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Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Canton Arms, Stockwell

The burghers of St. Ockwell - salt of the earth indigenous and upwardly mobile incomer alike - have reason to rejoice; the scruffy Canton Arms has gone upmarket - revivified and handsome in its spruced-up Victorian duds -  it shouldn’t alienate the old faithful in seek of a decent pint -St Austell Tribute or Old Hooky, say - and a meaty Scotch pie in a quality local.  The pub’s renaissance comes courtesy of owner/ chef Trish Hilferty, with a helping hand from  the peeps at seminal Southwark hero, the Anchor and Hope. Go if only for her range of upper crust sarnies and toasties that introduce foie gras and haggis to the Breville. Old school starters such as oxtail and split pea soup, rillette, smoked cod’s roe red cabbage and crème fraîche or Arbroath smokie are well judged; so too, mains that typically include vegetarian-friendly risotto, cassoulet to share (£28), pork loin with fennel and olives, or wild rabbit, bacon, mustard and mash with a rich chocolate pot to follow. Old world wines from £12.50 offer great value so it makes sense to trade up to some fabulous Frenchies.

177 South Lambeth Rd SW8 7582 8710