The menu boasted five courses of porky goodness. First out was the smoked ham hock and pig's head terrine with toast and picallili. A coarse, jellied terrine was stuffed with flecks of herb, meaty jelly and chunks of pork. I long ago knew that I wanted to marry whoever's genius hand was behind the pickle-making here, and the picallili, crunchy and tart, was a delight.
Next up, a dandelion, black pudding and shallot salad was topped off with soft boiled eggs. The black pudding here was the softest I've had and it luxuriated upon the leaves nicely. Why aren't dandelion leaves more widely available? Robust, intense and bitter, I first tried it pulled out of the ground at Riverford Organic Farm. I love bitter foods and the silky egg yolk tempered the greenery nicely.
A course of simply sliced gammon was slightly on the dry side, though enlivened with yet more wonderful pickles; gherkins, beetroot and turnip.
The next course was one of my favourites - salt pork belly stew with white beans and watercress. Comforting, moreish and homely, the studs of pork were tender and slightly fatty, coating the mouth nicely.
Roast loin of pork came out next, accompanied by this crunchy and vivid beetroot, celeriac and apple salad; just the right hint of sweetness and earthiness that married together with the pork nicely, without having to resort to the usual apple sauce.
Crispy crunchy crackling and juice slices of meat were simplicity itself, but it showed that you don't have to do much to a good piece of meat.
The advertised rhubarb sorbet was garnished with angry blood red oranges that tartened up the dessert and yet managed to stay creamy. After those courses of rich pig meat this was a welcome and palate cleansing end to the meal.
I waddled off home, pleased as punch to have been fed so well after having spent two weeks existing on rice and beans. This was a one-off event, (follow them on Twitter to hear about upcoming ones) but it showed off some obvious skill in the kitchen and I'd gladly eat there again.
The Drapers Arms
44 Barnsbury St
London N1 1ER
Tel: 0207 619 0348
I dined here as a guest of Nick's, one of the co-owners. As you've seen, I like to make bets. He lost, and I won a complimentary seat.