Albert Arms is another one of those places I kind of knew it existed but didn’t really know much about it and didn’t clock that it was an option for dining out. When they invited me for lunch I was most intrigued, I hadn’t even realised they did food.
Better still, it’s an independent pub that has been in the same family for 40 years. There’s even a boutique hotel in the mews, who knew?
You enter into a roomy space with a unique horseshoe shaped bar (a nod to nearby Sandown racecourse?). This is a pub that takes its beer very seriously. They’ve just won pub of the year for their area by the Campaign for Real Ale and this year they have pledged to served 200 guest ales.
The bar area is popular and gets very busy at peak times. But enough about that, we were here for the food.
There’s a sophisticated feeling dining area to the rear of the bar. It’s a Goldilocks size with lots of windows that create a nice, bright space. There were a good number of people in for lunch, which created a buzzy atmosphere.
On the way to the roof terrace we discovered the location for our next mum’s night Christmas party, a private room that will hold all 50 of us.
There’s a cosy rooftop terrace that’s shielded from traffic noise by the front section of the building. It seems to be an afternoon sun trap.
Most impressive of all, meat is sourced weekly from their own farm in Somerset that raises rare breeds – Longhorn cattle, Gloucester Old Spot pigs and Black Leg chicken. The cattle live in a forest and dine on herbs and flowers, meat is then aged for at least 35 days which promises to give a completely unique flavour to their beef.
The Albert Arms clearly takes their steak very seriously and offers nine cuts of beef on their menu, along with several different types of sauce. Not that you need a sauce for steak this good.
In addition to the steaks, the menu features more meats and several fish dishes, this is a carnivore’s paradise. There’s also a specials menu that changes frequently. Everything is cooked fresh to order and they will cater to any dietary needs.
Prices on the regular menu aren’t cheap but are in line with what you would expect to pay for this style and quality of food.
The Sunday Roast menu has a larger than average selection for a very good price – one course is £9.95. It also promises to be very child friendly with ‘table wide’ colouring competitions.
For starters, Bridget opted for the colourful Tricolore Tower £7.00 avocado, tomato and mozzarella with basil dressing. It was very fresh tasting with a lovely dressing.
I decided to order from the lunch menu, which is £7.00 for one course or £9.50 for two. For my starter I chose the Egg Florentine poached egg on a bed of spinach topped with parmesan shave. Wow, this was a Popeye portion of spinach and I certainly felt healthier for eating it all.
We obviously couldn’t come to the Albert Arms and not have a steak. For her main Bridget had the 8oz fillet/tenderloin £23 with a Blue Cheese cream, stilton and parsley sauce £2.50 (The sauce comes served in a little jug.) The meat was incredibly tender, melt on your tongue yum. It’s amazing that a low fat fillet cut can be so flavourful.
Steaks come served with a choice of potatoes but they were happy to substitute for a side salad. And what a big side salad it was, Bridget could only manage half of it.
For my lunch special main I selected the Baked cod fillet in Marinara sauce, sauce contains capers, black olives & cherry tomatoes. The fish was perfectly cooked and the sauce was just plain tasty. I loved every bite, and there were quite a few of those as it was a generous portion for a lunch serving.
My lunch main also came with a choice of potato, naturally I went for the triple cooked chips. They were very good but I didn’t manage to get very far down the bucket. It sure was a whole lot of food for £9.50. I think this is one of the best value lunch menus around.
Despite my best intentions to be good to my waist and not order dessert, I couldn’t resist the tart of the week – chocolate and peach £5.00. Peaches, like scallops and beetroot, are another weakness of mine. This tart was yummy, more chocolate than peach but not too sweet.
If you’re in the mood for steak, The Albert Arms is the place you’re looking for. Yet it offers much more, including great value lunch and Sunday roast menus. I am so glad I learned about it, my first visit most definitely won’t be my last.
82 High St, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9QS
Town car park
We were guests of Albert Arms but this is no way biased our review.