Having only recently changed to The Drapers Arms after being O’Neills for many years, it was interesting to see what they had to offer by ways of atmosphere and quality. The Drapers Arms as it is now, only opened a couple of months ago and is in complete contrast to the O’Neills that it used to be before. Gone are the generic big name ales and newly welcomed are local guest ales, which prove very popular with the residents of Ealing and the surrounding areas.
The Drapers Arms is located right in the heart of Ealing on a lovely common at the end of the Broadway. Just a stones throw from the shopping mall, the pub is the perfect place to stop off for lunch or dinner after a hard day shopping. There is no car park on site, but there is parking at the shopping mall across the road. There is also no pub garden due to the location and setting so no designated smoking area.
Upon arrival, customers are warmly greeted by servers, on this occasion Gemma and the led to a table. If a reservation has been booked then a reservation sign is placed on the table. (our table was booked for 7pm but the sign invited people to sit there if they wished to until 6.30pm). Gemma was extremely friendly, detailing the menu, and giving her recommendations. Luckily, only two items weren’t available.
Since changing from O’Neills, the pub itself has had a complete overhaul – from a refit which has given the pub some gorgeous interiors to the general atmosphere – the pub really seems like a fun place. It is child friendly until 8pm and dogs are also allowed. The Drapers Arms is also very community based – something which is great to see in a pub – hosting live music and poetry nights and even putting up the artwork of local artists.
The menu itself was pretty extensive and very affordable in comparison to other pubs in London. There was a number of different starters to choose from and whilst the soup of the day was tempting, the evening’s starters consisted of the salt & pepper squid with lime mayonnaise and the chorizo with foccacia bread. The squid was divine – often it can be too chewy to eat but this was just right and the salt and pepper flavouring was perfect, not overdone. The lime mayo was intriguing, expecting the citrus taste to be overwhelming, it was actually subtle enough to bring a nice flavour to the dish. The chorizo was as chorizo should be – full of flavour. The starters themselves are of a generous portion and it was clear that a starter could serve as a main meal. Gemma said that indeed many groups order a few starters between themselves and have a tapas style meal.
Between courses, Gemma made sure to check everything was okay, asking if drinks needed topping up and generally being quite friendly – telling us about the local amenities and answering any questions we had. There was a short wait until the main course which was southern fried chicken with chips, coleslaw and a home made pickle dip. Fried chicken is a classic and there was no disappointment with this course, especially the home made pickle dip which very tasty! Another favourite for the main course was the picked the beef burger with melted cheddar. It was very impressive and filling!
The atmosphere of the area itself was really nice and this added to the good feeling experienced about The Drapers Arms. The music could possibly have been was a little quieter – at some points it was hard to hear each other and of course, not all music is going to be to everyone’s tastes.
The Desserts were definitely worth the little extra wait. Sticky toffee pudding and the peach and raspberry crumble with apple sorbet were the choices for dessert. Crumble is delicious, but it is exciting to try new combinations and this was incredible – probably the best course of the night! It really was a taste sensation.
Overall,the experience at The Drapers Arms was really enjoyable. It is truly maximising its full potential and becoming the go to pub for the residents of Ealing. With a great atmosphere, friendly and welcoming staff plus good quality, affordable dishes, it is wholeheartedly recommend as one of the places to watch.