venison scotch eggs

My girlfriends and I get together for our regular date night once in however-often-we-feel-is-necessary. Away from our taller, hairier and decidedly less intelligent masculine counterparts, we are free to wile away the hours discussing make up, travel, careers, weddings, designer bags, child birth, bling, shoes, eye creams, hair styles,  fashion, and where, on our infinitely long list of places to eat, we should go for our next date night.

This weekend, we bent the rules ever so slightly and at the recommendation of a number of other foodies, we adjourned instead for a date day, at The Harwood Arms in Fulham.

The Harwood Arms is a sneaky little bugger. Tucked on the end of a residential street, it had me doubting my usually flawless internal GPS (yes, I have an incredible sense of direction, another one of my completely awesome skills), to the point where I even pulled out my phone to consult Google Maps. 

I found my way eventually, but like a military weapon with several layers of stealth, The Harwood Arms is disguised so well as a regular English pub that even once outside, I was still unconvinced I’d come to the right place. I mean, this place is meant to be gastronomically extraordinary, what with recommendations for its scrumptious scotched eggs and roe deer. Gastronomic prowess in this pub? Ok, whatever, I’m going in.

On the menu for the day were a number of hearty, traditional British dishes and an even heartier discussion on face creams and eye gels, what works, and why doesn’t mine work? We shared venison scotched eggs and garlic and herb escargot for starters, and discussed the merits of Neal’s Yard’s Rosehip Seed Oil, which is apparently going to blitz the vat of oil that is my T-zone into oblivion. I’m excited.

garlic and herb escargot; venison scotched egg

I’d never had a scotched egg before, and frankly, didn’t even know for sure that a scotched egg was actually an egg (well, the Canadian dish, beaver tail, is not actually a beaver’s tail. Thank goodness for that). But the venison scotched egg is an egg ~ it’s a mid-boiled egg, wrapped in venison sausage, battered in crumbs and fried. Not normally a fan of yolk that is remotely runny, I still thought the venison scotched eggs were pretty tasty, the yolk not leaving the sticky, mildly bleh after taste that I usually get. The rest of the non-yolk-hating crew thoroughly enjoy the scotched eggs, so I’d hazard a guess to say that the eggs were probably very good, and yes, I may even order it again. One day.

{I’ve now dribbled on too much about the scotched eggs and can’t pen a-whole-nother paragraph on the garlic and herbs escargot. But it’s an easy one. In their individual cups, they were just damn cute. And surprisingly tender!}

Scotched eggs and escargot all cleaned up, we moved onto mains, half of us ordering the grilled roe deer (very tender, for deer) and the others sampling the cornish cod (brilliant texture, a little salty) and pork belly (not like you’re imagining, this was more like sliced pork salad. No crackle).

Cornish cod with brown shrimps, grilled spring onions and sea purslane; Linkenholt Estate Roe deer grilled on bay, with a salad of baked beetroots, grated horseradish and crispy garlic potatoes

A fellow foodie had told me that she “would rate that roe deer as one of the best pieces of meat [she'd] eaten all year.” I’m not sure if I would so confidently say it’s the best meat I’ve had all year, I mean, Gaucho, people, but the roe deer was tender, and the crispy garlic potatoes, well they were definitely the best potatoes I’ve had all year. (Although now I’m thinking about the chicken salt covered chips at Bodean’s… but I digress…)

Mains rolled onto desserts (such is the awesomeness of having a lazy Saturday afternoon lunch), and conversation rolled onto travel, with the girls scheming to completely out-do the boys on our girls’ trip in September. Like that’s even going to be hard. Pffft.

We shared a selection of sweet thangs: mini jam-filled donuts, earl grey tea ice cream, gooseberry eton mess and brainstormed potential travel destinations where we can laze by the pool (pre-empted with a bikini shopping outing of course), and do nothing but unwind, relax and eat ~ a whole date weekend!

mini jam-filled donuts with clotted cream; earl grey tea ice cream with Harwood Arms Garibaldi biscuits; gooseberry eton mess

The Harwood Arms
27 Walham Grove
Fulham SW6 1QR
0207 386 1847
website

Winner of the prestigious 2009 CATEY award (Caterers and Hotel Keepers) for best menu.

Harwood Arms on Urbanspoon

This post has been featured on Tastespotting.

12 Thoughts on “girlfriends, scotched eggs and a rainy afternoon at the Harwood Arms

  1. This is my local and I’m a huge fan. Those Scotch eggs are a thing of wonder. So glad you enjoyed it, Catty!

  2. yet another mouth watering blogpost about this place, yummy, I really really need to go now! Those scotch eggs are achieving godlike status!!!

  3. *sigh* Your post made me miss the food in London! I’ve never had a scotch egg with a runny yolk though. They’ve always been hard boiled. Sounds gorgeous! :)

  4. i luuurve runny yolk. and i never got round to trying scotch eggs while we were there. ah well, hopefully next time.

  5. Ollie: It definitely is a wonder I liked them, even with my dislike for runny yolk! I’d definitely recommend them :)

    Kang: Go.

    Lorraine: A couple of people now have told me that scotch eggs are meant to be hard boiled. Weird! I’d probably like them even more that way actually :)

    mc: Next time? Are you coming back? :)

  6. Myself and Lizzie had terrible trouble finding it too. We loved the scotch eggs but felt the salt on top was superfluous, we asked them to remove it for our second round!

  7. Helen: yes, I thought the saly was a bit over the top as well, but good to hear you had seconds! :)

  8. Lucky! I’ve never had an official Scottish egg before. Or is it called a Scotch egg?

    There’s an almost-similar thing in Indonesia that’s basically a deep-fried hard boiled egg. That’s the closest thing I’ve eaten to it.

    Your pictures have such good lighting, I’m jealous.

  9. Louise: It’s probably the same thing. The menu says Scotched Eggs but I’ve been told it’s just Scotch Eggs but really, it is just an egg, crumbed and fried. This one’s a yummy version though :)

  10. Oo la la…

    Not a big fan of scotch eggs, but those look ridiculously delicious.

  11. Clement: you know what? I’m not normally a fan of egg yolk at all, but these scotch eggs and Lantana’s baked eggs are teaching me otherwise. Lots to learn. and eat :)

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