The Cadogan Arms
As much as we all like to pretend that we’re feral little extroverts who spend our lives saying things like I’ll sleep when I’m dead, baby, most of the time comfort trumps excitement. Don’t believe us? Think about every time you’ve left the house and foregone those Certified Fancy Shoes that keep Compeed in business for something cushier. Comfort is more important than glamour, and yet, sometimes these two worlds collide and we’re gifted the pleasure of UGG boots, fashion leisurewear, and dun-dun-dun, The Cadogan Arms.
This is a jaw-dropping refurbished Chelsea pub that serves quintessential British cosiness with the gliding confidence and sophistication of a Julian Fellowes’ dame. Oh, I’ll have the sirloin in the parlour, be a good man and bring me a glass of port whilst you’re at it, darling. There’s an open fire, fish and chips on the menu, and deep armchairs that will swallow you whole after a third pint. But there are also stained glass windows behind the bar, rare bottles of £650 Bordeauxs on the wine list, and those deep snuggle-fest armchairs are upholstered in ivy velvet. The Cadogan Arms is a public house truly fit for the King’s Road and yes, you will see people eating their ham, egg, and chips in a two-piece suit in the glossy dining room. When there are chandeliers above the beer taps, you can get away with looking fancy. But importantly, this is still a pub so you can also get away with wearing your dad jeans to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon befriending the locals’ dogs and merrily gobbling up your roast.
Menu-wise, the food also manages to fall somewhere on the spectrum of comfort and class. Oysters to pork pies, ribeye steaks to a cheeseburger with a side of skinny chips, fondant to sticky toffee pud. It’s all reliably hearty and satisfying, but the real show-stopper here is their signature rhubarb trifle, a nostalgic edible anachronism that is a rare find on London menus these days. It’s the kind of dessert that would make a cardiologist mouth a silent prayer for your arteries but it’ll make you feel like a kid again, high on sugar and deeply afraid that someone else is going to hog all of the luxurious custard. It’s also £11. Much like the price tag on that ‘casual’ silk pyjama blouse, the food here can be deceptively expensive. When you realise that the fish and chips costs almost twenty quid, it does feel a bit like you’ve been slapped around the face with, erm, a battered fish. This is Chelsea, after all. So it’s no surprise that dinner comes with a built-in chandelier and open fire tax.
If you’re willing to overlook those high prices for the high moulded ceilings, then it’s also worth knowing that The Cadogan Arms is a pub that can be used, booked, and stumbled upon for much more than a pint and pork pie. Bring your date here when things are just starting to get serious to do a trial-run of that Cotswolds getaway you’ve been thinking about suggesting. You’ll have a lovely time. Bring your favourite friends to the bar for a catch-up involving darts, a round of old fashioneds, and sure, some potential dart-related injuries. Bring your whole family here to prove once and for all that you were right about the sartorial prowess and comfort factor of UGG boots. ‘Sometimes’—you can say in the midst of a bite of a perfect scotch egg—’style and comfort go hand in hand.’
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Pork & Sage Scotch Egg
All hail the scotch egg, may she reign over our beloved pubs forever. These days, it’s surprisingly hard to find a good scotch egg but this one has enough sage and crunch factor to make it a winner, baby.
Jersey Rock Oysters
Just eating oysters at the pub, wbu? Fresh quality oysters, a no-brainer power-move if you’re coming here for date night.
Hand-raised Pork Pie
Piccalilli. Fun to say, nice to eat, and when consumed in large doses with this lovely little pork pie, it’ll make you feel truly alive. A formidable combination.
Ham, Egg, & Chips
Somewhere out there, right now, a Vice article is being written about the gentrification of pub food in response to this dish being £18. We understand. We’re upset too. But, once you and your Monzo account recover, know that it is a banging plate of comfort food and the spiced pineapple ketchup is perfect with the ham.
Beer-Battered Fish & Chips
What we have here is fish and chips for royalists. We’re always going to have a soft spot for the oily, fried stuff from the local chippy, but this is a good tarted-up version. One for anyone who really enjoys some proper crispy batter.
‘Ribeye’ is the battle cry of gastropubs and The Cadogan Arms is no different. It’s pricey and comes with plenty of hot cow intel that’s perfect for people who just really love hearing about rich biodiverse pastures. Basically, if you fancy a steak, know that you’re in safe hands.
Imagine this approaching your table. No, please, indulge us. Imagine this being walked towards your table on a glistening tray, knowing that you’re about to slice your spoon through layers of zesty rhubarb, thick custard, and just so so much cream. And guess what, it tastes just as good as it looks.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Rich, gooey nostalgia with a side of clotted cream. Delicious.