Over the weekend, the OH and I popped into The Cadogan Arms to try their new seasonal menu by their new head chef, Sam Hawkins (who came from the Bull & Last in Highgate, which I hear is very good). Intrigued to discover the pub’s new offerings, we hadn’t anticipated their new cocktail menu too.

Yes, that’s right, cocktails! I’ve always liked the espresso martinis at The Cadogan Arms but have never ventured past this reliable cocktail … until now.

On Saturday, I started with the Aperol Shrub Spritz which included aperol, kaffir lime infused Chase vodka, strawberry plum shrub, lemon and Prosecco. If you were wondering about the latest trend in bars to use vinegar in cocktails, well that’s the shrub part of this cocktail. It’s a process that involves getting the most out of the fruits and it completely works. There was no way I could detect a sense of vinegar in the complex flavours of this cocktail, which I really enjoyed.

The Cadogan ArmsSo on to the food. For my starter, I had queen scallops, chorizo with sea spinach and hazelnut powder …

The Cadogan Arms…whilst the OH enjoyed the pork knuckle and pistachio terrine with apricot chutney and scratchings.

The Cadogan ArmsAnd for main, I stayed with seafood and chose the steamed Shetland mussels with Jugged Hare pale ale, smoked bacon, garlic, leeks and  hand cut chips. For both my starter and main, what struck me the most about these dishes was the freshness of the ingredients. The flavours of the mussels really brought the sea closer to Chelsea, it was quite wonderful.

The Cadogan ArmsThe Cadogan ArmsWith both my starter and main, I enjoyed a glass of Macon Davaye. 

The Cadogan ArmsMeanwhile, the OH ordered the roast Iberico pork shoulder with almond purée, pickled plums and pork jus, which was fantastic. This dish was rich in flavour and very tasty, according to the OH who also remarked upon the quality of the meat.

The Cadogan ArmsI had every intention of not ordering dessert. After all, I had sworn myself off sugar. But I was also intrigued by the popcorn démode cocktail that was new on the menu. The ingredients for this cocktail included popcorn infused Buillet Bourbon, Luxardo Maraschino, sugar and Peychaud’s Bitters …

The Cadogan Arms… which I had with the hot chocolate pudding, blood orange syrup and mascarpone. Oh yes, I was going for it!

The Cadogan ArmsAs for the OH, he ordered an espresso martini which was matched to accompany a selection of ice creams on the dessert menu.

The Cadogan ArmsThe OH requested two scoops of burnt honey with thyme and one scoop of salted caramel. I didn’t taste the latter but the burnt honey with thyme was a real delight to try. I loved the thyme element especially.

The Cadogan ArmsOverall, it was a fantastic meal. The pub was packed with a mixed crowd and there was even a conversation about how The Cadogan Arms has changed over the years. Thinking back to my teen years, this pub has come a long way and I really like the direction it’s heading in.

Good work with the new menu, Sam!

The Cadogan Arms, 298 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UG. 0207 352 6500.

Disclaimer: The meal was complimentary for the purpose of the review. This didn’t sway my opinion in any way. The busy dining room was testimony to the pub’s delicious offerings.

I’m so thrilled to be writing this post right now because I’m very excited about The Little Black Gallery‘s second home at The Imperial Arms.

Tamara Beckwith and Ghislain Pascal have teamed up with Iain and Amelia Heggie to bring us some of the best photography in London as well as the best street food in association with Eat Street. Yes, that’s right, the street food scene has moved West!

Last night was the launch party to celebrate this fantastic collaboration and all I can say is hats off to The Little Black Gallery for spearheading this venture. Why?

Well, I’ve always thought The Imperial Arms was a missed opportunity. I’ve tried many times to give it a chance but it’s never won me over until now. What’s changed my mind?

I love the attention to detail …

And of course, that means the photography which adorns the walls …

This pub now oozes style whilst at the same time, it is very inviting …

And as for the food? A big win!

The Bowler, which specialises in meatball dishes, will be serving up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings whilst other members of the Street Food conglomerate will be setting the menu on Friday and Saturday nights.

I tried a couple of The Bowler’s dishes and I could instantly see myself coming back for more. The meat was both succulent and very tasty: real melt in the mouth experience that tingled the tastebuds.

I also crept upstairs to watch The Bowler in action as each meatball burger was handcrafted with plenty of care and attention. Very impressive.

And the result?

Very, very, good!

And who would have thought that a meatball could be made up in so many different ways?

What’s so exciting about The Little Black Gallery and Eat Street working together is that I’ve been looking for something with a bit of edge for a while on the King’s Road. You know, that element of sexiness and deliciousness under the same roof?

Well, I’ve found it at The Imperial Arms and if you follow me on Twitter, just don’t be surprised if you see quite a few photos coming from here! This pub is so on my radar now.