October 21 2014

Pig Out: The Kings Arms, Monmouth Street

Tom Carnaghan and Ben Nathan opened the doors to the fully refurbished incarnation of handsome Monmouth Street hostelry The Kings Arms a little under a year ago. Whether you were a fan of the old version of the “Kinger” or not, to describe this longstanding boozer as becoming “a tad rundown” in the latter months of its old life would be an understatement. Today, the KA is very much on the run up again: a scrubbed-up paean to modern day inn sensibilities, complete with chunky furniture, funky flourishes and a characterful covered courtyard offering added value for puffers.

The Pig dropped by for a slice (or rather, several slices – read on) of good cheer here on a Wednesday evening, when a very tasteful Open Mic night brings subtle live music to the menu. Fear not, X-Factor avoiders, there be no warbling, attention-grabbing divas on this stage (in fact, there’s not even a stage); instead, expect a line up of top quality, locally sourced, original singer-songwriters MC-ed by local musician/music producer Andy Cook, all of whom flaunt their talents at a volume level that never threatens to dominate general sociable proceedings but adds very pleasant texture to the overall experience. As for soul sustenance of the Pig-orientated kind, we munched several slices of totally moreish garlic bread (the kind with a chargrilled crust slathered with lashings of allium sativum and butter in equal, over-generous amounts) and an absolutely perfect Bath Farmer pizza: pancetta, chorizo and vine tomatoes baked onto a crisp, homemade dough and served in a oblong tin to slice to your requirements according to the size of your party. We shared just one of these bountiful beauties between two of us, but it could easily have served up to six nibblers as a substantial with-drinks grazer. On Wednesday evenings, you can grab a large pizza and a bottle of house wine for just £19.95 – if, that is, you manage to drag yourself away from the KA burgers, which The Pig can also highly recommend from previous visits to this lovely, lively, thoroughly heartwarming new(ish) kid on the pub block. But whichever evening you choose to pay court to the Kings, one thing is reliably guaranteed: those arms wrap themselves around you and give you a great big hug. Hoorah!

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