A great way to spend a sunny day in London is dining alfresco in a nice restaurant followed by a stroll in a beautiful park. That's what I did a few weeks ago when I was invited to review The Guildford Arms in Greenwich, a handsome Georgian gastropub in Royal Greenwich, just a short walk from Greenwich DLR and ten minutes away from the park.
There are two dining rooms at The Guildford Arms, but the main attraction during the summer is the recently refurbished garden which features a lawn (with an all weather awning), a brand new BBQ and a terraced area.
It looks like a pub, but the Guildford Arms is a hybrid of gastro-lounging, fine dining and alfresco schmoozing. Stylishly stacked over three floors, it’s an inviting hangout with a beautiful sunken beer garden – probably the best we’ve come across in London.
We had lunch on the terrace a few weekends ago, on a very hot day. We drunk Lemon & Lime Cordial and chilled white wine, and tasted a few dishes from the August menu by chef patron Guy Awford.
The menu changes monthly and features modern British food, only using the freshest seasonal ingredients.
We shared a salad to start: Broad Bean, White Asparagus & Fresh Peas with Garlic & Caper Crumbs and Buttermilk dressing. It looked like a light, summer edition of a Ceasar Salad and it wonderfully combined different flavours. I love salads and this is definitely one to recreate at home.
Onto the mains: I didn't feel like eating meat or heavy dishes, as it was such a hot day, so I chose the Grilled Mediterranean Vegetarian En-croute with Buffalo Mozzarella, Rocket Salad & Pesto.
It was fantastic! The flaky buttery pastry was warm (not hot) enough to melt in your mouth without melting the mozzarella. The grilled vegetables were seasoned simply with olive oil and salt. I loved the Mediterranean flavours of this dish, it was exactly what I want to eat on a summer day!
My husband ordered the Pan-fried Loch Duart Salmon, Sautéed New Potato & Salsify, Spinach, Samphire & Tomato Butter. Completely different type of dish from mine, but equally satisfying and beautifully presented.
Not content, we moved on to desserts: a Lemon Posset with Fresh Blackberries & Cardamon Shortbread for him and Pavlova with Strawberries & Whipping Cream.
The lemon mousse was our favourite of the two, light and refreshing. The pavlova had a crisp meringue shell and soft centre, but it was too sweet for our taste.
I finished my meal with an Espresso Macchiato.
After lunch at The Guildford Arms I suggested to my husband to go for a stroll in London's oldest Royal Park, Greenwich Park, since we are so rarely in this part of the city. I had only been in this park once, running through it at the 18th kilometer of my first half marathon, so excuse me for not remembering much of it except a blinding leg pain!
A visit was definitely overdue, especially because Greenwich Park is beautiful! There are a few roads going through it and yet there are plenty of leafy and quiet parts of the park where you can relax and have a picnic. The main attractions are obviously the Royal Observatory and the terrace with outstanding views over the city.
We laid on the grass and rested in the shade of a tree for an hour before heading back home. I am so grateful to have been invited to try The Guildford Arms, because not only we had a lovely lunch but we also discovered a bit of Greenwich.
If you are not familiar with this part of London, like me, then why not plan a day out in Greenwich now since the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the garden at The Guildford Arms? I would recommend it!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are my own.