The Cleveland Arms, Paddington

The Cleveland Arms is a pub and restaurant at the end of a sleepy mews in Paddington. Other than Frontline Club, the area isn’t exactly famous for its food offering. But maybe things are on the up…

This is a proper “posh” boozer. The ground floor sees a bar with stools and a snug out the back complete with open fire. Downstairs is the dining room which looks onto the open kitchen. Particular attention has gone into the design; there are candles galore, the walls are filled with reclaimed roof tiles, and there are vintage lights from New Orleans.

The concise menu is overseen by head chef Louis Lingwood, previously of Oldroyd in Islington fame. For some reason, I go for fully veggie for the evening, even though the Middle White pork chop (£15), with its mass of soft and crisp fat, and the onglet, all ruby red, served with viola artichokes galore (£16.50), are most appealing.

I start with ricotta ravioli in a butter sauce (£8). There are broad beans and peas, but not the dry, mushy type. Here they have bite and offer a sweet flavour. It’s a lovely plate of pasta.

Gnocchi (£14) comes in more butter, this time with a grating of parmesan topped with a bountiful amount of black truffle. They’re soft and squidgy, much like my tummy after eating them. This is straightforward cooking but the sort of food you want to eat with a bottle of wine and some good friends.

For dessert, the creme brûlée (£7.50) hasn’t set so is a sugar-topped custard which is a shame as the vanilla-rich flavour is spot on. Almond tart (£6) is a nutty little number brought alive by some caramelised apples and creme fraiche. The pastry case is exquisite.

I don’t think I’ll be moving to Paddington just yet but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be eating anywhere else when I’m next in the area. There’s a Soho House feel about The Cleveland Arms – matched with Louis’ simple and delicious cooking and you’re onto a winner.

Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant