The Builders Arms is one of my favourite London gastropubs, combining great food with a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. Its central location makes it ideal both for catching up with my PR agency when I'm in town and for meeting up with journalists in a more casual setting. It had a refit a couple of years ago and is now frequented by a more diverse, independent-thinking crowd than just the Chelsea set, which is refreshing.
The specials menu changes daily, but I can strongly recommend the calves' liver and bacon, which is a favourite, along with the smoked haddock fishcakes and the steak sandwich. The signature dish is the Builders Fish Pie, which gives you all the sustenance you need, particularly on cold, blustery winter days. You can tell that all the ingredients are fresh and I love the fact that everything on the menu is a classic dish with a modern twist.
The homely decor draws me back to The Builders Arms time and again. The mismatched furniture, worn leather sofas, chunky tables and bookcases create a relaxed vibe, but the hustle and bustle of the area keeps things lively.
It's also a great pit stop for a quick post-work drink. What's more, the roaring fire is the perfect remedy for chilly winter evenings. Although it is part of the Geronimo chain, the pub's interior gives it a unique look and feel.
Where: 13 Britten Street, London, SW3 3TY
Contact: 020 7349 9040
How much: £20 per head