roaring crackle with a dog nestled up against it. Dog, pint and fire? This was already a hard place not to love.
As we arrived, we were greeted by two lovely members of staff who took us through to the dining space. This area is the new part of the pub which Hippo Inns have added on as part of the venue's rejuvenation. As you walk through you immediately notice the difference old and new era’s; there is a massive skylight and double doors to allow natural light in, great as a spot to watch the sun start to settle. Outside, there is a lovely little garden (perfect for summer drinks) and little tables are dotted around the room.
The Food and Drink
Night crept in and once the sun set, out came little fairy lights on each of our tables. We we feeling hungry so decided to go with everything from starters and mains to my forever favourite, cheese. Kicking off the evening, we went for Hummus and Fresh Bread (£4) accompanied with a generous portion of Crispy Squid (£4). Both light with savoury prowess and the perfect crunch, we strode into the main course.
For this, I opted for the Hanger Steak with Confit Garlic and Chips(£16), and my boyfriend tried the Crispy Pork Belly, Root Vegetables and Apple Sauce (£12). Being a big lover of steak, I wondered how this would be cooked (ordering a medium steak normally means it's either going to be medium rare, or medium well), but it was cooked just to my liking. The bearnaise sauce was wonderful and the confit of garlic was as bold as any garlic lover could wish. Being a big believer of ‘sharing is caring’, I had a few bites of the pork belly, and this provided clear message that The Colton Arms are clever when it comes to product sourcing. The moist meat complimented the sweet apple sauce delightfully, and the generous portion of vegetables was definitely a meal's worth. All of this was washed down by a light wine recommended by our waiter, Pinot Grigio ‘Alto Adige’ Kaltern Caldaro 2015 (£27.50). While not normally a red wine drinker myself, this was a plump drink that accompanied the red meat with hearty twang.
It was finally time for the Colton Cheese Selection (£7.50) as a perfect end to the meal. As we nibbled on each cheese (lovingly sourced and clearly geared toward British producers), we people watched the groups that were in for the night, along with the now 2 dogs that were happily seen snuggling up to their owners who were having a pint or two in the pub.
If you’re looking for a place to take your mum, dad, new boyfriend, friends, friends of friends, or downright ANYONE AT ALL, The Colton Arms is the place to go. A venue which makes you feel like you’re not in London is rare, and this little gem brings the heart countryside to life. Throughout the evening, my boyfriend and I kept saying that we’d love to have a local like this, so if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, definitely make the decision to go.