The days of popping in to the local for a quick pint are over. Nowadays, 90% of pub visits involve the eating of food – so going gastro is not just trendy, it’s necessary. Luckily for The Stonemasons Arms, they’re one of the few London watering holes that can claim their food really is as good as their drink…
The Stonemasons Arms on Cambridge Grove is one of Hammersmith’s most popular pubs, packed every night of the week. We squeezed through a Christmas party on our way in and were guided to a lovely, candle lit table at the back, which felt a million miles away from the merriness at the bar. Like all great pubs, it’s incredibly cosy, but also light and airy, with contemporary art lining the walls.
The menu is typically British with a European edge. After saying hello and taking our drinks order, our waitress told us the kitchen was incredibly busy, so recommended some fresh bread and olives while we wait for our starters. The bread came hot and fluffy in an array of flavours, presented in a wonderful rustic sack, and the olives came plumb and flavoursome.
We regretted gorging so much of the fresh bread when our cheesy starters arrived just 10 minutes later – generously portioned and beautifully plated. We opted for the torched goat’s cheese, butternut squash, basil, honeycomb dish, which was a colourful and innovative work of art, ideal for the sweet-toothed. The rustic presentation continued and we tucked into delicious crispy squid bulging out of a brown paper bag and piping hot, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese from a vintage white and blue china bowl.
Luckily I’d ordered a light Caesar salad for my main meal, which I washed down with a delicious glass of red. Though it’s a hard dish to get wrong, the salad was faultless, consisting of fresh, grilled chicken breasts, salty anchovies, homemade croutons and crisp, parmesan lathered iceberg lettuce. My dinner date had a 35 day hung, grass fed, Hampshire rump steak with crispy, wedge-like chips, plum tomato, mushrooms and pepper sauce; pub grub done excellently. All the food here is fresh and locally sourced and there were some tempting dishes on the menu which will definitely lure us back, namely the Hampshire beef blade served with heritage carrots, pink fir potatoes, and a smoked aubergine puree.
Though the food is second-to-none, The Stonemasons Arms is still a pub at heart – and the bar is brimming with a huge range of drinks. They offer more than 60 world wines, as well as craft beers, cocktails – including their own Shaky Mason, a beer cocktail made with Fuller’s London Pride – and plenty of real ales. Head down for a roast on a Sunday – I hear it’s the perfect finish to a week.
Enjoy 10% off food with your Portico Places card. (Not available on the Festive Menu, or in conjunction with any other offer.)