Like most of the people reviewing this restaurant on Trip Advisor, we were taken by the rating (at the time of writing, 7th out of 13,000 restaurants in London) so we headed there on our first night of a weekend break in London.
The weather was hot, the sun was out and the atmosphere was welcoming and comfortable from the moment we walked in. It was genuinely like walking into your own local at home (not my current local though, that's truly terrible). It's very easy for some people to be a bit overawed by London, particularly eating out, but this place has everything. The beer is fantastic, the food is utterly wonderful and the locals are all happy to chat.
You know by now from reading these reviews that the food here is good, but I must make a special mention of my fish, chips and mushy peas, a dish I often have in gastro-pubs. The chips were delicious, as where the mushy peas (and there's me thinking that only us Northerners do good mushy peas), but the battered cod was exceptional, and was probably the best tasting fish I've ever had. The batter was packed with flavour and the fish was flaky-fresh. It was an absolute joy. Herself's bream was also fantastic. But mine was better!
After two courses, we were full and we really didn't need more food, so we both got puddings. Obviously. I'm always a little disappointed by a cheese board because it never seems to live up to the expectations, but this one did. A great choice of cheeses I had never tried before, lots of biscuits and a beautiful chutney. She also had a huge wedge of some chocolattey nonsense, which was declared to be superb,
After our marvellous meal, and the welcome company of a huge puppy on the next table that was proper mental, we were tired and probably going to head home. But herself got chatting outside whilst having a smoke, so we decided to stay for just one more drink. Big day tomorrow being tourists, after all.
We finally left many drinks later as the staff tried to get us, very politely, to go away, around 12.30am and we headed off in the direction of Hammersmith Bus Station, where the public transport never sleeps (I love London!). We felt so comfortable just chatting outside with the locals, who were wonderful company, and we really felt like we were in our own little corner of the world.
It's hard to single out one thing about the night for special praise when there was so much to choose from, but the staff are outstanding (sometimes standing outside) and really help make the place the success it is. Special acknowledgement to Vicki, who looked after us so well, as well as the other 8000 customers she seemed to be looking after all at once. The Andover Arms is a credit to a dying pub industry, and Vicki and all the staff, are a credit to the Andover Arms. Any chance of tripe next time we come, Vicki?
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