Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Hurlingham Pub and Kitchen - a solid Saturday afternoon choice, but not for romance

The Hurlingham is one of our local pubs, a mere 5 minute stroll from the flat, and yet for some reason it's somewhere we never go. I think having another pub just 5 doors down from the flat doesn't help but I've always been intrigued by the Hurlingham because it offers a different great deal each week night, from quiz nights with discounted beers, to half price wine night to half price burger night (the Hurlingham Burger has got quite the reputation in Fulham!)

The other reason I'll always have a bit of a soft spot for the Hurlingham Pub and Kitchen is that it was the scene of my first date with the boy, so it only seemed fitting that when he was down from the frozen North we return to the place where it all began for some half price burger action.

The Hurlingham is a fairly mainstream pub, but with some really cool, quirky little touches. Think models dressed as divers hanging off the wall, really random artifacts dotted around the bar and fun little vintage posters hung up around the place. All mixed with the standard big screens showing Sky Sports, a fairly typical dining area and a really cute little garden area at the back. Helpfully, a lot of this little area is covered and there's one lovely little nook where you almost feel as if you're in your own little pagoda.... almost!

Anyway this being January, there was no way in hell we were going to eat outside, constantly interrupted by the fairly constant stream of girls heading out for a gossip and a fag. In a fit of organisation (not so random, I'm a compulsive planner) I'd gone in a few days earlier to reserve a table by the fire. And unfortunately, this was the first instance on which the pub fell down. We walked into the pub bang on the dot of 8:30 only to find that some of the other guests had patently ignored the 'reserved' sign and occupied our table. The sign was still there for all to see, but the pub had taken and delivered their order without thinking to ask them to move. By 8:30 the pub was pretty full (burger night always gets big groups of rugby lads in) and so the only table left was one of those horrid high surfaces with bar stools, clearly designed for watching sport, downing some beers and generally anything but dining.

Determined to enjoy our evening, we sat down and got the drinks in. Given this was a Tuesday, it had to be the burger, right?! The whole evening had been dedicated to it. So we were pretty disappointed that on Burger night of all nights, the pub informed us that they couldn't provide us with those home-cut chips I'd been looking forward to all day. The waitress was very sweet and apologetic, and we were offered either mashed potato or extra salad as an alternative, but it was a disappointment none the less.

I personally enjoyed my burger, there was just the right amount of bacon and cheese on top, but the boy is a bit more fussy than I am and was disappointed to receive a well-done burger having requested his meat medium-rare.

All in all we had a pleasant evening, nothing more really. The staff at the Hurlingham are great, but there were a few disappointments on the night itself. This is a real shame, as it's a great place to get the beers in and watch the sport, and always seems to do a roaring food trade on Sunday. Yet, I don't think I'd go back to dine again. The local competition (the Sands End and The Ship) is just a cut above, although also charge much dearer prices.

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