Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Kensington High Street, but still a comfortable distance from the neon signs and chain restaurants of Earls Court Road, The Devonshire Arms is the kind of pub you'll always enjoy visiting, and find yourself secretly wishing was your local.
The Devonshire Arms manages the balance of 'gastro' and 'pub' well. The heated outside terrace is popular with drinkers throughout the year, and it’s covered with a couple of large umbrellas to save you from the worst of the British weather. Inside, a mixed drinking-and-eating bar area leads on to a dedicated dining section, so you’ll be able to find an area that suits your preference. Smart and charming, this pub really looks the part.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
This pub has a pleasant buzz about it - when I visited on a dreary Wednesday evening, there was a good mix of after-work drinkers and casual diners, their excited chatter resting on a bed of conversation-friendly pop and soft rock (a Donna Summer classic playing as I arrived). The pub has a comfortable feel about it, combining the warmth of a traditional London pub with the style and flair you would expect from somewhere more classy and modern.
The Food and Drinks
I was impressed by the drinks menu, which offered more than I’d expect from a pub; the wide selection includes some well-chosen wines and a large selection of ales. The featured weekly guest ales are a nice addition, and the staff were also extremely knowledgeable about the ales on offer (which always helps). The menu invites punters to suggest ales to be featured too - a nice touch that makes the place instantly more likeable.
The food menu offers a similarly wide selection, with the notable presence of crowd pleasers. The customary beef burger, fish and chips and rib-eye steak all looked impressive, and sit on the menu alongside some less traditional dishes, such as the pork and chorizo burger (which I was right not to resist - it was excellent) and a southern fried chicken dish that I'm glad not to have seen anyone else eating. As good as my meal was, the food envy might have been too much to bear.
The Devonshire Arms isn't shy about singing its own praises: "one of the best pubs in Kensington" and "South Kensington's cosiest pub" are two of the accolades it awards itself. Thankfully, their self-praise isn't wide of the mark - this is a fine example of how a pub should be, offering the full package of good drinks, great food and a pleasant atmosphere. Well worth a visit!