Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review: Draper's Arms Ealing

Waaay back in the day, Ealing had a Firkin pub (remember them?) where I used to go with my geeky sixth form buddies and drink Two Dogs and Breezers. Ah, those were the days... they don't make music like that anymore. Anyway, after a while, the Firkin became O'Neills, and I went there with my work buddies and drank Guinness.

And now, it is The Draper's Arms. But all I get to drink there in my current condition is lemonade or the odd 0% fake-beer-like-product (wave the label around so haters don't think you're poisoning baby: 0% ABV OK??). It's a bit more grown up and well dressed than previous pubs on the site, which might be karma telling me something. I dunno.

Anyway, The Draper's is a sister-pub to the ever popular North Star: but with more floor space, laid back sofas and a more chilled out vibe. Less DJ sets and Friday night shenanigans, more big sofas and Sunday roasts. The kooky lighting and vintage furniture is still there but in a lighter, airier atmosphere. It's a great idea because the drinks and food reflect the North Star's high quality - but the five deep queue for the bar is absent and you can find a seat. Sometimes that's just what you need! It also appears more accessible in terms of room shape to those with pushchairs or additional needs - however the toilets are down a flight of stairs (there is a disabled toilet tucked away on the main floor though). 

The drinks include high-quality international lagers, real ales and a good wine list, as well as various soft drinks including hot drinks, the usual soft offerings and vintage-style bottled juices and lemonades. I've eaten there twice now; the food is really tasty, service is quick and it is a pleasant airy space to have a meal. This week I had the Sunday Roast (choice of 4 - I had pork loin) which came in a good sized - but not overwhelming - portion. The meat was very well cooked and not dry at all, even though we ate about 3pm: the sides were tasty too. There was a mixture of leeks and peas, roast new potatoes, a bit of crackling and a gigantic Yorkshire pudding - another plus point being they put enough gravy on the plate. This is a big thing to me, a big thing indeed. You have to have enough gravy. It did.

The music and ambiance was just right too: well-chosen choons 'not to loud, not too quiet' for a daytime pub. It was nice to see a really varied clientele making use of the new pub from couples, to families, to tipsy grannies. All in all a great atmosphere.

Any cons? Well, sadly it has no beer garden ... however this is not, for me, a deal breaker as the windows have great views for people watching on all but the hottest of days.

This is a personal review based on a personal/anonymous visit with my own money. 

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