#imjustsayin: The Kensington Arms

Katie sticks her teeth into a disappointing Sunday lunch


Where? Kensington Arms, Stanley Road
When? Sunday 3rd February
Ordered: Pigeon Terrine (x3), Roast Lamb (x2), Roast Beef (x1), White Wine, 2 Bottles of Still Water, Tea & Coffee
Bill: £100
Good For: Atmosphere, service, interior decor
Bad For: Quality and temperature of food

If only the food could have been as nice as the waiter!

The exterior of the Kenny, located in the heart of Redland, is nothing out of the ordinary – white washed walls and orange lamps. As pubs go, nothing to write home about. However, once you step inside you’re transported into a beautifully chic eatery.

The atmosphere gets full marks. Bustling, busy and filled with laughing families, one couldn’t ask for more. We were seated on a corner table by the kitchen where you could see your food being prepared – which I always find such an interesting touch to any restaurant.

The wooden tables and leather sofas were delightfully rustic, which, coupled with the warm lighting, really set the perfect ambience.

Our waiters (we had two) were equally charming. As my Dad said, “it looks like this pub is run by a bunch of friends!” There was no pretentiousness, no annoying repeats of ‘is everything all right for you here?’ and they were more than happy to see to our every want and desire, with a large smile spread across their faces.

However, I wish the food have had been as good as the service and décor…

All three of us ordered the Pigeon Terrine, which swiftly came out of the kitchen served with some toasted ciabatta and cold gherkins. It was horrendously dry.

Usually, parfaits, pates and terrines are served with chutney of some sort; however all that accompanied this starter were several dry, vinegary mini gherkins.

I had to ask for butter (also not provided) in order to have some sort of moisture to add to the dry toasted bread and the dessert-like terrine.

Next came the mains, which, unfortunately, were equally uninspiring. My mother’s beef looked as though it had come straight from the abattoir onto her plate. I have never, ever seen roast beef served so rare in a British restaurant in all my life.

Even to describe the poor animal as ‘rare’ would be an understatement – it was practically still in the field. Unfortunately, this also made the meat cold, though the brilliant waiters kindly took it back and had it cooked to an edible standard. In a study of contrasts, my lamb could have been cooked a little less!

To our disappointment, the plates weren’t even lukewarm which affected the temperature of our meat. In addition, our delicious plate of spring greens, carrots and beetroot would have been a lot tastier had they had not been stone cold also!

The whole experience left me feeling somewhat disheartened. Such lovely waiters, such a lovely pub, and yet the eating experience for us was a complete flop – and not a cheap one either.

I have heard wonderful things about The Kensington Arms, and so for that reason I will return to give it another chance, but unfortunately I shall be avoiding Sunday lunch on Stanley Road from now on.

Oh, and please put a mirror in the ladies toilets – #imjustsayin.