Upping the steaks at The County Arms Wandsworth

For our family, Sundays are all about the grub. And today was a very special one foodie-wise as we were invited to dine at local pub, The County Arms

I’ve always had a soft spot for this Wandsworth venue, which stands majestically next to Wandsworth prison and is well known for its funky souk and expansive beer garden. Over the years, it has gone through many changes, but thanks to a slick and simple menu, a customer service-savvy manager and super-efficient staff, there’s a real chance the team now running the show will make this picturesque Youngs’ venue my number one local for drinking and dining, rather than just popping in once or twice a year.

The County Arms is a truly impressive building, full of character and with the benefit of a massive garden, but the magic ingredients that have lifted the bar here are the food and the genuinely family-friendly welcome you’ll receive. A roaring fire, chic decor and elegant private dining room upstairs certainly don’t do the place any harm: but the to-die-for grill menu (featuring sumptuous steaks, spatchcock chicken and an outstanding Barnsley lamb chop) courtesy of the insanely talented head chef Ian Ellis (freshly poached from Gordon Ramsay, who, incidentally, lives just across the road) and the seriously attentive waiting staff in the restaurant, make your visit extra special.

Our meal was boss, and we weren’t the only happy customers; at the table next to ours a dad actually took his wee children over to the kitchen to tell Mr. Ellis their dinner was “the best meal they’d ever had”. High praise indeed – and having willed this place to live up to its potential after a couple of years in the wilderness, it was music to my ears. The pub is aiming to become the hub of the community and with events including a craft market in the garden planned for October 13th and regular coffee mornings for the locals, I can really see it happening.

Given its close proximity to Wandsworth Common, the County Arms has always played host to the rich and famous – and I suspect that once word gets around about the warm and buzzy atmosphere hosts Andy and Monse are creating, and the sensational cuisine coming out of that kitchen, you’ll be jostling with the A list to get a table. You heard it here first.

There’s a lovely kids menu at The County Arms and a real fuss is made of younger diners

My friends, this starter was amazing: Dorset crab salad with strips of carrot, hazelnut and flat bread – fresh, juicy, zingy, mouth-watering…mmmmmm

Oof – three nights of heavy cocktail consumption in a row have taken their toll, but the kick ass salad picked me right up

The mister went for the Barnsley lamb chop topped with a liver skewer for main – cor

I was all over the flavour-rich Hanger steak – Sunday roasts were on offer too, but the grill menu just had to be plundered

Everything on the grill menu comes with a choice of potato-based side and several sauce options (I plumped for creamy mash and peppercorn sauce)

Oh, come on – sticky toffee and banana pudding? It would have been rude – no, criminal – not to

This delish, rich-yet-light pud is served with clotted cream and strawberry. Eliott said: “I don’t really like this dessert mum…I LOVE it!”

If only my eating capacity was more impressive I’d have hit the cheese plate – I overheard another diner raving about it

After dinner, relax in front of a roaring fire: This is an ideal venue for Christmas bashes – get it booked Sarf London food lovers

With thanks to the County Arms

Written by Johanna Payton