Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Queens Arms SW7 5QL

Date: Sunday 28th April, 2013

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Joe, Heather, Oscar, Angel & Ellen. 

As Oscar was headed back to work in Africa today, we chose somewhere en-route. Ellen and Angel had been here before a concert at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years ago and remembered it was tucked away in a Kensington Mews.

Probably not the most attentive of waiters  - we were initially unsure if we had a waiter or if we had to order from the bar, as we sat for about 30 mins before someone came over, and we had to ask for the bill twice.

The place was packed, and had a really nice atmosphere, seemed like it was full of local people, rather than tourists, which considering the area was a good thing.

We ordered the beef, nut roast and pork. The beef was disapointing as it was really just a more expensive version of the steak on the menu - with added yorkshires and trimmings. It was nice, but it was really just a steak and trimmings - and not enough gravy.
The nut roast was really tasty, so much so that the steak eaters had wished they had gone veggie. Potatoes were crispy outside and fluffy inside - just the way we like them. 

Heather and Justin had ice cream and Angel had the Dark Chocolate Brownie with ice cream - lovely and soft in the centre.

Mains: £14 for the Beef, £12.25 for the Pork and £12.25 for the Nut Roast.
Desserts: £5.75
Website: The Queens Arms
Bookings: Yes

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Alma N1 4QU

Date: Sunday 20th January, 2013

Choice: Heather
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Joe, Heather, Angel & Ellen. 

The first Roast for the year, and on a very cold (0 degrees) snowy sunday afternoon we all headed to the Alma. First observation is that it is run by New Zealanders, the second is it was quite cold, they did have some gas heaters placed around the pub but the toilets were like ice dens and you really only noticed the place was warm when you went from the either the toilet or outside to the main pub.

Cold aside, the food was fabulous. We had the Beef, Chicken and the Vegetarian Wellington, all were exceptional. The beef tender and cooked perfectly, the chicken perfectly moist, the Wellington not dry - as then can be - and the potatoes crisp outside and fluffy inside.
The only complaint about the vegetables was there was not enough, as it was so good we wanted more!
We had desserts - Whiskey Brownie, Apple & Blueberry crumble and the Cheeseboard.

The pub had a Scottish theme this week, due to Burns day - we assumed this is because the Kiwis wanted to distract from Australia Day (the day after Burns day) and highlight their Scottish heritage. 

Overall a fantastic meal, just a pitty about having to sit there in our woolies!

Mains: £15.50 for the Beef, £13 for the Chicken and £11.50 for the Nut Wellington.
Desserts: £5.50
Website: the Alma
Bookings: yes

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Florence SE24 0NG

Date: Sunday 30th October, 2012

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Joe, Heather, Angel & Ellen. With guest, Alex.

We chose the Florence because Angel had been there a few times in the evening with work colleagues and also once for lunch with friends...also because it is the sister pub to one of our favorites - The Bishop in East Dulwich.

Making a reservation on the phone was straightforward enough and they keep the parties with kids out the back near the garden where there is also a great indoor play area for kids, complete with a baby changing area - parents with kids are perfectly catered for. However on our arrival after we had found our table and Ellen went to the bar to get some drinks and was greeted with a very impolite waitress who ended up giving her the wrong drink, now it may have been Ellen's Scottish accent, but if you are unsure, ask. 

The table waitress was luckily much more pleasant and she took our orders efficiently and with a smile. Nice. 
We ordered Roast Beef, Roast Pork and the Veggie Meatloaf with Mushroom sauce.

The Yorkshire was huge and the Pork and the Veggie Meatloaf were fine, middle of the road food, not the best but no where near the worst we have had. 

The Beef however was tasteless, albeit a very generous version of tasteless beef. The gravy was watery and the cabbage was in a creamy sauce which was more watery than creamy (and the watery gravy mixing with it did not help). It tasted like nothing had been seasoned - we had to add salt and pepper to everything. 

On the up side the potatoes were lovely and soft and crispy outside. Perfect. Pitty about the beef. We are not sure if we want to venture back to the Bishop incase the standards have slipped across the group. 

We didn't have dessert, opting to get something from the street market near the train station.

Mains: £13.50 for the Beef & Pork, £11.50 for the Veggie Meatloaf.
Desserts: None were had.
Bookings: yes, via phone

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Avalon SW12 9EB

Date: Sunday 29th July, 2012

Choice: Claire
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Joe, Angel & Ellen. (with loads of birthday guests)

Unfortunately we have not been having the best weather this year, actually we have had a pretty rubbish summer the past 4 years. So we were very happy to be inside this very cosy, welcoming pub a very short walk from Clapham South tube. It’s Claire’s birthday so we had many guests, but unfortunately Heather was on holiday in Tokyo and could not be there. To get down to the food, the roast beef was amazing (as you can see by the photo). A huge portion and loads of veggies( although Ellen got ripped off and only had 2 very small quarters of Potato. You can even get extra yorkshire for £1.50. It is on the menu as a side if you ordered something else you can still get a yorkie! The beef was very tender and the red wine gravy was amazing. Claire had pretty much the only veggie option, which was a goats cheese and tomato tart. On the menu it was supposed to have a pine nut dressing but Claire said she could not taste it, however the minted royal jersey potatoes delicious. The deserts were brilliant; A really soft Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla ice cream, Apricot & Almond tart, And the Summer Berry Pavlova – all £5.50, there were several more desserts but these are the ones we had. Overall a brilliant pub. 

Mains: £13.50 for the Beef.
Desserts: £5.50
Bookings: yes, via phone

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Calf SW4 0DR

Date: Sunday 6th May, 2012

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Heather, Claire, Justin, Joe, Ellen, Angel & Naana.

Generally we were not that impressed with the place. The Roast beef was a bit rare but tasty. The Yorkshire was burnt, there was celery in the vegetables which we are not decided if that was odd or interesting, definitely questionable. 
The additional sides good, well the cauliflower cheese was. The potatoes were inconsistent bith fluffy & soggy. Carrots were very disappointing, quite tastless. 

The nut roast good, but there was no gravy for the Yorkshire which it came with. 

The service was rubbish at the bar. Everyone seemed to be new and no one seems to know where anything is. Ordered within seconds of each other but food came out at different times. 
We didn't have desserts as we were so dissapointed, but we did enjoy ice creams from the Gelateri along the road towards the common.

Mains: forgot to get the prices, but certainly not worth what we paid.
Desserts: ?
Bookings: yes

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Hope SW17 7EG

Date: Sunday 29th January, 2012

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Heather, Claire, Justin, Joe, Angel & Ellen. (with guest Kym)

We will having a few roasts in South West London in the next few months as Claire and Justin have had their baby boy Joe.
The Hope is a gastropub in 'Upper Tooting' - though I would really say it is Balham. It was a little crammed and the tables were close together, but I guess you notice these thing more when you have a pram in your group.
The 21 day aged West Country beef was nice, cooked through, and the kale and yorkies were nice, the potatoes were a bit over cooked (burnt). they brought out bought jars of horseradish, which was really sharp and amazing! Forgot to write down the name. 
Ellen and Angel also ordered a side of the cauliflower cheese, which was a little disappointing, not cheesy enough.
The Desserts were really tasty and we were happy we ordered them - Sticky Toffy pudding, Mascarpone & Amaretto cheesecake with fruit compote. The Cheeseboard was good, but as most cheeseboards, not enough crackers.
Overall a really nice afternoon out. Plus they sell Mean-time lager!

Mains: £13 for the Beef, £10 for the Nut Roast.
Desserts: £5
Bookings: Online booking system

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Alexandra SW19 7NE

Date: Sunday 18th December, 2011

Choice: Claire
Who was there: Heather, Claire, Justin, Joe, Angel & Ellen. (with guest Claire's mum)

A very popular pub in Wimbledon, close to the train station and near the shops. 

The food was not really amazing. We had to chase them up for the food. Also (our fault for not checking) there was no vegetarian roast. 
We ordered dessert, but the apple crumble was cold in the middle.
Overall disappointing. Probably won't be back, unless for a quick pint if we are shopping in the area.
Forgot to take a photo.

Mains: £13.95 for the Beef
Desserts: £5.25

Bookings: 020 8947 7691

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Butcher & Grill SW19 5BY

Date: Sunday 23rd October, 2011

Choice: Claire
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Angel & Ellen.
Guests: Laura & James

Originally we were supposed to go to the Rose & Crown in Wimbledon Village. We got there, got drinks, waited for us all to arrive and then went to order food and were told the kitchen would be closed for an hour (this was at 3pm) so we went across the road to The Butcher & Grill.
Now not strictly a pub, more a restaurant, the  Butcher & Grill is just that - a butcher at the from and a grill house at the back. We didn't really  read the menu, we saw the Roast Beef and ordered. Claire got the red wine risotto with mushrooms and chestnuts Risotto with added vegetables.

There was plenty of beef served but very close to medium-rare, but the knife they have you was massive, so it cut through the tougher rare bits. The vegetables were amazing, lovely soft honeyed carrots and parsnips with green beens. The potatoes were soft and mushy too, lovely. 
The yorkshire pudding was massive, but Ellen thought they had been pre-cooked and frozen. 
Angel was the only one who had desserts (naturally) which he had a Yorkshire cheesecake, it more like a cheesecake with raisins, but quite thin and served with clotted cream. It was a little overcooked.

Roast Beef - £16.50

Yorkshire Cheesecake  - £6.25
Bookings: yes

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Princess of Shoreditch - EC2A 4NE

Date: Sunday 25th September, 2011

Choice: Heather
Who was there: Heather, Angel & Ellen.

This place was packed to the rafters! Well, we did have a late lunch today 2.30.
Claire and Justin could not make it as Claire is heavily pregnant and it was a bit too far to come over the other side of London, so it was just Heather, Ellen & Angel.
The place is lovely, typical gastropub and filled with all the locals you would expect to find around Shoreditch. The tables were very close together, but Heather said she had been years ago and there was an ‘old-man-pub’ feel to downstairs and a lovely restaurant upstairs. So downstairs has been updated and is really quite nice.
There was a really long wait for the food once we were finally seated and ordered, but the nice waiter came and apologised, which he had to do again when we were waiting for our deserts.
They have a mixed roast  - which gives you a slice of beef, pork and chicken – Heather had this and Angel & Ellen both had the beef . The waitress warned us that the beef would be medium-rare and that if we wanted it could be cooked more, which was refreshing. So Angel had his well done and Ellen medium-well.
The duck fat potatoes were really crisp outside and fluffy inside, and the roasts were served with a delicious mashed root vegetables, beans, cabbage, broccoli and a Yorkshire pudding. All really well cooked, nothing overcooked. A really enjoyable roast.
Deserts we sublime, Angel had the Sticky Toffee pudding which was a generous slice of pudding served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, the pudding was light and cake like, with a sticky gooey sauce. Heather had the chocolate fondant which oozed a thick chocolate sauce and was also served with ice cream. Ellen had the cheese platter, which had a nice selection of cheeses served with red grapes and a nutty bread, but the cheese servings were a bit mean.

Mixed Roast - £15.50
Roast Beef - £15
Sticky Toffee Pudding - £5.75
Warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream - £5.75
Selection of Artisan cheese served with apricot chutney - £7.95
Website: Princess of Shorditch
Bookings: yes

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Rose & Crown TW9 3AH

Date: Sunday 21st August, 2011

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Heather, Claire, Angel & Ellen.

We decided to do Kew Gardens today, Claire, Angel & Ellen all met at Kew and we spent four hours walking around the gardens, climbing up the stairs to do the Tree Top Walk, also visiting the greenhouses and seeing the amazingly old plants which are cared for so well.
Afterwards we headed to the Rose & Crown. The choice was last-minute via and online search, the pub which looked like a modern, clean one had terrible reviews so we chose the Rose & Crown.
Call us Roast Snobs, but this one was pretty poor. What looked like pre-sliced beef, served with 3 half roast potatoes, a lump of mash, some cabbage and greens, and an obviously frozen Yorkshire. Quite disappointing.
The Nut Wellington was passable, but the disappointment of the vegetables brought the whole dining experience down. I know this is no reflection on the pub, but we had two wasps which would not leave us alone so Angel got a couple of glasses and trapped the wasps in the upside down glasses while we ate - and we released them when we left.
Due to this we didn’t bother with desert and instead visited the ice cream van which was parked just up the road back towards the gardens. Flake 99’s.

Mains: £8.99 for the Beef, £7.99 for the Nut Wellington.
Desserts: we did not have them (see above)
Website: roseandcrown
Bookings: Not really needed, but we did call them and book a table

Friday, 10 June 2011

Sunday 19th June

this needs to be added

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Vauxhall Griffin SW8 2TH

Date: Sunday 22nd May, 2011

Choice: Justin
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Angel & Ellen.

If Justin had not found this pub we would never have seen it. Tucked down a side road near Vauxhall. It’s a really homely place. It was not particularly busy which was great, no barging, no spilled pints.
Claire had the vegetarian sausages which she said were really tasty, The beef was ok, expected for £8.50, the rarer bits were a bit tough.
The Yorkshires were a little overcooked but Ellen liked this (she likes burnt toast).
The Gravy was one of the best things of the meal. The veggies were a bit soggy.

Mains: £8.50 for the Beef & Pork, £9.50 for the Vegetables.
Desserts: £2.75 for the ice cream
Bookings: Not really needed

Monday, 18 April 2011

Amersham Arms SE14 6TY

Date: Sunday 18th April, 2011
Choice: Ellen
Who was there: Heather, Justin, Claire, Ellen, Angel and guest Tarryn.

Walking into the place, Angel ordered a pint and as he carried to the table it slipped from his hands and covered the floor, the nice bloke behind the bar just poured another, nice one, thanks.
The Amersham Arms from the outside looks like a pub for students, which it kind of is as it is close to Goldsmiths College. The interior is full of eclectic things including some really old barometers. Unfortunately it smells like cleaning products and the mens toilet is a bit crap.
The place is absolutely brilliant value for money, a really generous serving of a tasty roast. Knock-your-socks-off horseradish and big, gorgeous Yorkshires. We had Pork, Chicken and Beef and also the vegetarian option – homemade butternut squash, mushroom and spinach tart. The Roasts are only £8. Amazing, even if the pork was a little watery, but the great crackling made up for it.
Claire was impressed they had the thought to not place the tart in the gravy so it did not get soggy.
The only negative of the roasts – the gravy is quite watery.
For dessert we shared a deep fried Mars bar. Ellen assured us it would be sweet – as a Scottish delicacy (!). It was served with ice cream and was actually really nice, but a little rich.

homemade butternut squash, mushroom and spinach tart

Roast Beef

Mains: £8 for the Beef, Chicken and Pork.
Desserts: Sticky toffee pudding £2.50 (!!)
Bookings: not really needed
Phone: 020 8469 1499

Sunday, 20 March 2011

THe Duke of Wellington W1H 2HQ

Date: Sunday 20th March, 2011
Choice: Ellen
Who was there: Ellen, Angel, Heather with guests Martina, Sandy & Paul.

In the middle of the Swedish area of London, not too far from Baker street, this pub is one of the posher ones we have been to, well it is Ellen’s birthday. We were put in the restaurant upstairs which has table cloths and everything. Downstairs the pub is quite nice and typical of a London gastro pub, though there are not many tables downstairs and they are very close together, I have been here for lunch as I work not too far away and they do a great pie.
The service was very good, probably because it is more like a restaurant up here.
We ordered most of the roasts – Beef, Lamb and Pork. The comment from Heather was that the Pork was even better than ‘Paradise’ which is really saying something as it is one of our favorite places to have a roast.
The potatoes were amazing. Yes AMAZING. Massive and the perfect amount of fluffiness! The horseradish was really creamy and had a terrific kick. The Yorkshire puddings were massive. £2 for an extra one which was greedy but necessary.
The only drawback of the venue was the music, it was Jazz, which was not particularly chilled out.

Mains: £17.50 for the Beef, £16.50 for the lamb and pork.
Desserts: Sticky toffee pudding £5.75
Bookings: Yes
Phone: 020 723 2790

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Greenwich Union SE10 8RT

Date: Sunday 27th February, 2011

Choice: Heather
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Angel, Ellen and Justin.

We couldn’t make a reservation at the Union so we all agreed to meet earlier than usual and have a browse through the markets and get to the pub to get a table. Heather said the bloke on the phone said to get there before 1.30 and we could get a table, he was pretty spot on because by 2pm the place was very full.
The staff are very polite and friendly which was such a refreshing change as in London it is hard to find polite service industry employees!
Angel, Ellen and Justin had the roast beef, Heather the pork and Claire the vegetarian option – which was really just the vegetables with a Yorkshire pud and veggie gravy.
The beef was tough and quite rare. They should really have given out steak knives. The roast potatoes were nice and fluffy inside but could have been crispier.
The roasts came with a delicious red cabbage and AMAZING whole roasted carrots!
Heather said her pork was a bit fatty but the crackling which she gave to Justin was really good. The apple sauce it came with was exceptional.
Angel and Justin drank the London Pale Ale which was a great choice, really tasty beer, the staff let them try the beers before they ordered, there were tasting glasses so they must do it often. On the table was a menu of the beers they had, with really detailed descriptions.
Three of us had desserts – all interesting mixes – Sticky Toffee Pudding with Gingerbread Ice cream, Chocolate Mouse with Raspberry Sorbet, and Apple Crumble with Vanilla ice cream, ok the last one was a pretty standard mix. The Mousse and Pudding were amazing. The Apple crumble was

Mains: £12.20 for the Beef & Pork, £9.50 for the Vegetables.
Desserts: £4.25 each
Bookings: No

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Lighthouse SW11 4LR

Date: Sunday 30th January, 2011

Choice: Jason
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Angel, Ellen, Heather & Jason.

This bright and airy pub is on Battersea park road, about a 10 minute walk from Battersea Park Rail station. It looks like it would be a great summer pub with big french doors opening to the garden, but today it was cold outside and quite cold inside too.
Jason had booked the table over the phone but it was quite noisy and he could hardly hear the buy taking his booking so he forgot to ask about the vegetarian option for himself and Claire. Bad move. There was no vegetarian roast option and even the potatoes were cooked in goose fat (great for us carnivores though!)
£15 roast scotch premium beef. Yorkshire pudding was big and filled with delicious gravy. It was served with new season carrots, green beans and red cabbage. Roast potatoes, cooked in goose fat and they were very crispy and fluffy.
The Veggies had to have the only real (typical) option to them, the wild mushroom and thyme risotto (£11). It was tasty and did taste of mushrooms but it would have been nicer with more actual mushrooms, and disappointingly there was no Parmesan cheese on offer.
The Homemade chips were great, perfectly cooked (£3).
All of us except Heather had desserts. The Apple and quince crumble with homemade custard £5 was very disappointing. It was cold, with big crunchy (uncooked) chunks of apple. The custard was cold before it came out of the small (tiny) ceramic pots. Justin had the homemade ice cream ;wild strawberry, mint, cappuccino £5. Claire had the Lemon Tart which she said was very lemony and curd – very good.

Mains: £15 for the Beef, £11 for the Wild Mushroom Risotto.
Bookings: Yes
Phone: 0207 223 7721

Monday, 27 December 2010

Paradise, By way of Kensal Green W10 4AE

Date: Sunday 12th December, 2010

Choice: Heather's
Who was there: Claire, Heather, Angel and Justin.

As Justin missed out on it last time and we really loved it, we came back. Amazing as always. Pricey, but amazing.

Mains: £14.50 for Roast Beef
Desserts: £5.75 (approx)

Bookings: Yes
Phone: 020 8969 0098

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Compass N1 9PZ

Date: Sunday 19th September, 2009

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Angel, Ellen, Heather & Jason.

The Compass is in Angel, just at the far end of Market Street, it’s a gastropub, partnered with The Green in Clerkenwell. As they were doing some renovations (as you can see in the picture), it was very hard to find where the entrance was as none of the doors looked like they opened. Angel & Ellen arrived first, had trouble getting in, then watched and laughted as both Heather & Jason and Claire & Justin had the same problem.
To begin with there was no roast beef which left Justin and Angel very disappointed, so they had the lamb which unfortunately was quite tasteless and it was fatty, and there was not much in the serving.
The vegetarian option, a Nut roast, was absolutely amazing, Jason even commented that it was better than his own.
The lovely Yorkshire puds but were served cold which was disappointing , there was a pile of them beside the cooker in the pub and they looked amazing but just not even warm, and served with a tasteless gravy with chunks of onion.
Pork exactly as was expected, succulent and tasty with lovely crunchy crackling. They were a bit tight on the veggies, with only 1 bowl for 6 people!
Cauliflower cheese with macaroni was lovely and cheesy, a really nice texture.
Good portions if you also want dessert, which we did, the cheeseboard which had a nice selection and was for 2, the profiteroles were not that great, Heather did not enjoy them, and the ‘cheesecake’ was nice, but too much like a mousse to be cheesecake. It looked great though!

Mains: £12.95 for the Beef, Chicken & Pork.
yes (but online)
Phone: 0207 837 3891

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Plough Inn W5 4XB

Date: Sunday 18th July 2010
Choice: Jason
Who was there: Heather, Jason, Claire, Justin, Siobhan

Claire & Jason had the Vegetable Wellington, which was pretty good. Not sure
about anyone else, but again we all enjoyed it. Jason got a free dessert due to
length of time it took to arrive:-) - Jason had no dessert buddies.
Another one of our poor reports. Sorry

Website: No
Bookings: No
Phone: 020 8799 5600

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Winchester N1 8NL

Date: Sunday 14th March, 2010

Choice: Angel
Who was there: Claire, Justin, Siobhan, Angel, Ellen, Jason & Heather.

Not far from the green in Angel, this 'Shabby Chic' pub was very welcoming and comfortable. With as Siobhan said "Bloody good Bloody Mary's" and a 2for1 on Roasts on a Sunday, and it was Mothers Day!
We had some starters: Nachos and the Oil & Vinegar with bread - the Nachos were one of the best Jason & Heather had ever had they said. Ellen wanted to find out the brand of Balsamic vinegar they used as she really enjoyed it.
On to the mains and the Beef was tough, overcooked. The horseradish was really strong and perfect. The Lamb was realy good, perfectly cooked and not fatty, the gravy was really good too. The Vegetarian option was woeful. Bland. It was a nice idea but did not deliver on the expectations. Jason said it tasted like wallpaper paste.
It was very odd there were no roast potatoes - a roast staple - just boiled ones, but the other veggies were good.
The desserts were hit and miss as well, the Apple & Mixed Berry Crumble was really tasty and came with a lovely creamy custard. The Baked Cheescake on the other hand was bland and very dry, the menu said it came with 'fresh fruit' - half a strawberry was on the plate. Quite disappointing.

Mains: £12.05 for 2 the Beef, Lamb, Chicken or Veggie Roast.
: yes
Phone: 0207 704 8789