The Waterman's Arms

British·
££££
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Silver Award
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SquareMeal Review of The Waterman's Arms

Silver Award

The Waterman’s Arms is the brainchild of local boy Joe Grossmann, who also happens to be the founder of successful burger chain Patty & Bun. Having grown up in Barnes, and drawing on his extensive hospitality experience, we’d argue there are few more qualified for the job. He’s also enlisted the help of two more restaurant pros to lead the ship: Sam Andrews (ex-Camberwell Arms and Ducksoup) runs the kitchen, while Simon Walsh (formerly Anglesea Arms) leads front of house.

The result? This restaurant-slash-pub is a neighbourhood gem if ever we saw one. The team are genuinely warm and enthusiastic, while a playlist of groovy, old-school tunes practically screams: ‘come on in, we’re gonna have a good time’.

The interiors too are cosy and unpretentious, with exposed brick walls, wooden furnishings and minor embellishments in the form of empty wine bottles and flickering candles. We can think of no finer place to spend a chilly autumn evening, with the Thames glistening under lamplight through large, wood-paned windows.

There’s an approachable wine list where even the most conservatively priced option is delicious. And then there’s the food. Elevated British fare emerges from the kitchen, plate by plate, from fleshy chunks of roasted delice squash paired with mellow fontina cheese and crispy sage, to a bright and crunchy radicchio salad punctuated with juicy orange slices and salty pork belly. We select our main course from a chalkboard menu: a whole piece of bass cooked over a wood-fired grill, and swimming in the most gorgeous saffron butter. It’s perfectly seasoned, glowing with the gentlest nudge of chilli heat, and falls apart at the slightest touch.

There’s nowhere to hide with this kind of cooking which is bold in its simplicity and beautifully unfussy. Our dessert, a brash scoop of ganache-like chocolate mousse finished with sea salt crystals and a lick of olive oil, epitomises that point to a tee.

Joe has hit the nail bang on the head with The Waterman's Arms, serving really excellent food and drink in a space that feels like you're visiting a mates for dinner. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Lively, Romantic, Traditional
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Romantic, Special occasions

About

The Watermans Arms is a restaurant and pub overlooking an idyllic stretch of the River Thames. The kitchen is headed up by Sam Andrews (previously The Camberwell Arms and Ducksoup) who helps to curate an ever-changing menu of unfussy dishes, alongside a carefully curated drinks list.

Interiors are stylish and simply appointed with exposed brick walls and neutral tones. Formerly an 1850s Watney pub, the building has been restored to bring the pub back to life, with original features likes double height ceilings and oak balcony doors. The pub is split across two levels: the main bar and dining room lies on the ground floor, while upstairs is a private dining room able to seat up to 16. 

Sam Andrews has created a menu centred around simply-cooked, high quality ingredients. Dishes are designed to be shared, and start off with the likes of lamb ribs served with yoghurt and honey, and toasts topped with rouille and mussels. Larger dishes further down the menu might involve cannelloni of pumpkin and radicchio, hake with tomato and bread stew and spit roast chicken with accompanying chicken fat polenta. While for dessert, think baked malt custard with hazelnut, and chocolate mousse with poached pears. 

Leading the front of house team is general manager Simon Walsh, who previously worked at the iconic Anglesea Arms in Hammersmith. Drinks are, of course, a major part of the equation, with the bar serving a unique draught selection alongside local ales, ciders, a considered wine list and signature cocktails. 

Location

375 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9PY

020 4529 8970 020 4529 8970

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-21:30
Wed 18:00-21:30
Thu 18:00-21:30
Fri 18:00-21:30
Sat 18:00-21:30
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun 12:30-17:30

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

03 July 2024  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 1.5
Value 1

Anon

31 May 2024  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 1.5
Don't go here

The menu here is very strange. You need to ask about which are starters which are mains and what half of it means.  We eat out a lot and I hate menus with unknown ingredients  which make you feel like an inadequate inexperienced diner.  There is not a lot of choice.  Very odd menu which was an elimination process rather than a choice process.  I had the aspagus with haddock - the asparagus is hot, the slushy haddock pate it sits on is cold.  Not a yummy combination at all.  My friend had the peppers which arrived 5 minutes after my starter, Not seen that before. My main course out of deperation was the plaice for £24 which as a favour they filletted for me. It was a small sludgy mess on the plate in an unrecoognisable tasteless soggy sauce. The worst plaice I have ever seen or eaten. My friend had a minimal fish salad.  The couple next to us were served an unfilleted piece of small fish which they had to dissect with their fingers - what a sight to have to watch them picking miniscule bits of a fish off the bone. Thank god for the chips - the only thing worth eating.  

As a recompense for the awful main courses they gave us a desert. Another sludgy mess of meringue, cream and a few bits of apricot. Awful.  

Maybe they trade on being on the river at Barnes - we were there on a wet day inside and actually no view even on a good day can ever make up for this disappointing food and menuThis is a seriously avoidable restaurant. 

Go to Sam's at Hammersmith, Rik Stein, The Crossing, SW15 Home, Scotts Richmond  for a great time at any of thesse places for the same price!

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020 4529 8970 020 4529 8970

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