London – Kensington – Churchill Arms

It’s hard to deny that this pub obviously has character, even before walking in that’s evident. Although it wasn’t originally named after Winston Churchill, it is now at least a little themed around him and the pub’s web-site notes that his grandparents drank there.

The interior of the pub was no less quirky. The staff in the pub were friendly, with the operation of track and trace being handled professionally and everything seemed clean. Just as my view, the beer selection was weak with no dark options, limited to London Pride (and I know many people like London Pride, but its appeal is a little lost on me) and Honey Dew, both from Fuller’s Brewery, who operate the pub. The pricing was some of the most expensive that I’ve seen, over £6 for a pint of real ale which tops the prices of nearly every central London pub I’ve visited. I was rather pleased that I only ordered half. The drink was, well, metallic in flavour with some sweetness. Lovely if you like Metal Mickey I suppose.

The Honey Dew taste and price was enough for me to abort my plans to eat food, which was awkward as the staff member seemed moderately confused as why I hadn’t ordered after I said I was planning to. This was quite a surprise even to myself, as it was half price day for food as part of the Eat Out to Help Out, and the Thai kitchen menu items seemed intriguing and tempting. The reviews suggest that the food is excellent (and I could hear the number of phone calls coming in asking for reservations, but they were full), but there is something I didn’t like about any pub, even in Kensington, topping £6 for a pint of real ale, so I resisted the temptation of the Jungle Curry.

But, the pub is clearly a local favourite and it has a long tradition with a friendly welcome. It wasn’t for me though, but I’d have probably been more of a fan of the whole experience if they’d stocked Fuller’s Porter. Incidentally, although the Thai cuisine perhaps seems a little mismatched for the British theme of the pub, it clearly works as they’ve been doing it since the early 1990s. Besides, any pub which has its own page on Wikipedia is likely worth a visit.