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The pub ‘lock in’ at the old Devonshire Arms

2012 April 29
Magnus Wood

The host himself - Magnus Wood

  As the Devonshire Arms in Chiswick was becoming my regular pop in pub, all of a sudden it closes down. I was of course devastated at this, having just discovered how nice it was to sit by the fire, eating their prizewinning scotch egg, and drinking a lovely glass of Cotes du Rhone.

  So I was excited a few months later to get the opportunity to go back there once more, albeit just for the one night. The occasion was the delightfully named ‘lock-in’ pop up supperclub, hosted by Magnus Wood.

  He was given the keys just for this one occasion, and was helped in the kitchen with the expert services of Wesley Smalley from the marvellous Charlotte’s Bistro, and Isabel being great in the front of house.



Participants of the lock-in

  The menu was seasonal, with the theme being the ‘arrival of spring’. Starting off with a classic touch of bight-sized trio of vol-au-vents – curried chicken, smoked horseradish mackerel and the a tomato surprise.

Clams and cockles and winkles

Clams, cockles, winkles with pancetta and wild garlic

  The freshest tasting cornish crab I’ve had in a long time came next, served with asparagus and watercress with a grapefruit dressing.

  Probably the most entertaining course to both watch and eat was the clams, cockles and winkles with pancetta and wild garlic. There’s a fine art in digging into the snails with a tooth pick, and pulling out the contents whole.
  You get a great feeling of satisfaction when you get out the snail contents successfully, and do not spear out bits and pieces.

  This dish had the most fabulous broth to go with it. Made up simply of white wine, butter and wild garlic.


Braised feather blade of beef

Braised feather blade of beef

  For the mains, the braised feather blade of beef with roasted beetroot, Chantenay carrots, caraway spring greens and mash was a crowd pleaser. Reminders of Devonshire meals past came flooding back.

  The last course, the pudding, was a tribute to the location we were in. Just exactly what a Devonshire pudding was, we couldn’t quite work out as there seemed to be no images we could find on the internet. This turned out to be like a cross between an apple flamousse and a bread and butter pudding.


The Devonshire pudding

The Devonshire pudding

  Thanks once again to Magnus, Wesley and Isabel for giving us such a fabulous night and I can’t wait for following instalments.

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