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Cumberland Arms, West Kensington

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user reviews of the Cumberland Arms, West Kensington

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A no nonsense gastro pub if there is such a thing - friendly service, ter5rific but not overly fussy food and good ales (sadly, the lunchtime nature of my visit midweek prevented me from indulging). West Kensington is a fascinating area - a bit in between and quite mixed in income. Less scuzzy than 20 years ago but still not completely gentrified. This is a great option if you are attending anything at Olympia.
BoehmBawerk - 14 Apr 2016 16:17
Definitely the best bar in this area of London. The staff understand the meaning of service with a smile. Old style décor, including a burning fireplace, make this a much loved boozer frequented by locals and travellers alike. A range of real ales was on offer. My only gripe would be for the pretentious menu. The food itself was very nice but also very expensive.
Mr.Raffles - 30 Oct 2012 20:26
I'm surprised nobody has reviewed this place for a couple of years. I was here on a midweek lunchtime and it wasn't overly busy inside. Although there were a few on tables just outside, enjoying the unseasonal weather. Our primary purpose here was business and dining. But we did sample a couple of ales, of which there were 3 - Harveys Sussex Bitter, Otter Bitter & St Austell Tribute. Cider was Aspalls. I must say that the food was good, especially the fresh bread and the sizeable doorstop sandwiches. Seemed to be more of a food-oriented pub, as opposed to a typical boozer. But it may have just been the time of day.
blue_scrumpy - 29 Mar 2012 20:01
A pub refurbed in what the designers think an old pub should look like (stripped back to the wood floors tables etc) though it's a reasonable attempt. had three ales on - went for the Hogs back TEA which was vinegary and on the turn. Took it back and the barman pulled some and tried it himslef before agreeing and turning the pumpclip round and offering an alternative (Otter in this case) which was a decent pint. Would drop in againif in the vicinity.
anonymous - 15 Jul 2010 17:37
If you want to wait over an hour for a measley salad and a bowl of tasteless pasta at £10+ then this is the place for you. The service is appalling and the food is dire. Due to the time it takes for the food to reach the table this isn't a lunch time option as you need at least 2 hours (1 of hunger) in order to get any sustenance. The management should be ashamed of themselves!
Horton - 25 Jun 2010 14:34
Busy, food-orientated operation but still very much a pub. Bright interior, nice relaxed atmosphere and plenty of bar staff, even at busy times. Three handpumps - two of which usually offer Pride and TT Landlord in good condition - but annoyingly you do often have to ask for a top-up. Attractive exterior enlivens North End Road.
rpadam - 28 Mar 2010 11:01
Overrated - decent beer but expensive and in a poncey atmosphere
oftenscore6 - 26 Jul 2009 22:53
Good old traditional feel corner pub, impressive floral displays outside compliment the blue woodwork well. Front corner entrance, with the bar L shaped directly ahead. The area opens out behind the bar with a slightly raised area beyond. The interior has wooden floors, traditional seating at scrubbed wooden tables, wood panelled walls with a muted colour scheme above. The pub is rather foody but to its credit not to the detriment of drinkers, a reasonable selection of Pride, Hop Back Summer Lightning and Harveys Sussex (3.20) on today. The chalkboard does advertise a huge wine range.
A nice place but my pint was pulled unbelievably short, so much so that I assumed the barman would return to top it, however I had to call him back to do so.
Maldenman - 19 Jul 2009 21:07
The Cumberland Arms is the Sloaney staple in West Kensington. After moving from Parsons Green to West Ken last year, I don't miss the White Horse at all any more!! The Cumberland has an extensive wine selection and carries many great guest ales and traditional beers. The food is key here also with an outstanding selection of Mediterranean fusion dishes. I believe the menu changes every couple of weeks. The summer time is fab with the tree shaded seating area outside. Winter is wonderful too - with the roaring open fires and candles everywhere - very atmospheric !! I must disagree with the previous reviewer (jabbasoft) - this is the perfect local place for a pint or a glass of wine and a catch up! I have only seen the tv on once and that was for the Rugby 6 nations - the way it should be! Top marks Cumberland Arms !!
financier - 30 Jun 2009 12:52
Went for pre-Christmas drinks and food here. Quite austire, definitely not a pub to go to for a pint as it seems much happier catering for eaters vs drinkers. the wine and beer was nice if a little expensive, but besides your drinking companions there is no culture/entertainment/fun to be had. better pubs for a pint nearby though the food here is probably better than anywhere else local (inc tesco metro...)...
jabbasoft - 7 Jan 2009 16:03
Could this be the best pub in London ?! I think it could! Real Ales, Fantastic Draught Larger and Wheat Beers (my favourite - Hoegaarden :o)), not to mention exquisite food, a dazzling wine list and an ambience unlike any other. The Cumberland is truly a wonderful local to have and somewhere off the beaten track that's well worth the trip. I have taken everyone from family & friends to work colleagues and clients to this place. The Cumberland has never failed to wow everyone. The chefs are as good as anywhere I have eaten in London.
The unpretentious but comprehensive menu is consistently updated with exciting Mediterranean style dishes – try the Tagine with various meats or fish depending on the season (last time I had it with Monk Fish and it was glorious) Other Pub Stables for the more traditional diner include the Cumberland Sausage and Mash or the Lamb Shank. My current favourite veggie dish is the pumpkin risotto. The team of chiefs are truly wonderful have always maintained a standard of excellence far beyond anything that the title “Gastropub” may infer. Every dish, whether it be meat or fish, pasta or veggies, is cooked to perfection using only fresh ingredients.
This pub is a home from home with some of the most friendly staff you’re likely to encounter. They never fail to greet you with a warm smile ! The music is excellent and spans all genres – not just a cd on repeat as is the case in most pubs these days. Board games are available if you fancy some scrabble while you wait for your food!
December is my favourite time of year in the Cumberland with the decorations, the open fires and the candles. In fact. the candles are lit year-round which is part of the charm. When summer arrives, there are plenty of seats in the sun-trap outside to enjoy some al-fresco dining.
I simply cannot say enough about the quality of the Cumberland Arms.
distinguished_barfly - 9 Dec 2008 14:14
I really like this place..I've taken two friends who've felt the same too. Lovely to sit next to the cosy open fire with a large glass of wine. Never eaten here but the food looks and smells lovely!
ManhattanGirl - 9 May 2008 17:49
great little place!!! staff frendly, great wine selection on offer. did not eat but food looked good.
beaf1981 - 15 Apr 2008 08:55
Quality pub: I judge this on the fact that I went in for an informal corporate drink + lunch and then spent the entire afternoon and evening rooted to the spot. London Pride and Tim Taylor were both excellently kept but unfortunately the Harveys had run out by the time I decided a change was needed.

Nice little sun trap by the side of the pub which was conducive to a bit of alfresco eating and drinking on an overcast day in April so I can only guess this will be better in the Summer months. Menu exotic by some pub standards but all who ate thoroughly enjoyed the grub. Hate to use the term ‘gastro-pub’ as this sometimes conjures up the sterility offered by the chain gastro joints and sterile this wasn’t.

Inside the pub is equally pleasant: Almost rustic, certainly comfortable and welcomingly un-pretentious.

I’ll definitely remember this one for the next time I’m in the area.

Johnny_B - 10 Apr 2008 13:15
Smartly, but sensitively, refurbished traditional street-corner local serving a fine pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord at £3.00 yesterday. Black Sheep was also available, but the London Pride clip was reversed.

The blackboard listed some ambitious - but unpretentious - sounding dishes at reasonable prices. Being on my way to a food and drink event at nearby Olympia I resisted temptation.

As Millay says, a successful compromise between trendy and traditional. It reminded me of the 1940s pub in "Goodnight Sweetheart" in some respects...

I'd go back.

Alph_river - 16 Mar 2008 12:55
You have to admire places like this, it’s clearly an old style boozer that has tried to re-invent itself to fit in with the Kensington & Chelsea crowd. Generally it succeeds, or at least judging by the Sotherbys private party going on when I was there it does. Two cask ales including Timothy Taylors Landlord , a large wine list, good background music and a lively atmosphere. One criticism, the Gents is ridiculously small for the size of the pub, why do so many places spend thousands on refurbishing the bar and a couple of quid on the toilet facilities. Within handy walking distance of Olympia and Kensington High St.

Millay - 23 Dec 2007 19:25
I love this pub! Have eaten there several times, and the food has always been mouthwatering - and comes in hefty portions, which is very pleasing. It gets quite smoky (though not for long) and can be difficult to get a table on a Friday night - or even a Thursday. There are some old school games like Kerplunk and Jenga if conversation runs dry. Friendly staff, and some local visiting dogs, if you're lucky.
anna_spanner - 5 Jun 2007 17:27
Busy, but not unpleasntly so, on a Friday evening. Bright interior. Decent pint of London Pride.
rpadam - 23 Mar 2007 21:37
Agree it's definitely one of the better pubs round here but that isn't really saying that much, it's a bit small, food is decent, tables outside for the summer which is nice if you're not stuck on the one nearest the road, and the staff have always been quite friendly and efficient. Gets too packed on Thursday and Friday (another indication of the lack of decent places in the vicinity) but if you're early enough to grab a table, happy days. Slightly on the pricey side though.
jimmythefish - 12 Dec 2006 14:44
Decent pub..great mediterranean food if on the expensive side..(don't expecting a burger n' chips or Sunday roast) and there's papers to read (kept my boyfriend happy waiting for me in the hairdressers)

Nice to have places to sit outside even if it is next to the bus stop...thoroughly recommended for a quiet evening down the pub!
vlb - 1 Aug 2006 14:08
This is one of the best pubs in the area. Well kept ales and a decent wine list. Menu changes daily and is a good step above normal pub food. I like it.

Whoever said the tv was on was in another pub there isnt one in here.
Tomi - 20 Jun 2006 14:23
6 out of 10 for 6 pints on a lunch break. Thank you for my most enjoyable afternoon at work. The wine list didn’t stack up to my friends nostril test - he only managed to get though 1 bottle plus a few tasters from the very friendly staff. The food was better than the average pub, with some interesting selections.
CSIdrinker - 4 May 2006 14:53
Good neighborhood place with a mostly young crowd, but not so young that a 40-year old feels out of place. Nice atmosphere and decor. Was busy, but not so busy that it was difficult to find a seat or space to stand. A shame that the London Pride was not on hand pump, but the other ales were well-kept.
Mr.Matt - 19 Nov 2005 16:04
Are you sure you were in the Cumberland annonymous? There AREN'T any tellys in there for a start so what you and the fat hairy gorillas were watching is anyones guess.

It is a great bar - by far the best in West Kensington.The food - although over priced - is very tasty and not your usual gammon & chips pub meals.The staff are amazingly well trained & friendly. I would recomend the Cumberland to anybody who liked good,reasonably priced beer,decent food,excelent service and a great atmosphere. If your idea of a good night out is sports and loud yelling and piss-taking then don't go to the Cumberland as you will be sorely dissapointed.
mariusmaxtible - 30 Oct 2005 13:34
went ther cos i thought it wa gastro style disapointed tv on showing results of football with fat hairy gorillas blocking bar felt very uncomfortable it was a sat afternoon on my own didnt stay
anonymous - 7 Sep 2005 13:58
Great food, great drink, great service, great place. Anonymous on 7 May sums it up: "an oasis in a sea of crappy chav boozers".
BobsHarmonica - 2 Aug 2005 14:21
Agree food is a little overrated (and of a ubiquitous type) but The Cumberland is an oasis in a sea of crappy chav boozers.
anonymous - 7 May 2005 17:56
A great bar with the most friendly staff I have encountered in a long time.Can get busy,but always has a very pleasent, non aggresive atmosphere.
Mr.Raffles - 26 Mar 2005 16:24
Offers all you could want for a cozy and delicious meal in mellow surroundings. Always a great relaxed atmosphere.
Kath - 1 Nov 2004 10:40
Food was good but a very fussy menu. Also very inflexible couldn't order separate sides, couldn't mix sides and mains. Underwhelmed.
David - 21 Oct 2004 16:20
Nice pub but over-rated food. Everything is swimming in Olive Oil and served with Rocket. Still there's not a lot of choice in the area so you could do worse.
Paul - 10 Sep 2004 12:15
Had very nice food at the Swan recently. The owner used to cook at the Eagle EC1
John - 18 Jul 2004 17:51
A fantastic place - I couldn't agree more with Diana's comments. Another place to add to the list is The Swan in Chiswick.
anonymous - 4 Apr 2004 21:27
I just love this place. Food is delicious, staff are great and wine list hits the spot in many ways. Quite definitely the best in the area!! Owned by the same people that run The Altas , Earls Court and The Fox & Hound in Battersea. Its a formula that works!
Diana - 22 Dec 2003 19:49
Good food, an ever changing menu and a fab wine selection to go with it - backgammon and scrabble for those long lazy weekend lunches - can't beat it
Swood - 2 Dec 2003 08:26
Great pub for either a quiet (romantic even?) evening in cosiness, or a good time with a bunch of mates. Fantastic food, great selection of beers and wines, all well priced. THE best pub in the area.
Dion - 30 Oct 2003 13:13
This pub has had a very good makeover that's made it more appealing without losing its trad pubby charm. Quite possibly the best pub in the area.
chrisa - 16 Oct 2003 21:47
excellent food at reasonable prices with a wine list to match.
phone number printed on this website is wrong however...
Silas - 16 Jul 2003 16:37
sexy barstaff and fantastic food, i live in baron's court and its easily worth the walk - sitting on the benches outside on a summers day - can't beat it.
James - 9 Jul 2003 15:24
this place is great. i have yet to try cheese with toad, though.
Mark - 14 Feb 2003 00:37
bueno me gusta mucho la comida de cumberland arms, en especial cuando cocina,pucha no me acuerdo como se llama el chef, pero es un gordito pelirrojo, habla castellano, y es un cuero,ah, ya me acorde se llama arturo,y la comida fue sausages with mach potatoes, tomato chili jam and mix leaves, ok thank you bie, bie.
valeria massa (argentina top model) - [email protected] - 8 Feb 2003 03:48
Interesting menu. I particularly like "Gorgonzola cheese with peas (pears) toads and leaves"
Techno - 10 Dec 2002 12:47

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