North London Food & Culture

Dartmouth Arms NW5

Dartmouth Arms: the best damn potato wedges in NW5?

Elevated is not the word for these beauties at York Rise's neighbourhood watering hole

We’ve always loved (and, let’s face it, aspired to live on) York Rise: it somehow maintains that sleepy, genuinely villagey vibe being resolutely off-the-beaten-track. It has nothing of Primrose Hill’s bustle, or nearby Swain’s Lane’s restless traffic.

At its heart is the wonderful Truffles (read our interview with owner Lee here), a stalwart for nearly 15 years and the genuine beating soul of the area. Lee and his mum Ann are proper local ‘national treasures’, and, if you’ve never popped by for a coffee (or negroni), I advise you do so imminently.

Dartmouth Arms
Lovely cobbled yard outside Dartmouth Arms. Photo: SE

The Dartmouth Arms has been through its ups and downs over the years – remember when it was shut for what seemed like ever? – but right now, as you can see from these pics, has never looked better. The interior (see below) is candlelit, with open fire and Penguin classics, as well as sky-lit rear dining room, while the exterior benches and tables comprise the cobbled yard. It’s a kind of makeshift alfresco terrace. And it’s here you’ll catch the evening sun – a surprisingly tranquil experience.

The other bank holiday we did just that, after finding the Bull & Last too hectic, and Swain’s Lane strangely deserted.


We’re glad we did. The menu has in recent years had touches of Scandi influence, due to current owners Disappearing Dining Club, the food-and-drink duo of founder Stuart Langley and Swedish head chef Fredrik Bolin, who’ve hosted award-winning pop-ups across the capital for well over a decade.

Dartmouth Arms NW5
Classic interior: Dartmouth Arms. Photo: SE

We shared two well-priced mains, an open Lindstrom chuck steak beetroot burger – very rosy – with fried egg and pickles (main pic, left), and a seared pork neck with coleslaw (main pic, right): just thing with a cold bottle of vino (they’d been cleaned out of rosé at the weekend, said the cheery bar person).

But the best thing we ate were actually the accompanying levelled-up potato wedges – not a phrase I ever imagined writing. However, these managed to combine being exquisitely crunchy and crispy – roasted, what, two or three times? – with the softest, fluffiest innards you could imagine. In fact, we couldn’t stop raving about them. Thankfully there was a walk back afterwards to burn a calorie or ten.

Which made us think: where is your favourite place for tatties – of any kind – in the area? Hit us up on @kentishtowner on Twitter, or @londonbelongs on Instagram.

Dartmouth Arms is at 35 York Rise NW, follow @dartmoutharms

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.