Ok, we've got to admit from the start - this was our first trip to The Harwood Arms.
Yes - the multi-award-winning tavern that was the first London pub to secure a Michelin star and has The Ledbury's Brett Graham as a co-owner. That one. It's obviously been a major omission and one we can only partly put down to a Londoner's deep-held reluctance to travel, what for us is 16 tube stops, across town.
So when we heard they were celebrating their 10th birthday and got invited down to try a special menu they're putting on for it, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to right this particular wrong.
A bit of background first - The Harwood's emergence as one of London's best eating pubs came about from the formation of one hell of a trio; co-founders Brett Graham, Mike Robinson who owned the Pot Kiln pub in Berkshire and Edwin Vaux from the Vaux brewery launched the pub back in 2009. They brought in chef Stephen Williams (now at 40 Maltby Street) to help them create what Brett describes as a vision "to go beyond the typical pub fare." They did this in spades, winning a Michelin star just a year later.
Since then, the pub has gone on to keep its star and is now No 5 in the UK's Top Gastropub's list. A lot of that has to do with the talent in the kitchen and the brains behind the operation, but there's also the matter of their produce too. Mike is responsible for the deer management on more than 20,000 acres of land in Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. So when you're ordering one of their famous venison scotch eggs or a dish of roast muntjac, then they'll be able to tell you exactly where it comes from.
Right now, the Head Chef is Sally Abe who has a pretty stellar CV starting her career working for Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, moving on to The Ledbury and then to Elystan Street under Phil Howard before coming to The Harwood as head chef.
If all that makes you either want to make a return visit or, like us, go for the first time, then here's what's on the 10th anniversary menu (much of which is also on the main menu as individual courses). It kicked off with the scotch eggs you see above and then...
And if that wasn't enough - there are also lemon curd doughnuts with Earl Grey cream.
The Harwood's 10th-anniversary dinner will be held on 20 May 2019 when Sally and Brett will be joined by all of the former Head Chefs as they return to The Harwood Arms for one night, then they'll have the menu on for two weeks for everyone to order.
Our visit to the Harwood Arms was a long time coming - but now we see what we're missing, we'll be planning a return visit...
Hot Dinners dined as guests of The Harwood Arms
More about The Harwood Arms
Where is it? Walham Grove, Fulham, London SW6 1QP
When does the anniversary menu run: Tuesday – Saturday evenings, 20 May - 1 June 2019
How much: £80 per person with an optional (but very much advised) £45 wine pairing