Lamb Shoulder @ The Reformation, Gallowstree Common

Good afternoon.  I am writing to you from my hospital bed.

I’ve been shot.

I have long feared an attack by the mafia for my occasionally stinging reviews.  Some food reviewers will always give a suspiciously marvellous review but I have always told you how it is.  Or how I view it through a bowl of gravy.

It has to be the mafia, doesn’t it?


First there is something more important to tackle, which is a review of The Reformation in Gallowstree Common.  Recommended to me by a reader – you may have noticed that I have recently visited a few places on the advice of readers instead of random number generator.

I’ve just had a thought.  Do you think Get Reading had me shot?  Maybe them stopping publishing the reviews was their way of telling me – NO MORE?  Perhaps I was negating onto their territory and they wanted the local food review business for themselves.  That and I’ve been a little rude to them occasionally – almost accusing them of publishing 100 stories a day about IKEA in return for some nice funding.  That was a bit out of order from me.

But then again they were nice about me yesterday, and published a roast dinner story using mostly my photographs, and also linking to my page.

Cover up?  If I survive my ordeal, maybe I should change careers to be an investigator?  It looks like my modelling days are over.

The journey yesterday started with the bus driver trying to extract £36.50 out of me for a return journey which took about 15 minutes.  I refused to pay it – maybe that’s who it was?  I didn’t pay the protection money.  It was a different bus driver on the way back.  Fuck.

The pain is coming back.  The drugs are wearing off.  Help me.  Nurse?  Nuhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrssssse?

I must dictate what I can whilst I can.  I feel so weak.  I might not survive.

The pub was very welcoming – with around 50 houses in a village that I have never heard of, it must be doing something right.  It even had a wall of graffiti on the inside as if it was considering a move to Dalston.  Some cute and friendly blonde girls – wait a minute – could it be a feminist that shot me?

I sat down outside in the sunshine, and waited around 10-15 minutes for the roast to arrive.  I wasn’t that hungry which was a good job as there wasn’t much food in the oversized half-plate half-bowl that arrived.  I had ordered the lamb, but there was also chicken and beef available – they do recommend that you order the roasts in advance as they only make so many.  I cannot remember the price – somewhere around £15.00.


It could have been IKEA themselves after I uncovered their plan and laughed at their car park problems.  You know what the Swedish are like.

There was one carrot, pompously cut lengthways into 3 strips, including the green roots which is a nice if hipsterish touch.  Speaking of hipsters, maybe it was the guy behind This Is Reading?  Someone told me that he is now the executive director of Sky News, but I always thought that he was slightly unhinged, and after I made a rude comment on his page a while back, maybe he has found out who I am?

Actually I need…aaaaaarrrrrgggghh.  Ugggghhh.  Delete that.  No delete.  How do you delete on a dictaphone?  Oh I give up.

Actually I am going to talk about the gravy.  It is the most important part of the dish and I might not make it to the end of my review.  And this gravy ruined the whole meal.  I was promised “proper gravy”.  And it was gravy – a very rich gravy.  It tasted of red wine, perhaps some nutmeg but it was just utterly overpowering and I simply didn’t like it.  Southerners may like it.  I did not.  I felt it was quite a risky gravy – I am in no doubt that some people would be impressed but it simply wasn’t for me.

Maybe Farage has bumped me off?  I forewarned you all not to vote Brexit but yet look what happened.  Maybe he knows that I am going to fight and reverse the decision as the next Prime Minister (assuming the drug laws are overturned before then) and that he simply had to have me bumped off.  Eeeeeeuuuughggghghgh.  Pain go away please…I mean Farage go away.

There were two sticks of tenderstem broccoli.  Firm yet not overly tough and apart from the horrid gravy were pleasant and edible enough.  Edible Reading.  Could it have been he/she/heshe?  See my first thought was that they had also been threatened by Get Reading, hence the recent lack of posts.  But then maybe that is a cover up to bump me off, and be able to claim the crown of number 1 food reviewer in the area.  Maybe with me gone, he/she/it will then feel able to start reviewing roast dinners too.  Oooooh.  Aaaaaarrrrrrggh.

There were 4 mange tout.  Tough and very crunchy.  Or were there 5?

I mustn’t forget the couple of withered bits of floppy dark green cabbage.  Thinking of withered bits, could it have been the local LGBT society that arranged for me to be killed off after seeing how I rejected my sex change within 24 hours.  One day I was a straight man, the next a lesbian, then back to being a straight man with both a vagina and a penis.

My plate was also blessed with one piece of cauliflower cheese.  Nurse?  Nurse, I need some drugs.  Over here.  Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrssse.  It was good, creamy and a touch cheesy and simply not anywhere near enough.

Could it have been Wendy 87-last-names from whatever that pub was next to The Crown in Playhatch?  She really took offence to a decently average review – calling me an idiot and a tin-pot-trip-adviser-reviewer.  Though surely she would not have waited this long?  And to think that I really wanted to go back there, I might never have the chance to now.

Sniff, sob, sob.  Oh why me?  Why did I have to get shot?

I love you mum.

And dad.  And grandma.  And sister.  And all my friends.  And Blanca Suarez – I love you the most.  Get the nurse.  GIVE ME DRUGS.


Surprisingly there was more than 1 roast potato – 3 in fact, all on the large size, all allegedly roasted in duck fat – they probably were but sadly the gravy overpowered any taste.  The potatoes certainly had the sense of having been cooked some time ago and were a touch on the chewy and dry side, but not overly bad.


Unlike my crystal meth dealer.  She is bad.  Evil.  I haven’t mentioned her until now but maybe she is worried that I have loose lips.  It isn’t Blanca, before you ask.  Blanca is the nurse this afternoon.  And my future wife.

Ahhhh nurse.  About time.  I need some drugs.  Yes, morphine, Tramadol and ketamine please.  And some crystal meth.  Oh, wait, wait, do you have any mescaline?

Shit, could it be Blanca?  But I haven’t even started stalking her yet (by the way don’t watch I’m So Excited – an absolutely abominably gash movie that the nurses played to me last night after my emergency operation).

The lamb shoulder was a decent cut, it fell apart quite easily though was cooked rather well done – too much so for my tastes.  That said, like all the ingredients to the meal it was of a high standard, yet ruined by the gravy.

Speaking of high quality ingredients, a ha ha ha ha ha.  Wetherspoons.  The CEO been so ashamed by the dreadful review that I gave his establishment that they had to stop doing roast dinners.  Maybe this was the only way back – have me killed then start serving roast dinners again.  Maybe the food processing factory owner is so angry about the lack of roast dinner sales?


The pain is so much now.  Unbearable.  I have almost made it to the end of my review but it is unlikely I will live long enough to see the visitor statistics.

The highlight, ouch.  I cannot…I…the welcome.  The welcome was so warm and friendly.  The lowlight was being shot.  I stepped outside, looked at the sunny skies, and walked towards the bus stop.  I saw the bus heading towards me.  It was a different bus and a different driver.  And the next thing I saw were these walls.

5.9.  Out of aaaarrrrghghhh 10.

Dear readers.  If you love me like I love you, I ask of you two things:

  1. Avenge my death.
  2. Don’t forget me.  Don’t let my hard work for the community go in vain.  Make sure everyone knows where to go and where to avoid for their Sunday lunch.

Maybe I will see you in the next life.

Ahhh nurse, the drugs.  It’s been hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I mmmmmmmmmmmm think I l………………………………mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

love hhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Floating away.



Pollo @ South Hill Park, Bracknell 13/08/2016

Hola mis amigos.  Hello my friends.

Si, yo escribo en Español esta semana. Por qué? Porque necesito practicar mi Español por cuando yo hago Roast Dinners En Eivissa (Eebeefa a estos que votar Brexit – bastardos).  Yes I am writing in Spanish this week.  Why?  Because I need to practice my Spanish for when I do Roast Dinners In Ibiza (Eebeefa to those who voted Brexit – bastards).


Es mi numero uno sueño.  It is my number one dream.


Espero tú entiendes Español? Me gusto mucho Español y las mujeres Español, hmmmmm.  I hope you speak Spanish?  I like Spanish a lot and the Spanish women, hmmmmm.

Entonces. Ayer yo caminado a South Hill Park en Bracknell. Cuando hablo con nadie de Hull, digo ese Bracknell es como un estado de consejo pero todos gente trabajar y votar Tory. En Hull, tú no camina en estos barrios.  So.  Yesterday I walked to South Hill Park in Bracknell.  When I speak with anyone in Hull, I say that Bracknell is like a council estate but everyone works and votes Tory.  In Hull, you do not walk in these neighbourhoods.


Es extraño pero in el media de barrio mierda, allí este un casa grande – múy grande y viejo. Y unos gente me diga ese ellos hacen la major cena de roast en Bracknell. No dificil! Mi mejor es The Golden Retriever con un 5.3. Bracknell es malo por comida. Bracknell es malo por todos.  It is strange but in the middle of this shit area, there is a large house, very large and old.  And some people told me that they make the best roast dinners in Bracknell.  Not difficult!  My best is The Golden Retriever with a 5.3.


Hola mujeres Español. Soy guapa y rico. Mis cajones son grandes.  Hello Spanish women.  I am handsome and rich.  My testicles are large.


Ellos vendieron pollo, vaca y hmmm no recuerdo. Cerdo? Adémas un trio por £13.00. Pago £11.00 por mi cena de pollo.  They sold chicken, beef and hmmm I don’t remember.  Gammon?  Also a trio for £13.00.  I paid £11.00 for my chicken dinner.


Esperado diez minutos, y mi cena llegado. Tú recuerda Eldorado? El mejor television por de BBC.  I waited ten minutes, and mi dinner arrived.  Do you remember Eldorado?  The best television from the BBC.

La vegetales llegado en un plato separado de mi carne. Me disgusto con el salsa múy poco pero ellos me oferió un enorme taza y sasla. Muy felicidad.  The vegetables arrived on a separate plate from my meat.  I was disgusted with the very small amount of gravy but they offered me an enormous cup of gravy.  Very happy.


Comienzo con los vegetales. Los zanahorios fueron delgado y ordinario. Dos brocoli fueron además ordinario. Tres coliflor (gracias Google translate) fueron además ordinario. Hmmm.  I started with the vegetables.  The carrots were thin and ordinary.  Two broccoli were also ordinary.  Three cauliflower (thank you Google translate) were also ordinary. Hmmm.


Ellos paracen como ellos hacer en un fabrica. No le club nocturne.  They seemed like they were made in a factory.  Not the nightclub.

Los chirivía (Gracias Google de nueva) fueron profundo frito. Que de puta madre?! Ellos fueron cinco, pero no como todo. Yo siempre como todo. Malo.  The parsnips (thank you Google again) were deep fried.  What the fuck?  There were five but I did not eat all.  I always eat everything.  Bad.


Las papas y además profundo frito. Que de puta madre. Como las papas pero no felicidad. Siquiera ellos bastante suave en el interior.  The potatoes were also deep fried.  What the fuck.  I ate the potatoes but I was not happy.  At least they were quite soft in the middle.

El Yorkshire pudding (seriousamente, Google?) fue múy grande y el parte mejor de la cena. Hacer en casa pero no cavidad – como un Yorkshire balo. Beuno pero no múy bueno.  The Yorkshire pudding (seriously, Google?) was very large and the best part of the dinner.  Made at home but without a hole – like a Yorkshire ball.


Proxima de ultimo, como el pollo. No un pollo actualmente – es fue un pollo de Bernard Matthews, o similar. Tú conoce el tipo. Hacer en un fabrica. De nueva. Puta madre.  Next to last, I ate the chicken.  It was not actually chicken – it was a chicken from Bernard Matthews, or similar.  You know the type.  Made in a factory.  Again.  Mother fucker.


Finalmente la salsa. Tambien conocido como gravy en Inglés. Es gustar como Bisto. En Inglaterra, ellos normalmente hacer múy bueno gravy. No aqui. Ellos hacer Bisto. Mucho sal.  Finally the gravy. Also known as gravy in English.  It was like Bisto.  In England, they normally make very good gravy.  Not here.  They made Bisto.  Lots of salt.


Donde esta las putas?  Where are the prostitutes?


Entonces. Es no le mejor cena de roast en Bracknell. Mi clasificación es un 4.2 de 10. Pero un casa bonito, y los jardines son múy grandes y bonito tambien.  So.  It was not the best roast dinner in Bracknell.  My classification is a 4.2 out of 10.  But a beautiful house, and the gardens are very large and pretty too.

El semena proxima, voy a ir norte de Reading. Espero es mucho bueno.  Next week, I am going north of Reading.  I hope it is very good.


Tú vendes drogas? Me gustan.  Do you sell drugs?  I like them.

Puta madre ese múy dificil. Hola mujeres bonita, quieres un novio bonito, guapa y rico (pronto)? Enviar me tú foto. En un vestido. No desnudo – quiero una señora – no una puta.  Mother fucker that was very difficult.  Hello beautiful women, do you want a beautiful, handsome and rich (soon) boyfriend?  Send me your photo.  In a dress.  Not naked – I want a lady, not a whore.


Rib Of Beef @ The Bull, Arborfield 07/08/2016

Hiya. I’ve just got back from the salon, and wow, my eyebrows are on fleek now. You should see how beautifully curved and feminine they are. Threading heaven.

Oh yes, I should explain. I have finally had my operation. I have had the change. I am now Lady Gravy.

That won’t be the only change. As I have suddenly realised that all these tight-fitting tops and dresses that I’ve had to buy don’t hide my manly beer belly. I fear that there will be no more roast dinners for me. I guess I will be starting a new blog – Low Calorie Salads Around Reading.

So yesterday, I put my short shorts on (still got the same ones from before the change – they kind of work, or at least will until I have finished my 100 squats a day programme and have a really cute, curvy bum), snorted a line of oestrogen powder, quickly splashed a load of fake tan on my legs…I really must shave them, and headed to The Bull, in Arborfield. Ooh maybe I could start a blog reviewing local tanning shops?

The Bull is a venue that is very much set up as a restaurant inside, and kind of reminded me of a Little Chef in structure, yet with a very pleasantly set garden and roast dinners served from lunch until well into the evening.

We had the usual choices, chicken, pork, beef and lamb, with varying prices from around £11 to £17 – give or take as I was more concerned with deciding what colour to paint my nails than what price the dinners were. I do remember that the rib of beef, which I chose, was £13.50.

By the way guys, before you start fantasising over my new body, I would just like to clarify that my sexual preferences have not at all changed. I still am only interested in lesbians.

10 minutes passed as we sat in the late afternoon sunshine, I had a few odd looks, mostly from the girls, but that is nothing new. Jealousy. Always was, always will be. I will just have to get used to it as I am the most beautiful.

The dinner arrived with a shared bowl of ordinary vegetables.


I shall start with the ordinary, for I am most definitely not ordinary any more.

Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower which had all been steamed and were very much like my mother does them. Oh hi mum, I have boobs now. Only one piece of broccoli and cauliflower each, with too many carrots. All fine but nothing to write home about, a bit like my change which is probably going to surprise my parents as I haven’t told them either. No this is not because I am still unmarried.

Did anyone watch The Only Way Is Essex last night?

The roast potatoes were large and cumbersome, a bit like my beautiful new boobs. A little greasy on the outside and not at all crispy, but at least they were edible. A bit like my wonderful new boobs. I have had far worse. Again, a bit like my gorgeous new breasts. I only had one bite though as they have too many calories.


By the way, that was a joke about watching The Only Way Is Essex. Just because I now paint my toenails in matching colour to my dress does not mean I watch shit TV. Fuck off. Oh, I mean, get out of here. Clearly I need a little more language training to be a proper lady. Unless of course you go to Ladies Day at Beverley racecourse (near Hull) which has anything other than ladylike behaviour. Oh damn, does this mean I cannot urinate in on the street now? I didn’t think of that.

The Yorkshire pudding was to a good standard. Large, homemade and crispy, it was very, very good. Again, I only had one bite, and licked the rest as I need to perfect my body. I’d like to be a gymnast by the next Olympics. Do you think I might qualify?


Thankfully the Atkins diet (that is still the latest diet fad isn’t it?) meant that I could eat all the beef on the plate. And this was good quality rib-eye beef – particularly tasty, a slight hint of pink to it, two slices around 7mm thick. Easily the highlight of the plate. Ooh, maybe I should get highlights? What do you think, girls?

Finally, the gravy was ok. A hint of an attempt at a red wine gravy, and slightly more jus-like than gravy. I’ve had worse.

Overall I quite enjoyed the dinner. A pleasant afternoon with a good, if mostly unremarkable roast dinner. The beef was particularly excellent.

I shall give it a femininely-shaped 7.3 out of 10.

I actually went into the gent’s toilets too, for old time’s sake, and thought that this was a bit of an odd set-up:


It reminded me of the toilet I went into in Berlin once, which featured two toilets sat opposite each other.  I guess it must be a thing in Germany to watch each other pee/poo.

Semana proxima, yo escribo en Español. Seriousamente. Hmmmm mujeres Españoles.

By the way, I went for double D boobs. This bra wearing thing is a bit annoying though. Maybe I will become a feminist.

Right, I need to go practice walking in my heels. What is it that Bart Simpson said? Heel, toe, heel, toe. That is right isn’t it?

Beef & Pork @ The Rowbarge, Woolhampton 31/07/2016

Welcome back to Roast Dinners Around Reading. Not sponsored by IKEA.

I accept that this might have been a tad more appropriate had I done it last Monday or the Monday before – timing in humour is as important as legs as are to chairs. Such as this wonderful Brown Dunoon Dining Chair from World Stores – everything for the home.


I did give IKEA an opportunity. I wrote to them and offered them the opportunity to sponsor Roast Dinners Around Reading:

Dear Sir

I note that you have recently opened a new store in Reading.

It is hard not to notice, as roughly every hour, the local ex-newspaper, Get Reading, will publish a story about your new store. They didn t get that excited when the new chicken shop in town opened. I do like chicken. Especially chicken roasts.

Anyway, I thought I would introduce myself. I run Roast Dinners Around Reading, which is a weekly blog reviewing a roast dinner in the local area. As you are new to the area, I thought that you might be interested in having a read – I also have a handy league table so that you can easily see the best place to go for a roast dinner –

Therefore I wondered if you would like to sponsor me. I can mention Ikea in every sentence (ie the carrots were as sturdy as a good solid oak bookcase from Ikea) and nobody will guess that you have sponsored me. Maybe I could even put a photo of a dining table up?

If you are interested in my wonderful and exciting offer, then I will leave it for you to suggest suitable recompense.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards
Lord Gravy

ps Does your canteen sell roast dinners on a Sunday?


I received a response a few days later, though sadly, not quite was I was expecting:

Dear Lord Gravy,

Thank you for your email detailing your exciting offer.

Unfortunatley we will have to decline this offer, however we wish you the best of luck with your Blog.

Kind regards,

IKEA Customer Services


Not only did they not answer some of my questions, but there was also a spelling mistake. You wouldn’t expect any form of inaccuracy from a flat-pack furniture store, would you?

You certainly would get a top quality wardrobe from PineSolutions, were you looking, such as the below Arabella Painted 2 Door 2 Drawer Robe for just £249.00:


I like writing to companies. Sainsbury’s are particularly good value, I quite often write to them. A few years back they went through a stage of stocking Goldenfry gravy granules – the kind of northern granules – they make super-thick cement-like gravy. No proper northerner uses that Bisto shit. Of course – those that are not lazy/on benefits/not always drunk/not always on drugs will make their own from meat juices (not sure why I went 10 years with only eating Goldenfry) but when you have a Sweeney & Todd pie, there isn’t much you can do other than granules.

Anyway, they stopped stocking them back in 2011:

Dear Sir

Why can I not find Goldenfry gravy (chicken) in the Reading Central store on Broad Street any more? Gravy is a vital commodity in my life and makes me happy nearly as much as ecstacy, minimal techno and good sex do.

I can only find Bisto now, which to me is rather substandard.

Your other store in Friar Street does not sell it, and I don’t think it ever has.

I hope you can put this right, it will encourage me to visit on a more regular basis, after all, evil Tesco Express is much closer to my house and despite how much I despise it, they offer me the same choice of gravy and a much shorter journey to purchase it.

Kind regards


Yes I know I spelt ecstasy wrong but that’s because I don’t really take it so how would I know how to spell it?

Dear Person

I’m sorry you’ve been unable to buy Goldenfry gravy in our Broad Street store. I can understand your disappointment as you clearly hold this gravy in high regard.

Unfortunately this has been discontinued in this store and in our Friar Street store. Our buyers carry out regular reviews of all items to determine how well they are selling in each store. It was decided that because this item was not a big seller, it should be withdrawn to make room for another more popular item or to give us the chance to introduce a new product.

I’ve submitted a product request for this item to be restocked in our Broad Street store. Although this isn’t a guarantee, it does alert our buyers that there is a demand for it here.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and lhope to see you in store again soon.

Kind regards
Customer Manager


Myself and Sainsbury’s have now got to the point where we have accepted that we are in a relationship of sorts. Actually this is enough crap for one day, isn’t it?

What isn’t crap, is this wonderful sofa from  Got to love a bit of mustard, not only on a roast dinner.  Just £1,680and they have finance available.

rufus_3_seater_sofa_rich_mustard_yellow_lb2 FSSNO130LINMSD

It’s a good job that most of this is copy and pasted otherwise I’d never get the time to write all of this on my “lunch break”.

The random number generator has been sacked and I am going where I want to for now, and this time it was the Rowbarge in Woolhampton. Based along the A4 next to Midgham train station – a truly gorgeous setting next to the river with plentiful outdoor seating – though it was still very busy when we arrived – we had to wait for a car parking space.

Popularity tends to mean quality, just like these excellent Osaka Crystal Flush Ceiling Lights from Wayfair:


They do roast dinners from midday until 9pm though booking is recommended – as is this excellent bookcase from Furniture At Work:

shopping (1)

They also have daily printed menus, so the selected of roasts on offer changes – we had choices of chicken, rare beef, pork loin, rare beef and pork loin, and finally, lamb. No vegetarian option. Yes, I did actually look. The prices ranged from £12.95 to £17.95.

Great value, just like these kitchen cupboards from Wickes at just £40.00 each:


We found a table outside, sadly in the shade given how busy it was inside. The table was good but not quite as good as this table from..actually I’m nearly as fed up of this as I am about articles about IKEA.  You get the point.  Have a picture of my roast dinner instead.


The meal took around 15 minutes to arrive. First into my satisfaction tunnel, was the mixture of carrots and cabbage. Quite uninspiring – it almost could have been from a package. But definitely more of a Sainsbury’s bag than an Asda bag – they were perfectly cooked carrot batons and little pieces of ripped cabbage. And the excellent gravy really added context.

Oddly no other vegetables but it wasn’t as if the plate was sparse.

There were either 4 or 5 glamorous roast potatoes. All quite sizable with a hint that they had been roasted in duck fat though I could be wrong there. They did have that kind of cooked a couple of hours ago texture but overall a pretty decent standard.

The pork loin came in 3 x 3mm slices – it is very difficult to ascertain much difference between different pork loins. Ordinarily good, reasonably succulent with a nice-sized rind of fat around it. It came with crackling which was very crispy.

Also in terms of trimmings, there was a slice of stuffing – really tasty, packed full of herbaceous delights, even more so than my next-door neighbour’s cigarettes.


We were promised rare beef (yes I brought along my friend that I disagree with on everything – though oddly we both went for the same meal), yes apart from that tiny bit of pink that you can see on the photograph, it was not rare. At least mine wasn’t, as I seemed to have the more well done part. Also a little lacking in quantity.

Any slight disappointment was short-lived due to the excellent Yorkshire pudding. OK, mine didn’t have the perfect structure but it was perfect in terms of soft bottom and crispy edges. And large. How Yorkshire’s should be.


And the gravy was very good. A meat stock type – enough thickness to satisfy me and a savoury taste to compliment the whole dinner. Well done on the chef for that part.  I can also clarify that I have not upended gravity.

It could have been a top 3 challenger – it looked impressive upon arrival. But a few imperfections mean that a 7.7 is my rating. I was going to give it a 7.6 but that is what my friend that I disagree with everything on gave it, so 7.7 it is.

The highlight was the gravy, or maybe the stuffing. The lowlight was the ordinary vegetables.

Next weekend I have to make a flying visit to Hull but hopefully I will be back in time for another roast dinner adventure.

See what you missed, IKEA?

Also I should add that it is the best place to go for a roast dinner if you are expecting nuclear war to break out.  Vote Trump.


How To Get A 10 Out Of 10

You’ve probably looked at my reviews, maybe even read them, and at least occasionally thought that I’m absolutely beautiful and deserve multiple threesomes with hot latino women, ideally with DD breasts – nothing too big.  You may also have thought that I’ve been a bit harsh with my scoring (of roasts – not women) and wondered, what the heck a place has to do to get a 9 out of 10, or hell, even a 10 out of 10.

Beauty is always subjective, except in my case, but the following is a good guide if you want a high score.

The Basics:

Freshly cooked.  One of the main reasons that The Crown scores so highly is that all the food is freshly cooked and HOT when you sit down to eat.  They only serve for 4 hours, they are normally fully booked, each table has its own time slot and the freshly cooked food keeps coming out.  This is impossible to do if you are serving roast dinners midday to 9pm, and very difficult for anywhere without a loyal following.

Value.  The price doesn’t really matter but if you are going to charge upwards of £15 then make sure the quality is high, and the quantity is appropriate.  Roast dinners are not Michelin star fine dining.

Presentation.  Personally I’d prefer a big pile of food, totally hidden by an even bigger pile of very thick gravy.  Presentation is highly unlikely to give extra marks, but it will lose marks for looking prettier than it tastes.


Atmosphere.  No jazz bands.  No pianos.  No wannabe posh shite.  No twats in oddly-coloured striped jackets drinking Pimms.


Some vegetables are favoured over others.  I’d suggest 3 types of vegetables would be the most appropriate amount for me to be able to judge vegetability of the establishment.  These are some of those that most turn me on/off (I am touching my left nipple right now):

Cauliflower AND broccoli cheese.  Cauliflower cheese can be the tastiest of vegetables, but supplied with broccoli (still need a spellchecker) then this becomes luxurious.  The two vegetables complement each other so well.  Of course, it needs to be creamy – not too much, and it really does help if there is actually some evidence of cheese.  Both The Crown in Playhatch, and The Bull in Wargrave do this exceptionally.

Carrots.  They must be roasted for top marks.  There is absolutely no excuse for not using some herbs or pepper.  Don’t just give me plain old blanched/steamed carrots.

Broccoli is pretty boring by itself.  Tenderstem broccoli is somewhat more interesting.  If you are going to insist on plain old broccoli then don’t dish it up as if it has been grown in a lake.  And don’t give me yellow-ended crap.

Parsnips.  Always a treat.  Again, roast them please.

Sprouts.  Why don’t I ever get sprouts?  Cooking them with bacon or pancetta would be a true treasure.

Red cabbage.  Just leave it out.  I’ve seriously had enough of it.  Just because the plate looks more colourful does not mean it is a good idea.  Imagine having every single colour on a football kit.  Ridiculous.

Any vegetable pureed.  No no no no no.  I am not a fucking baby.  More of a child.

Leeks and mange tout are glorious vegetables – especially creamed leeks – give me creamed leeks and I will, erm, you know, cream myself.  I’ll get my coat.  Guess what colour my coat is?

Peas.  Just don’t even think about it unless you want that plate thrown back at you.  At best, I will throw some on the floor, in the ashtray, in empty glasses, on the table – anywhere I can because if you want their lack of discipline to infect all of my dinner, then I shall afflict my lack of discipline upon your establishment.

Roast Potatoes:

They need to be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.  You know, roasted.  Not microwaved.  Not deep fried.  R O A S T E D.  Easily the most difficult part of a pub roast dinner but one with a heck of a lot of points to be gained from.  And to get those roasted edges, they need to be par-boiled and chuffed up beforehand, in my experience.

Do not make them too large – something around 6cm by 3cm by 3cm are the dimensions that I personally aim for, though smaller would work too.

For extra points, cook them in goose or duck fat and please do not be afraid to use herbs – fresh rosemary on roast potatoes is to die for.  Garlic, thyme, onions – all simple but taste-adding ingredients when roasting your potatoes.

Yorkshire Puddings:

I am yet to make the perfect Yorkshire pudding myself so I appreciate that there may be a bit of hypocrisy here.  Then again, I am not a qualified chef.  Though I doubt half the chefs cooking roast dinners in pubs have any kind of qualification – those that do, do jus.

Large.  They must be large or very large.  Do not overcook them, do not turn them into sponges.  They need a soft, soggy bottom (not ultra soggy) and fairly crispy edges.  Must be served with at least a little gravy inside of them.


The meat is the area which goes right most often when I’m on my dining visits.  So I haven’t got too much advice here.

Beef should be pink inside.  Bonus points if the option is offered to have it more well done.  Cooked with mustard powder or something similar would highly impress though beef can talk on its own.  Note that I do not want a steak.

When it comes to chicken, Malmaison’s corn-fed chicken breast is the one that has most impressed me.  Hmmmm breasts.  Now touching my right nipple.  Do make sure chicken comes with stuffing.  And there needs to be more than a chicken leg.  Don’t go all Nando’s on me with cheap factory-fed, ill-looking chicken breasts.  And don’t forget herbs.  Or butter, salt, pepper, lemon – all these can bring out some extra taste.

Pork belly is probably the joint that can most impress – but equally it can easily go wrong.  Make sure that crackling is salty, crunchy yet soft enough for my dark brown crystal-meth teeth to handle.  There should be some fat.  All pork joints are helped with herbs.

Lamb is probably, just, my favourite meat.  It doesn’t need to be as pink as beef should but it should be pink inside.  If you are going to provide a lamb shank, then a half-alert me will know if it is from a cash and carry.

All meat should be succulent, never dry.  Fat is good.  Gristle is bad.

And why not do something different – turkey, venison, duck, buffalo, alligator, kudu.  Think out of the box.  Always thinks out of the box.


Oh my word.  Gravy.  The most important element.  Let me just start off by saying don’t even go there with jus.  I have, very occasionally had a nice jus.  Twice I think.  Once at the Black Boy in Shinfield.  Most times it is some pathetic ugly-tasting red wine attempt and just looks like a cheap oil painting.

Gravy should have some consistency and have as much influence as possible from one of the meats that have been cooked.  Herbs, onions, mint, whatever, throw it in but make it thick and tasty.  Not too tasty though, as I don’t want the rest of the dinner fighting to be tasted.

In terms of thickness, my requirements are for a thickness similar to glue.  I don’t expect it though as I am well aware that most people prefer their food thicker than their gravy rather than the other way around.  Just make sure it is thicker than water.  And that there is extra available on request without charging me extra.


Herbs.  Have I mentioned them?  Do not forget herbs.  This is not Burger King.

Imagination.  Do something unusual.  Step outside the box.  Be brave.  Please just imagine how many times I have eaten carrots.  I was most impressed with being served not only duck, but romanesco cauliflower at The Greyhound in Finchampstead – which I had never even heard of.  Please do something different.

Service.  I am still a tiny bit Neanderthal so being served by a really pretty Mediterranean girl will always help.  But it helps if they know the menu, have a favourite, have enthusiasm, 30 seconds to talk to me and look interested in whatever crap I am waffling in an attempt to be funny.

But let’s face it.  Nowhere will ever get a 9.

Beef @ The Cricketers, Littlewick 10/07/2016

I’d like to start by welcoming viewers to Gravy Match Special. Unfortunately Geoffrey Boycott cannot be with us this morning and my gravy boycott is over.

There were a number of options for the roast on Sunday, but given the state of the pitch and the sunny skies, myself and my batting partner plumped for The Cricketers in Littlewick.

A rather unexpectedly idyllic setting just off the A4 towards Maidenhead, sat right across the road from the local cricket pitch – the pub itself felt a little like the England cricket team in the 1990’s in some ways.


If I recall correctly, they had chicken, pork, beef, lamb shank and possibly a nut roast option too. All were £12.50, except the lamb shank at £13.99. Probably.

We won the toss, and I therefore decided to have the beef, as per the recommendation from the barmaid.

It was a good batting pitch so I was hopeful of getting a good score – a nice seating area outside in the sunshine gave distant views of the cricket match itself.

The dinner arrived after around a 10 or so minute wait – the proper food on the main plate, with a shared and not especially generous side-plate vegetable portion.


No surprises in the batting order, so I started with the carrots. These were perfectly decent, probably steamed, but very ordinary. The kind of inoffensive sliced carrots my mother would make. That said, it glided nicely towards silly mid-off for 2 runs. Off the mark.

Next up was the broccoli. Over-blanched and a touch soggy with yellow ends suggesting broccoli that should have been eaten last week. That was not a good shot, and is he caught behind? It seems to have clipped the bat and has been sent for review.

Out! Yes a poor shot. They shouldn’t be serving broccoli like that.

Out then came the cauliflower. Inoffensive, average – he played a shot off to leg side and made it back for a single.


There were four roast potatoes. Quite large in size with some element of roasting, albeit possibly in a deep fat fryer, clipped over the head of the second slip and rolled away for a slightly lucky run.

Oddly for a beef roast dinner, it came with a stuffing ball. It did seem a little too round and I couldn’t quite work out why it was there or what to do with it – do I eat it with a slice of beef? Or just on its own? Again it was nothing special, and sliced towards the gully for a single run.


Then the bowler attempted a Yorker. Or A Yorkshire pudding. Actually, it wasn’t much of an attempt as it was one of those stick it in the oven efforts. Off the pad. No runs. Poor.

There was a little dinky surprise with a cocktail sausage wrapped in bacon. Pleasantly hit but just a single run. It was a little cold and had that kind of burnt bacon covering. Not especially appealing.

And then onto the beef. Two slices of rather well-done beef, accompanied with quite a bit of gristle and fat – not succulent juicy fat but unnecessary tough fat – and the beef itself was quite tough. At first it appeared to be a beautiful shot in the air towards the boundary, but it was hit straight towards the fielder and caught. Disappointing.

Gravy. It was quite thick and there was plenty of it, however it did taste a little Bistoish. A loose ball which deserved to be whacked for 4, but he missed it. Well, what can you say.

So at the end of the day’s play, a disappointing 6 runs for 2 wickets. Or a 6.2 out of 10 if you are being a little more traditional.

It’s a shame. I wanted to give it a higher score as it really is in a very pleasant location with friendly staff and has a good feel to it. But it is what it is.

I don’t particularly have a highlight (bar the cricket bat table number thing) or a lowlight. It did all blend into an innings of averageness. You won’t go away particularly disappointed. But I doubt you’d return there for a roast either. But do give the pub a try – especially if the cricket is on.


Next weekend there will definitely not be a roast dinner. I have absolutely no intention of being able to eat anything next Sunday, nor be able to use a computer on Monday. But I might still conjure up some kind of special feature.  Hoooowwwwwwwwwwwwwzzzaaaaaaaaaaatt?

We don’t like gravy, yeah.

We love it.

Chicken @ The Butler, Reading 26/06/2016

You know this roast dinner strike thing?

Well, I’ve been speaking to Mrs T. She isn’t too happy with me. She isn’t even speaking to me. And you wouldn’t believe the amount of drinks that have fallen off my Margaret Thatcher coasters over the last week.


We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to gravy.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am back off roast dinner review strike. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman; if you want a roast dinner reviewed, ask a 60-year old pot-bellied transsexual virgin crystal-meth addict.

Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth. And I didn’t have many of them so I looked for somewhere with a less-expensive roast, and decided upon The Butler in Reading. Each £9.50.

An over-looked pub on Chatham Street, so overlooked that I hadn’t ever been in 18 years of living here. Slightly dishevelled but welcoming, televisions in the corners so I could watch the football, with a variety of seating – including some rather psychedelic sofas near the back.

It was very quiet so I had a large choice of tables. Possibly not a good sign but I ploughed on and ordered the chicken. I was impressed that each had a different form of gravy – I was nearly tempted by the beef (cooked rare) but it came with an “& red wine gravy” – and I have bad memories of red wine gravy, not to mention the off-putting misplaced ampersand.


Is that blurry or am I still fucked from the weekend?

They all sounded appealing so I sat down for 5 minutes whilst a fairly packed plate was microwaved.

I started with the cabbage which I didn’t finish. White and tasteless, this was the most pointless item for many a month.

The batons of carrots were fairly average, a little roughly cut, slightly on the soft side.

Speaking of soft – the broccoli had been long over-blanched, very soft and soggy, to the point of losing its colour. Any woman who understands the problems of cooking broccoli will be nearer to understanding the problems of making a roast dinner.

Not exactly anything over-enamouring so far but this changed with the cauliflower cheese which was rather wow. The strength of the cheese, with perhaps a hint of paprika gave it a kick – really, very impressive. If only I had had a whole bowl of it. You could do business with this cauliflower cheese.


The new potatoes were fairly standard – four or five earthy morsels with enough bite.

Also standard were the roast potatoes – three, of course, standard, and sadly the standard roasted-earlier microwave standard. They were a touch chewy and bouncy inside. I’ve had far worse, but they were not massively appealing, after all, if you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to make fresh roast potatoes, and you would achieve nothing but good roast dinners.

There was a ball of stuffing – possibly homemade, after all the roast dinner had an endearingly homemade touch to it. Sadly it didn’t have much flavour to it – it seemed to have no herbs, perhaps more sausagemeat – possibly some nuts and onion, also a touch on the dry side.


Some places (mentioning no names, Nando’s) offer out the most pathetic excuses for a half chicken that you could imagine. The Butler does not. This was a full-sized half a chicken. I’m assuming that it was cooked in the white wine that the gravy was made out of, as the chicken seemed oddly pale at first look.

It was a succulent chicken and I did struggle to finish it. The white wine flavouring didn’t come out overly strongly, but it certainly gets good marks.

There is no such thing as society: there are individual Yorkshire puddings, and there are families. The Yorkshire pudding was homemade and a good effort. Well-risen, quite soft on the bottom.

Being powerful is like eating gravy. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. Well, it was special – not often you see an establishment make the effort so that their gravy stands out. This was filled with herbs, mostly parsley, and an unusual light cream in colour. I wouldn’t say that I loved it – the flavour wasn’t overly strong, it was thicker than water but being a northerner, I’d prefer it thicker. But I do very much appreciate the effort and inventiveness.

Overall it was a really mixed bag. Some parts excellent, more inventiveness than normal – but also some parts very average. The highlight was the wowtastic cauliflower cheese – the pointless cabbage the lowlight.

I’m going to give it a nice, round 7.0 out of 10. Or am I? Maybe a 6. Or a 5. To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning. It definitely gets a 7.0.

Iron out the imperfections and this could be a slightly unexpected go-to place for roast dinners in the centre of Reading. We are not exactly blessed with roast dinner venues in the town centre so I would certainly recommend giving this a try.

Next weekend I’m in Hull for a family wedding despite trying my hardest to offend the groom by repeatedly stating that all firemen are lazy, overpaid striking scumbags. I might be back in time but don’t count on it. The weekend after I’m going clubbing and considering I went clubbing this weekend and had a grand total of two bacon sandwiches in 48 hours, I’m sure that you can imagine that there is zero chance of me eating a roast dinner. The weekend after I might be away too!

So you might have to wait 4 weeks for your next review. But I’ll try to do something for you, otherwise you’ll have to be patient – I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. Gosh I might even do a feature. Well, it’s better than nothing?

Unless the 25 powerful Margaret Thatcher quotes website that happened to be a porn site that I clicked on at work this morning gets me the sack, in which case goodbye forever. Ooops.

Strike Demands


As advised by my honourable trade union leader, I should set out my demands to return to work following this necessary post-Brexit strike.


Obviously the unacceptable and dangerous working conditions are the main criteria, though I shall also touch on fair recompense.

These are my requirements to end the strike:

  1. A crate of chicken Goldenfry gravy for when I am too hungover to make some decent gravy.
  2. 1,000 Facebook followers and 5,000 Twitter followers.
  3. A public apology and a free roast dinner from the landlady of The Shoulder of Mutton for all of her hurtful words last year.
  4. A swimming pool built in my garden.  Filled with gravy.
  5. A minimum of two naked attractive young ladies (ideally from Yorkshire, Spain or Iran), covered in gravy, to caress my nipples with said gravy.
  6. A crown from The Crown.
  7. Roast dinner for two at Buckingham Palace, with the Queen and at least 3 members of the royal family.
  8. A statue for David Cameron at Westminster.
  9. A film/TV contract for Roast Dinners Around The World.
  10. Some kind of honours, ie a knighthood.

These minimal demands are fair recompense for the public work that I carry out on a weekly basis and the danger that I face.

Only on receipt of all 10 of these demands will I resume reviewing roast dinners.


Long live lesbians.

Food @ The Exit Arms, Leaversham 26/06/2016

What you looking at?














I told you what to expect.










You didn’t believe me, did you?









Now look what you have done.












Nigel Farage



I told you there would be consequences.














Yeah keep scrolling











I’m on strike.














You don’t believe me, do you?























































Why are you still scrolling down?

























































Don’t even think about telling me to get over it.


























Strike means strike.



























I’m not joking.





















You’ve got what you wanted.  You got what you deserved.






















































All cats are dead.




























Have you seriously voted to ban immigrants from the UK?











Stick your gravy up your arse.

Chicken @ The Admiral Cunningham Pub 19/06/2026

Can you believe that we are almost at the 10 year anniversary of Independence Day? That great day when a very small but very wise majority of people voted Brexit?

My how things have changed for the better since then. We’ve got our country back and it’s all thanks to King Nigel. I wish eternal health and happiness to our saviour and wise dear leader.

I remember when you used to walk through the streets and rarely would you see a piece of street furniture adorned with the flag of England – now renamed Nigeland (thank you spell-checker, though now all politically correct fools are in the correctional facilities, I don’t need to worry about a misplaced ‘r’ and an extra ‘g’) – and we all have responsibility for decorating street furniture. I have now upgraded my house so that in my hallway there is a full-size picture of our great leader – one assumes it is just a matter of time before legislation means an A2-sized framed picture will no longer be enough. And rightly so.




There wasn’t much choice of venues as I couldn’t get a visa to visit Reading – I was thinking of visiting the Irish pub in Reading, or maybe even going to the Belgian Arms near Maidenhead, but both now have massive tariffs that make them utterly unaffordable to the average unemployed bum from Bracknell.

So I plumped for The Admiral Cunningham in Bracknell, a 40 minute walk from my house (about 2 miles and 4 furlongs), through street after street of beautiful Nigeland flags. One of the few pubs now not owned by Wetherspoons.


Everyone working there was English (of course, with all foreign and foreign-looking people having been rightly repatriated), and they had a choice of traditional English food and good ol’ roast dinners (all pubs now having to serve roast dinners every day, by law) on offer.


Yes as the king promised 10 years ago – they’ve all gone.

Pork, turkey, lamb, chicken, beef or mixed were the options at either 75 shillings or 80 shillings (£7.50 or £8.00 in old currency). Kids options were available at 40 shillings (£4.00) or super-roasts at 100 shillings (£10.00). Very pricey considering that the value of the pound collapsed in 2016 and has never recovered despite our conversion to new shillings as we took control of our country.

One reason that I was particularly looking forward to visiting the Admiral Cunningham was that it still had the honour of a 1 star food safety rating. Since King Nigel took over, all European food safety legislation has been annulled, but Reading council (who now run Bracknell) are still as backwards as ever, despite being run by UKIP (obviously, given that all other political parties are banned), and those pubs without a zero rating are allowed to keep their ratings. I can only think of a handful of places with any rating so eating at a 1 star venue is a real treat.

I ordered chicken and just like the new British Rail (well, English Rail to be more accurate since the break-up of the United Kingdom), it seemed to be quite slow in arriving but maybe that had more to do with how tired I was.


The carrots and cabbage came in the same side-pot and both were soft and succulent, the carrots in particular – a hint of butter and were both surprisingly nice.  The carrots had been straight prior to cutting despite the fact that carrots no longer need to be straight since we left the European Union.

I could have had peas, which as you know are my favourite vegetable (or at least they are now since my time in the correctional facility for my idiotic and unpatriotic vote for remain back in 2016 – amazing what a 4-year diet of cold peas can do to you), however I simply didn’t fancy them, and upgraded to cauliflower cheese instead which was 10 shillings extra.

This also came in a small pot, with a good half an inch of cream (can you remember the days of metric measurements? How outdated – thank God (Nigel) that we have our country back). The cauliflower itself was perfectly done in terms of bite though could have done with more in the way of cheesiness.


This time of year is one of the lucky times where we can actually get hold of potatoes post import/export-ban. Rumours are that there are mountains of unused potatoes in what is left of the European Union (Turkey, France, Ireland and Albania) – I cannot believe how badly run that shithole is. Even in Ireland they have plenty of potatoes. The two roast potatoes that were supplied to me were quite earthy and dirty, not at all roasted on the outside and semi-solid on the inside, but one has to be positive with what blessings we have nowadays. Crap roast potatoes are better than no roast potatoes.

The Yorkshire pudding was dry, burnt and crispy – and far too brown. Pretty rubbish, really.

There was half a chicken supplied. The drumstick was dry, overcooked and almost a touch stale – as if it has been on the table since last Christmas. The thigh was more appealing, quite soft and tasty with the fat. The breast itself was good enough – although a tad on the dry side. For a half a chicken it was a little small but larger than the old Nando’s chickens before it was banned for being foreign muck (now owned by Wetherspoons and converted to Chicken Chefs).

I do like a bit of stuffing and there was a perfectly rounded-corner square of herby stuffing. It would have been improved were it oven-cooked as opposed to microwaved but so be it. Surprising how they managed to get the corners that smooth and slice it so perfectly by hand, but that goes to show how things have improved under the dear leader.


Finally the gravy was good. Maybe I would say that as 4 years in the correctional facility (or Nilag as those of us who have been through it know it as) and the lack of gravy that was part of my punishment for that most disgraceful and unpatriotic decision of mine to vote remain, mean that I am forever grateful but you know, some gravies are still jus-like despite all the posh people having had their estates rightly handed over to the king and now just surviving on hand-outs like me – this was quite thick, albeit gloopy and with a shortage, despite me being allowed a little thimble extra. Which is better than Christmas dinner in the gulag which came without gravy.

Overall I’m going to give a reasonably healthy 4.4 out of 10, which is a good score in foreigner-free 2026. The carrots were the highlight – the lowlight being the roast potatoes, which shows that some things haven’t changed in 10 years, though at least we have control of our country now.

The bill originally came to just over 12 shillings (£12.40), I gave them 15 shilling (£15.00) and £1.60 came back in the way of change with a new receipt for just under 14 shillings (£13.60) – I presumed that this was King tax, however then I remembered that I had had 2 apple juices so they must have originally charged me just for one.

Sadly since the king suffered liver disease and converted to Islam, pubs are no longer allowed to sell alcohol, though there are still underground liquor dens – clearly I cannot allude to the details of any in case I am stabbed with a bayonet on the way home.

I quickly left, via doing a line of gravy powder in the men’s toilets (drugs being unable to enter the country, obviously, as nothing can get in via the giant impenetrable dome that has been built over the country) and headed home ready for an 18-hour shift tomorrow preparing ammunition for World War 3.

Next week is probably my last ever roast dinner review, though I appreciate that I have been saying that for 11 years now.

Time for my hourly prayer to King Nigel. LONG LIVE KING NIGEL. I wish you health and happiness for eternity oh dearest and greatest one. Thank you for taking us out of the European Union, and a massive thank you to everyone that voted to leave in 2016.

Sing it now – We’ve Got Our Country Back, Oh We’ve Got Our Country Back, We’ve Got Our Country Back, Oh We’ve Got Our Country Back.