The County Arms, 345 Trinity Rd, Wandsworth Common, SW18 3SH www.countyarms.co.uk
Adjacent to the green pastures of Wandsworth Common, The County Arms is the perfect place to kick back with a pint of bitter and enjoy a roaring fire with friends.
Its recent revamp has been a cause for celebration so me and a friend intrepidly journeyed south of the river for it’s coming out bash – and were pleasantly surprised by a pub that packs a punch.
From the outside, The County Arms doesn’t appear to offer anything out of the ordinary, a Young’s sign shows you where its loyalties lie and the orangey street lights from Trinity Road gives it the look of an inner city pub. It’s only when inside that you realise the size of the beast and the welcome respite it offers in the midst of the mammoth Trinity Road. For starters the roaring open fires make for a cosy atmosphere that does nothing to tempt you to a ramble across the common, but makes it perfect for lazy afternoons filled with good food and a decent bottle of plonk.
For the older gentleman fireside armchairs are the ideal place to sample a few of their ales over the Sunday papers, and for the young, a Moroccan inspired chill out room is clichéd, but effective for doing just that – chilling out. There are two definite parts to the pub, the main bar area holds the olde-worlde appeal of a local boozer while the high ceilinged, statement wallpapered off-shoot, has the feel of snazzy bar, which the delicious Caipirinha attested to. Despite this, the room keeps its pub spirit with another huge fire and lovely wooden tables and floorboards – and I’m told is buzzing on Sundays with families enjoying their roasts without the washing up.
The small kitchen has a menu that offers excellent British staples like Sausage and Mash alongside more adventurous choices like a delicious Ceviche of Organic Scottish Salmon. The tasty morsels we were offered were packed with flavour and suitably dainty, our favourite being the salmon with pickled ginger relish, a perfect compliment to the firm and flavoursome fish.
In essence The County Arms offers an excellent watering hole for those wanting something outside of Clapham’s bright lights. It’s proximity to the Common is a major bonus and it’s surprisingly large garden continues the rural feel. If you’re after somewhere that will keep the professionals and families happy, this offers the perfect combination of old and new to keep both parties entertained.