Thursday 12 November 2009

The Anglesea Arms, Selwood Terrace, central London

Popular with sleek, well-heeled twentysomethings, the Anglesea Arms' heated outside tables and front bar can be buzzing early on a week day evening. The dining room, downstairs at the back, has a more sedate atmosphere, but you may still need to book in advance to secure a table. There is a wide selection of drinks, including real ales, such as the spicy Doom Bar and the local stalwart London Pride. But the chirpy service by the lone waitor in the dining room can be erratic and even forgetful - some drinks orders might never appear. The menu is gastropub through and through. The starters (£4 to £6) include a well-seasoned watercress and lentil soup and a nicely-balanced squid and chorizo salad, but both are on the small side. Among the main courses, the rich and very meaty beef burger (about £12) with smoked cheese and salty, chunky chips is tasty and very satisfying, but should really be accompanied by a proper side salad and a better quality bap. The sausages and mash is nicely-presented, but is not very substantial for the similarly-hefty price tag. Not great value, given the slipshod service and the slightly stingy portions, but the Anglesea Arms is a cosy pub with a lively atmosphere. 6/10