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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Beef, Lamb & Pork @ Crooked Billet, Wokingham 12/06/2016

Yesterday was the most important day of my year, arguably for many years.

Sunday was not. All I needed to do was recover from a hangover, buy a new shoulder bag for work to replace the one that now stunk of piss and ale, have a roast dinner (of, course) and make it home in time for my food shopping delivery.

Simple. Bar the hangover. Just one minute after I posted wondering whether I was going to be able to follow my original plan, my wonderfully craziest friend (and I have a few in that category) messaged me and we were game on. And he invited his even crazier friend.

Can you see where this is going?

I was originally going to go somewhere in Reading but I wanted to impress, and managed to book a table at the surprisingly quiet, Crooked Billet, near Wokingham. I’ve tried on 3 previous occasions to book a table there but always without success.

You’d really have to know this place exists. We found it at the end of a rickety country lane, over a ford of which we decided not to attempt – probably our last sensible decision of the day.

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There were a variety of roasts on offer, pork, chicken, lamb, beef and nut roast at £14.50. There was also a mixed option of pork, lamb and beef at £16.50. As I was feeling utterly incapable of making a decision, I went for the mixed roast, despite having had two large sausages rolls for breakfast.

I had little doubt that I was going to get an excellent roast and I was immediately wowed upon delivery. It took a while, 30 minutes or so, though we did have a starter, plus a pre-starter but that was something not supplied by the venue.

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Easily the largest plate that I’d been served in a long time but I know where to start. The carrots.

Or carrot. After 69 roast dinners reviews I thought I had seen it all when it came to carrots but this was served simply as one long delicate yet delicious stick of orange. Easy to cut into chunks, moist and succulent.

For my personal tastes the mange tout were too crisp and squeaky but others prefer them this way – horses for courses. I do love a mange tout or two and it was exactly what I was going to do do do, come on let’s do the conga.

Yeah maybe not.

Then there was a fine selection of tenderstem broccoli (thank you again spellchecker) – not just average broccoli. Marginally on the tough side of average but very well-appreciated as a healthy higher class vegetable.

There was some blanched-looking dark green stuff which was possibly cabbage – it tasted good but some of the core was just a little too tough to munch.

We had a little pot of cauliflower cheese too. Nicely crisp on top with the taste of cheese evident too. The cream was thick enough not to infect the gravy. Very good.

Before we go on and you might want to skip this paragraph – don’t say that you were not warned. I know that I normally have a fair linguistic talent however I’m struggling to work out how to insert this naturally (worryingly apt language for what I am going to say) but my crazy friends’ crazy friend would like me to insert a sentence explaining that he believes that the only use for celery is to try to insert it in bodily areas that you would not normally associate with the insertion of celery. Ideally before or during sexual intercourse.

This was pretty much the deal to ensure that he kept his hands off my privates during dinner so I hope that you understand this situation. Sadly I did end up seeing his nob – thankfully not in the restaurant.

Erm…moving on. You are going to miss me, aren’t you?

Three fairly small roast potatoes were included. They were actually properly roasted but sadly they had lost their crispy edges. However what they lost in crispiness they more than made up with the exquisite taste of the goose-fat that they had been roasted in. Even if you had never had roast potatoes cooked in goose fat – you’d know these were. Superb stuff.

The Yorkshire pudding was a decent homemade effort – it hadn’t risen incredibly and was quite medium sized but it was good.

Then comes the meat. Where to start?

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I shall start with the beef, which was on the edges just a touch dry but it had a certain flakiness to it of earlier-cooked beef. It had been cooked medium-rare – soft and pinkish on the middle but crispy and grey/brown on the outside. The fatty parts were included too which were divine.

Then the pork which was succulent and juicy, not forgetting the bits of fat that were included to enhance the taste. It also came with a strip of crackling which was perfection – crunchy on top, soft and juicy underneath. Even my crack addict teeth were able to crunch it.

Perfection almost came with the lamb which was just delicious. Sometimes the flavour of lamb doesn’t come out properly, normally when it is quickly cooked but this was superb. As I said, delicious.

All came in sizeable thick slices and it really was a struggle to finish.

And it just leaves to mention the gravy, which was innocuous and very thin. Nothing wrong with the flavour, it was light and complimented the food nicely. But not what you’d call a gravy up north.

There is room for improvement.  It was all very good or excellent but it wasn’t a 9.  It didn’t quite beat The Crown at Playhatch but it was the closest I’ve come to beating it.

It gets a rather marvellous 8.6 out of 10.

So many highlights from quantity to all of the meat, oh and the cracking – but the goose-fat taste on the roasties was that moment.  As a lowlight the gravy was far too thin for my liking but still good.  On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale it gets a Stafford.

And how did the rest of my day go?  Well, I bought a new bag from town.  And then I bought another type of bag down Oxford Road.  And I made it home nearly 4 hours after my food delivery.

And had 3 hours sleep before my most important day of the year.  Oops.

Next week I am going to tell you how to vote in the EU referendum by way of a roast dinner review, the result of which will not be pre-ordained in any way, oh no, just like Boris’ leave campaign was nothing to do with his leadership desire, oh no, all to do with being faithful to his wife as any good, honest husband would always be.  In out in out we’ll shake it all about.  By the way I did decide against posting the photo of my friend’s willies that I had to take on Sunday.

Lamb @ The Catherine Wheel, Goring, 05/06/2016

Finally I am someone again.

Yes not since the giddy Get Reading days have I had some public abuse, but finally someone has recognised my talents and called me a clown.

What I suspect though, is that she actually really enjoys this blog, and is just getting into the spirit of things. Either that or she runs a pub that does crap roast dinners.

Speaking of being someone, this week I headed out to The Catherine Wheel in Goring, a rather well-to-do village west of Reading – a very pleasant area of the country. One of the 10 places on my must-review bucket list, it was recommended to me by my secret 4th housemate in my previous house that never paid any rent but did take the bin out once. Jolly nice chap though.

A table was booked for 3pm, I even had an attractive young lady coming – though, alas, story of my life…I was stood up again.

The pub itself featured low ceilings and wooden beams. It took a good 10-15 minutes to get someone’s attention at the bar, not because they were slovenly but because they were really rather busy. A good sign.

I was shown to my table and advised to come to the bar when I had decided what I wanted. I asked if I could order straight away, which caused some confusion. But yes, I was allowed to order straight away rather than sit down, pretend to look at a menu and then walk back to order, risking losing my seat in the sunshine. You’ve put the menu on your website for a reason.

Beef, pork and lamb were the options, though they did have a vegetarian option – don’t ask me what! I paid £14.95 for the lamb, I think. There was also the possibility of having a roast dinner sandwich – if only I didn’t need to lose weight, I could have had that for starter.

One day I’m actually going to have designate pie day. I’ll have pork pie for lunch, a proper pie for dinner and apple pie for dessert. But I’m not sure what to do for breakfast – any ideas? Must be a pie.

There was around a 30 minute wait for the food, which normally I don’t mind, but I was more hungry than I was horny, and I’m going through a horny phase at the moment. But the rule is, the longer the wait, the better the roast.

One other thing to note, the charming and very nicely dressed lady that I assumed was the landlady, was polishing the cleaned glasses properly. Attention to detail. I approve.

So I was sat, very happily, in the sunshine when my roast arrived. It looked good. I didn’t even have to ask for more gravy.

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I started with what appeared to be mashed swede. It had a rather light orange colour, for swede, tasted rather buttery and on the sweet side. I have never enjoyed swede as much as I enjoyed this.

Onto the mange tout – one of my favourite vegetables and not something ever supplied with a bad roast dinner. Sadly they were a tiny bit undercooked for my preferences, being rather squeaky and crunchy – but horses for courses.

On the other hand, the cauliflower cheese was exceptional. Really creamy and really cheesy – plenty of it too. Truly delicious.

But swinging back the other way a tad like in the gay club in Ibiza, the roast potatoes were not very roasted. Whilst they were soft in the middle, there was no evidence on them having been roasted. Good potatoes – but not good roast potatoes.

Also roasted were a couple of parsnips. Not quite as sweet or nutty as normal, maybe it was the oil that they had been roasted in.

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A homemade Yorkshire pudding was included, marginally sponge-like in texture, close to a medium size.

Two large slices of lamb were included, assumedly leg of lamb, one quite thick at 6mm, the other half the thickness. Medium-cooked, with cracked pepper on the top, this was very good and rather succulent lamb.

Finally, the gravy. It seemed to have a hint of mint and red wine in it, which may just have been my hangover from 2 bottles of wine confusing my basic northern taste buds – it was a nice gravy, a thick one too, though it did become a little tiresome towards the end.

Overall it was a very good roast dinner, at a very nice pub with very nice weather.

Nobody came to collect my plate or offer me dessert – I could have been tempted. I stayed for a second drink which is quite unusual for when I’m on my own. I blame the sunshine.

My highlight was the exquisite cauliflower cheese – the lowlight, surprise surprise, the unroasted potatoes. On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale, it rates a Nether Heyford. Scores on the doors – 7.7 out of 10.

Next Sunday I think I’m going to go somewhere in the town centre. Yes, Reading town center. Actual Reading. Somewhere also on my bucket list, though somehow I still have 10 places on it.

And hopefully start clowning around again – this was a pretty boring review wasn’t it? Here’s a photo of my rail replacement bus to brighten things up.

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Beef @ The Land’s End Inn, Twyford 29/05/2016

Welcome to yet another bloody roast dinner review. Are you fed up of them yet? The statistics say not, though we are past peak-roast, which was in February. My statistics may not be as firm as they were in my younger days, but they are holding up.

Sometimes I’m fed up of doing them. Which is why I now have a bucket list (still accepting your suggestions).

I wasn’t especially looking forward to it this week, slight hangover in tow from celebrating a Wembley victory for the football best team in Yorkshire, I travelled to Twyford train station then took a surprisingly very pleasant walk through the countryside, along a lake until I reached a rather weathered building – The Land’s End Inn, in Twyford.


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My boss reckons it is in Woodley. Or, if not Woodley, then Charvil. But I believe in disrespecting management where possible, so Twyford it is.

By the way, I might be looking for a new job soon so if you have a role suitable for my skills, talents and over-sized manboobs, drop us a line. Not of ketamine. A call. An e-mail. That kind of line. Hi boss.

Anyway, once inside, I scanned the slightly dishevelled building, noticed a poor choice of cheap common lagers and was served by a young man who seemed to be fed up of my presence as soon as I opened my mouth.

The roast options were turkey, beef, lamb and pork, all for £9.75. I asked for his advice, to which he replied that he did not eat roast dinners. We were not going to get along. Especially given that I did not have a table number ready for him, and they clearly would not recognise me despite my hairstyle which is even more uncommon than a 10-inch multi-coloured Mohican.

I went outside, chose a weathered table with an annoyingly screwed-in umbrella impeding my view, went back inside to inform him, then went back outside to my table.

I was seated around 10 or so minutes when it arrived. “There you go, cutlery is inside”.

Excuse me? You cannot be bothered to pick me up a knife and fork and bring it to my table as part of the service? So I placed my surface (a vastly over-priced tablet) and phone back in my bag, picked my bag up and left.

You don’t really believe that a Yorkshireman wasted food, do you? I walked inside with my bag, picked up a knife and fork, then went back outside to eat my roast dinner.

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Not a glorious start. Seriously, why on earth are you making your customers pick up their own cutlery? At which point, I realised that I was so flabbergasted that I had forgot to ask for extra gravy.

So, the food. It looked very ordinary and so it was. I have so little to say about the broccoli, though at least it was green unlike last week’s abomination, and also had a decent consistency to it.

The carrots were plentiful, batons, probably mass-produced but reasonable enough to eat once a slight scraping of thin gravy was applied.

But what’s this? I’ve been stabbed. Metaphorically shat upon.

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Yes, I found a pea. Despite specifically asking for no peas. I wanted to throw it at a member of staff, but as was the general theme there was nobody to throw it at so I placed it in the ashtray, where it belongs, which was at least half-empty.

Panic over, and no trip to a psychiatric ward necessary. Not in my view, anyway.

Then there was a bunch of cauliflower cheese which actually tasted of cheese. Not the nicest cheese ever, and actually had a slightly off-taste but I took it as cheese and enjoyed it as much as possible.

At first glance, the roast potatoes looked quite good. But it quickly became evident that they had been deep-fried, and not even deep-fried well – the oil used tasted cheap, and they were rather chewy on the inside, once you got past the crumbly outer ring which was acceptable in a deep-fried kind of way.

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The Yorkshire pudding looked exceptionally similar to other Yorkshire puddings that I’ve had. One would suggest that they have been to the same cash and carry that some other pubs also go to. For an aunt-bessie style yorkie, it was fine, crispy edges and slightly chewy bum.

There were a scattering of new potatoes.  Assumedly microwaved, but perfectly acceptable, albeit I had forgotten to write about them until I uploaded the photo.

It was around this point that I noticed someone in a wheelchair nearby, which had the brand name of Karma. Seriously. Has Glenn Hoddle started making wheelchairs? Why on earth would you call a wheelchair company Karma?

I’d like to think that the beef was cooked there, but it did also have the appearance of being mass-produced. On the bright side, there were 4 slices of relatively thick beef. It was cooked medium-style (or the only way possible in Eastern Europe) but was seemingly too smoothly cut to have been hand-cut – hence my assumption that it was pre-packaged. Edible.

Nobody came anywhere near for me to ask for extra gravy, and I didn’t feel inclined to walk inside so I soldiered on with what little watery brown liquid I had – bisto at best.

Someone did at least pick my plate up when I was finished, but there was no interest whatsoever in whether I had actually enjoyed the meal.

In fact the service throughout was poor. A good example of customer anti-service.

Not the best roast dinner but a thoroughly pleasant afternoon.  Had it been cold and wet then it may have been in danger of a much lower score (yes Spanish, if you are reading, I do actually like the sunshine – but only on a weekend).  Trying to be objective – 3.5 out of 10.

The highlight was the quantity of food.  The lowlight was going to be the quality – but the poor service trumps the poor quality.  On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale, it gets a Stoke-On-Trent.

Next Sunday I’m going to one of the pubs on my bucket list.

City Of Culture, we know who we are.  Have you booked your trip to Hull yet?

Chicken @ The Three Frogs, Wokingham 22/05/2016

Dear FirstName.

Don’t worry, no need to close/delete – this isn’t a Labour Party begging e-mail – though if you do want to give me £20 then you are more than welcome.  I’ll use it more wisely – gravy as opposed to gravy train.

I’ve been suffering from a notable case of GMT recently. Grumpy, Miserable & Tired. I’ve relapsed after a weekend of relative joy so I’m in no mood to put a smile on your face. There won’t be any tranny references, no drug references, no prostitutes, no bad jokes, no random digressions, no pointlessness, no politics and definitely no swearing. Just a plain old personality-free review of a roast dinner.

I do need your help though. £20 should do.

Seriously though, I want to know from you which places you think I need to review before I get shot by the mafia or end up like the orange juice man of Ibiza.

Call it a bucket list. I know I’ve been threatening to stop these reviews for about a year but an end point will come and I want to go out in a blaze of glory.

Comment, e-mail me, message me – whatever. If there is somewhere you really, really want to see me review, good or bad, for whatever reason, I want it on my list.

Yesterday’s roast was selected by my only good friend, the random number generator. It was pleasingly within easy walking distance of my house, despite being in another town.

The Three Frogs was the name. Three roast dinners were on offer for £9.49 each – beer, pork and chicken. I went for the allegedly slow-cooked half a chicken. I’d be cynical even if I weren’t grumpy today.

The menu suggested to me that it should be a step up from a Harvester, but not much else. The décor of the pub suggested similar – garish purple-patterned carpet that has been laid in more pubs than your average whore, with ugly haggard tables yet half-decent chairs. More suited for the football fan than the restaurant critic, of which I am only vaguely either.

Shit, I think I accidentally attempted humour in there. Doh.

I had called in advance and reserved a roast dinner. They serve them until close but warned me that they do sell out. And by time I arrived at 4pm, mine was the only one left. Some people might suggest this was a good sign.

I waited around 15 minutes as the queue for the microwave must have been quite long.

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Let’s start with the red cabbage. Never my favourite vegetable, a pile of it was splodged onto the plate. I tried to eat some of it, however there was so much water involved that every time I took a bite, a small river of purple water would run down and infect my gravy, of which there wasn’t exactly a reservoir of.

I quickly gave up and moved onto the broccoli. Unfortunately this had been in some kind of reservoir for it was also soggier than an English bank holiday weekend. It had been boiled/steamed so long that it had just about lost its green colour. Edible.

Also on the soggy side were the carrots. Which was a shame as they were nice carrots – those small chantannoy ones, replete with outer skin, as carrots should be. But could have been mashed with a fork. A plastic fork.

The Yorkshire pudding was average at best. It appeared a home-grown effort, yet was somewhat rubbery and chewy. I’ve had worse.

At least the chicken had some cracked pepper on it, and it was a larger half-chicken than you would get at Nando’s – the most over-rated restaurant chain in the country, living on past glories of when they didn’t use disfigured malnourished mini-chickens, and nobody had yet discovered peri-peri.

I once wrote to Nando’s and offered to write a blog about their restaurant in exchange for two free whole chickens – the deal being that I would have to eat both whole chickens in one sitting, otherwise I would have to pay.

They wrote back to me to thank me for my suggestion, but that the only discounts they have available were for NHS, fire service and police. Why on earth well-paid public sector workers get a discount and average-paid roast dinner reviewers don’t, is another matter. Though I guess they work harder than me. Well, NHS and police, anyway. Hopefully my firefighting cousins will read this and withdraw my invite to the wedding I’m subjected to in a couple of weeks.

I guess that’s why Nando’s was smashed up when Portugal beat England in the football a few years back.

Actually the last time I went to a wedding of one of my cousins on that side of the family, I was served a roast dinner.  It was a pretty good one too. Why on earth don’t we allow firefighters to retire at 40, and double their pay?

Then again, I only got one Yorkshire pudding and those on the top table got two. Vote Tory.

So the chicken. It was tasteless yet edible. The breast portion was a touch dry, the skin was limp and soggy, the thigh nice – the remainder in trace amounts. The cracked black pepper added nothing.

The gravy was a pretty standard Bisto kind of affair – very little on the plate but more was forthcoming on request, albeit not a huge amount more.

Not exactly a great roast dinner but there is something that I have not yet mentioned. Roast potatoes. I can see that you are expecting a variety of rarely-used vocabulary.

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Yes, the roast potatoes were excellent. Almost perfection. Had they been freshly served then they would have been some of the best ever. And despite the obvious cooling and reheating, they were the best this year by some way. Proper crispy edges, fluffy on the inside – there were even 5 of them.

Albeit the one nearest the red cabbage ended up purple.

Surprised?

If only the rest of the roast dinner was that good. The excellent roasties rescued a fairly poor to average dinner – the rating therefore is 5.5 out of 10 – about half of which is for the spuds.

The highlight was the roasties – the lowlight everything else.

On the way out, I was advised that I was the envy of the pub, having had the last roast dinner. Quite.

Next Sunday (hangover dependent) I’m going to somewhere that apparently holds Morris dancing events. Unless I have a willing driver, in which case I’ll get them to head out into the sticks instead.

I hope you didn’t smile. I’m still miserable and grumpy, although I have nearly cracked a smile about the lesbian action at the night I DJ at on Friday.

Beef Rib-Eye @ The Walter Arms, Sindlesham 08/05/2016

There are few things I despise more than anaemic roast potatoes and jus. Working in a boiling hot office is one. I’d gladly not only sacrifice sunshine for the next 4 months, but also decent roast potatoes and proper gravy, just to have comfortable working conditions.

With a bit of luck, they’ll get rid of me soon. Come on, make me redundant! Hurry up!

Normally I start writing my review on a Sunday evening and finish it at lunch on Monday, and just about get it published before my lunch finishes.

Today it is currently 24.2’C in the office. It was 23.2’C less than an hour ago. It gets much hotter in here from lunchtime. I’m angry. I’m fucked off. I’m in a serious state of loathing already. The world can fuck off. You can all fuck off (after sharing the page, please). So I’m writing this review when I should really be closing my eyes, not thinking and doing the same that I do every single day in my oh so boring job.

Yesterday’s roast was shit. 0 out of 10.

Next weekend I’m not having any more roast dinners because I will be in custody for burning down the office. 24.3’C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the hot Spanish girl in my office has just said it is hot. 24.4’C. Though I think that was meant as a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, ok you can have a proper review. I like some of you. I like Edible Reading anyway as he/she/he-she always shares the love. 24.5’C.

My life-partner, the random number generator, picked The Walter Arms near Winnersh as my destination this week. Co-incidentally the place recommended to me last weekend by one of my freely-swearing amigos. 24.6’C. I’m struggling not to swear every time I look at my digital thermometer.

We arrived at midday…yes…we. I had someone join me. No it wasn’t my imaginary girlfriend. No I didn’t take my life-size cardboard cut-out of Margaret Thatcher. 24.7’C. Anyway we arrived at the venue – the front looks like a church and we nearly walked past. They had two outdoor areas – one was a field, the other a very pleasant courtyard, allegedly with waiter service, although I only saw waitresses and they definitely were not transsexuals. 24.8’C.

We found a table half in the sunshine for your favourite fat 50-year old meow-meow-addicted virgin with an inverted nob, and half in the shade for my favourite UKIP-voting homosexual socialist with balls too big to wear shorts, complaining about the heat whilst wearing a jumper that allegedly was not a jumper. 24.9’C. 25.0’C.

The menu reads like one of those trendy places – split into starters, mains, mouth amusers and smorgasbords. What the insert swear words. Seriously. There was also a section for roasts, with beef, pork, chicken and lamb the options, and prices ranging between £12.95 and £14.95. 25.1’C.

You could also order Sunday Sundries, sigh, such as cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding or roast potatoes. Cauliflower cheese being a favourite, I ordered a side dish. 25.2’C.

We sat in the temporarily-wonderful warm sunshine that I now despise, drinking a pint of cider and 15 minutes later a well-presented roast dinner arrived, with a side bowl of mixed vegetables and the cauliflower cheese.

Did I mention that it was very nicely presented? Hardcore. You know the score.

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The bowl of mixed vegetables was very ordinary. Generally quite crunchy and not on the enjoyable side of crunchy. Not difficult to eat but usually the less you cook vegetables, the more flavour they keep. Nein. Nicht. Nada. Not this time. Mange tout, very thinly sliced carrots, straggly cheap green beans and some random leaves – none were distinguishable from each other. Very bland. 25.3’C.

Inside the yorkie, were a few small cubes of roasted carrots, and a larger handful of roasted swede. The swede was the tastiest part of the roast dinner – which was a shame because I don’t especially like swede.

A little disappointed, I progressed onto the anaemic-looking roast potatoes which were anaemic. Slightly dry yet rubbery on the outside, somewhat fluffy on the inside. They were not enjoyable but they were edible. 25.4’C.

Redemption should have been possible with the cauliflower cheese. However there was absolutely no hint of cheese, and it was very creamy – the cream seemed like it was out of a packet. Worse still – it infected the gravy so the cheap cream taste accompanied everything I ate. 25.5’C.

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The yorkie was acceptable but it looked suspiciously like it was out of a packet, as the edges were just a little too round, stable and pre-formed. 25.6’C.

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The beef was rib-eye – one of my favourite cuts and not often it is supplied in a roast dinner. The best part of the roast dinner by some way though far from amazing. It was succulent and juicy, with a good amount of tasty rib-eye fat but it was just missing something. A little cracked pepper, a little mustard powder – something to distinguish it. A good piece of beef but just a tad ordinary. 25.7’C.

It was alleged to be a gravy – a red-wine gravy at that, but red wine gravy on a roast dinner rarely works for me, and on the plate it was rather thin, albeit mixed with the cheap cream from the cauliflower cheese. It didn’t work for me – I’m probably too northern for it.

I like the pub, the courtyard is perfect for summer afternoon drinking. But I didn’t like the roast dinner. It wasn’t overly bad but it was overtly bland. 25.8’C.

My current state of loathing does mean that I may be being a tad more harsh than I should, but I’m going to give it a 5.8 out of 10. The highlight was the beef – the lowlight were the anaemic roast potatoes. On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale it gets a Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Looks are not everything in life.

Last week I nearly right-swiped a transsexual on Tinder. Which led to a conversation at work about whether you would date someone who had a sex change. I’m open minded to most things but it isn’t for me. They probably find it harder to get a date than I do. Actually, maybe not. It’s still 25.8’C.

Next Saturday night I’m going to a nightclub. I don’t intend on getting home until 10am on Sunday so I expect that there is more chance of being kidnapped by a group of hot Spanish lesbians smothered in gravy than there is of me being able to eat a roast dinner.


Are you going to tell me your number one fantasy?

WHOA the office temperature has gone down to 25.7’C. Where did I put my scarf and gloves?

Do you think gardening leave would be too much to ask for?

25.9’C.

Lamb @ The Horns, Crazies Hill 01/05/2016

I was supposed to go out on Saturday and enjoy the British countryside, but instead I decided to focus on my web development portfolio and finish off some websites. It was a hugely frustrating day and by the end of it I ended up feeling sad and lonely.

I should have just stuck on Pornhub but instead I watched a romantic movie. It didn’t help. During which I consumed a bottle of rose wine and large bar of chocolate. It’s like I’ve had a mental sex change.

Mental as in the brain – not as in going loco. Sex changers, drug queens and everyone in between are normal and equally loved by me – it’s the thickness of your gravy that counts. May I take this opportunity to offer a heart-warming welcome to all of my trans readers, along with those who used to like transformers and trance music. If you still like transformers or trance music, you may want to check with your parent or guardian as to whether you should be reading this.

So I woke up on Sunday morning to the sound of not one housemate, but two housemates having sex with their respective partners. Yes I am a fat 50 year-old virgin who cannot even see his nob. You have asked your parents, haven’t you?

I considered blasting out Mel & Kim but just stuck on some banging techno and fantasised about northern women gravy wrestling.

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This week the random number generator picked The Horns in Crazies Hill. It was definitely on the boundary of acceptability in terms of how long it took to get there. By myself. A 30 minute walk to Bracknell train station, followed by 3 trains and then a 45 minute walk from Wargrave. I was fearing it being on the top of a hill after my long journey – but no, no hill, no crazies either.

Dear Landlord/landlady. If you are reading then please update your Sunday roast menu on your website. I was expecting to pay £10.95 for a lamb roast dinner as advertised by the website, but on the day it was £13.95. The price doesn’t really bother me but sort your website out! I can make or update websites for a very efficient cost.

I think the options were beef, pork, lamb and chicken, but don’t quote me. I’d had my heart set on lamb and was focused on it. I ordered at the bar on arrival, and barely had chance to try to remember from my heavy partying days who I had bumped into at the bar, got my seat and my meal was there.

Microwave central.

But on the bright side there was a very healthy portion supplied. However I was still feeling the effects of a tab of acid that I took when I woke up.

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Absolutely no shortage of vegetables, with carrots, mange tout, cabbage and traces of leek in the bowl.

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Starting with the traces of leek, it was difficult to discern any objectivity from the occasional white rings as they were quite on the sparse side. But always a bonus point for leakage.

Speaking of bonus points, mange tout are upper class vegetables suitable for an upper class boy like myself. These were on the crunchy side as was the cabbage – but the enjoyable side of crunchy – not the difficult side.

The carrots were a touch softer, provided in multiple baton format.

I was initially perturbed when I saw a new potato. What? No roast potatoes? But then I saw the roasties hidden behind. It was a large new potato – perfectly cooked with a good solidity and a softness inside. A bonus spud.

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The roast potatoes were, of course, not especially fresh and crispy. They were kind of a cross between cuboids and pyramids – they probably have a mathematical name but I am struggling to remember my own name right now. Quite long and appealing for reheated potatoes. They were a pretty decent effort.

Parsnips. There were a few parsnips too – very sweet and a touch soft despite having been roasted – the effects of the microwave again.

The lamb was a touch on the dry side. And a touch on the cooked quite a while ago side.

Bizarrely though, it was really tasty despite the lack of succulence. 3 fairly thick slices, so like the rest of the dinner, no compromise on quantity.

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Finalmente, el gravio was a very watery affair, but probably the best very watery affair that I’ve had. A relaxed yet flavoursome brown water with lots of little meat stock bits in. It was so good that I spooned some of the leftovers into my gob like a posh boy.

And that is that. Nearly.

The delightful young waitress who had been unerringly polite and quizzical about my experience, asked me for probably the third time how I had enjoyed it at the end of the meal. I told her it was good but that I wish there had been a Yorkshire pudding with it.

2 minutes later…

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Yes. A Yorkshire pudding on a small plate and I still had some gravy left over. Definite bonus points for customer experience. I even left a tip.

It could have been the worst Yorkshire pudding ever but I was over-joyed with the touch, and it was actually a good, albeit small yorkie anyway. Well-risen with a soft, crunchy texture.

The fact that it was my first oootdoor dining experience of the year may slightly skew my ratings – but a 7.7 out of 10 seems about right.

I guess the dryness of the lamb was the lowlight, but the flavour of the lamb was the highlight. On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale it gets Scunthorpe. By the way did anyone go on Pornhub on April 1st? They had changed it to Cornhub, and there were lots of videos of sticks of corn getting down and dirty with each other. Oh yeah.

I wanted to stay for longer but alas there was only one train an hour and I had a date with a group of friends at the Walkabout, some of whom swear more in a sentence than I fucking do in a fucking year. Yes, I do actually have friends. Or people willing to occasionally entertain my presence in exchange for finding out where the best roast dinner is because they still haven’t subscribed to my ramblings.

Next Sunday is going to be an unusually early roast dinner – and co-incidentally the random number generator has picked somewhere that one of my Sunday friends was talking to me about. Fucking well recommended, apparently.

And yes, probably by myself. Ahhhh.



Pork @ Hind’s Head, Bray 17/04/2016

The Crown in Playhatch was one of the very first roast dinners that I reviewed. It hasn’t been topped. I’ve even gone back there to check that I didn’t over-rate it, and I did mark it a very slight fraction less the second time around, but like Bryan Adams, it still remains number one. Oh like a virgin, roasted for the very first time.

Oh that was Madonna wasn’t it? I went to Berlin once. More than once, actually, as it used to be the centre of minimal techno – my favourite music genre.  I’ve been twice.  Anyway, there were three of us, really into our underground music. We’d missed our flight on Saturday morning as my friends (now amicable ex-friends) were dicking around in the airport and they closed the gate, surprise surprise as I told them they would if we didn’t hurry up.

Warning – this story is quite long. We were re-booked onto a flight the next day and come the evening tried to go clubbing. The first place that we went to, we were told that we were way too sober – the people inside had been on it for several days.

Then we tried to get into Berghain – arguably the most famous of the Berlin clubs, certainly with the most famously impossible door-policy. The lights and music were on but we couldn’t even find a way to get rejected.

Running out of ideas, it was Sunday night, we headed towards this office block in the centre of Berlin which had a nightclub on the 11th floor. The doormen were welcoming, until they said it was €350 each to get in. Thankfully it was just their German sense of humour.

But then quite seriously he blocked our way and said “wait, wait, you do realise it is gay night, don’t you?”.

“Of course, the gays have the most fun,” my friend replied.

So yes, we had come to Berlin for minimal techno, and ended up watching trannies fake-suck-off guys whilst listening to Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. Whilst high.

We didn’t invite anyone back to our apartment.

That was quite a tangent. You’ll have to give me a minute to stop thibking of the tranny’s cock and remember what I was talking about. I hope you have similar images right now.

Right. Nowwww then. Oh gosh I sound like Jimmy Savile now. In a dress. This really needs rescuing. How on earth did I get sacked by Get Reading?

Anyway. I really want to try to test The Crown before I am jailed for upsetting some middle eastern dictator and see if someone can take its crown. Was that better? I’m still relying on the random number generator for now but the Hind’s Head in Bray was somewhere that I thought had potential to beat it.

1. I have had several people recommend it.
2. It would be the most expensive roast dinner I’ve ever reviewed.
3. It has a Michelin Tyre thing.
4. The bloke on the table next to me said it was the best roast dinner he’d ever had, and apparently he was a tough man to please. Then again, he had an American accent so that might not be saying much.

Pork or beef were the two roast dinners available – I chose the pork at £23.50 (although it is advertised on the website at £20.99 – shoddy – insert totally smooth link to the fact that I do make decent websites should anyone want to hire me). The beef was £25.50 if I recall correctly, but I’d eaten it the previous weekend so pork was the only choice by my rules.

Service was proper throughout. The young lady on the greeting desk was very attractive, sorry, I mean courteous, my waitress had possibly the heaviest French accent I’ve ever encountered and was polite, helpful and…correct.

I was offered some water, so I asked for just a small glass. A whole jug arrived with some lemon slices, as did some bread and butter – being northern, my immediate thought was “this better be free”. I looked at it suspiciously before tentatively shoving large lumps into my gob.

It didn’t take too long for the roast to arrive, maybe just over 10 minutes, and my initial thoughts were “is that it”?

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No, I don’t know why I positioned the photos like that either.  I just fancied a change.

I’m not sure if it was that light at all on content, but it was missing a Yorkshire pudding. Apparently you don’t get them with pork at upmarket places.  I didn’t query their judgement.

There were 3 long strips (still thinking of the tranny?) of carrot, slightly soft, somewhat buttery and charred in a kind of diseased-looking way but oh these were wonderfully flavoursome carrots. Truly fabulous. If somewhere can do the carrots well, you know you are onto a good roast.

The handful of green beans were as close to perfection as possible. Quite heavily buttered, easy to cut but enough structure to give them some bite – I thought perhaps there was a tiny hint of garlic but I could have been imagining this.

On the plate there was a pile of something shredded that I couldn’t quite discern for definite. On looks I thought it was cabbage but on taste it was closer to onion. It didn’t add anything to the dinner.

Hmmm. Roast potatoes. Could they buck the trend and make good roast potatoes?

Yes. Four fairly small roast potatoes, cleverly so, perfectly soft and fluffy on the inside – freshly roasted and quite crispy on the outside. They actually looked like they had been deep-fried, but I’m presuming not, they certainly didn’t taste so – I expect the chef actually knew how to make crispy outsides. Not only that, they had a hint of rosemary too.

The Yorkshire pudding, oh, wasn’t. However I was supplied with both stuffing and crackling.

Both were decent, the stuffing being of bacon and herbs…I suspect sage more than any other, and came in a perfectly cylindrical tube, albeit much smaller than a tranny’s…erm. Did I mention it was herby? Moving on.

The crackling was crunchy, but edibly so. Just.

Three slices of pork loin were supplied and despite the decorative menu description and high price, I didn’t especially discern this to be especially distinguishable from any other pork loin that I’ve had. Yes it was tender, yes it was succulent and a good piece of pork loin, but I thought it might have been a bit special. It wasn’t. It was simply very good. I suspect that I may have been far more impressed had I chosen the beef – bad planning on my part.

Finally the gravy. It was a rich meat-stock affair, very thin and watery, and came in a tiny jug. Unusually for me, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask for more. I didn’t even take the opportunity to take my top off, fart and snort a line of white powder just to say I had done so in a Michelin Tyre establishment.

Mostly a minor issue, but something that surprised me from such a place, was that I found the gravy running down the knife onto the bottom of my hand and my wrist. Whether this was the design of the knife, the watery nature of the gravy or whether I have simply never been taught to hold a knife in an upper class way, I am entirely unsure of.

I did feel a bit out of place there. I’m not the common oik I used to be, hell, I vote Tory, but I really did feel that I was expected to spend more money than I did. The waitress seemed surprised that I didn’t want a starter, I chose the cheapest beer at £4.95 even though I didn’t actually want a beer and just felt a bit awkward. Maybe it was because I was eating alone.

I decided to leave as quickly as possible so I could walk through the rugby pitches on the way back to Maidenhead station and shout “poofter” at them, though the waitress was not too keen on collecting my money and I had to go up to the bar to pay which seemed totally incorrect but, hell, I’m a Tory and I do what I want.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a gorgeous pub with excellent service and very flavoursome food. But in the same kind of way as when I go to a Wetherspoons, I just didn’t feel like I belonged there. Same ish anyway. I belonged much more in that gay club.  And I really, really love boobs.

So summing it up for those who were too scared to read the above:

Highlight – the exquisite vegetables.
Lowlight – the nice but totally un-special pork.
On the Yorkshire-Surrey scale it was practically in the sea – so I’ll give it a Worthing.

In terms of a score, this is probably the most difficult rating I’ve ever had to consider. Some people would give it a 9. And it was excellent food but a high-scoring roast dinner isn’t just about flavour. And it was very expensive at £23.50 – I should have reviewed this place when Get Reading used to pay for it.

I’m really not convinced about my score but I’m going to give it an 7.8 out of 10. Part of me thinks I’m being unfair, part of me thinks I’m being generous. I’d be especially interested in your thoughts and scores if you have had a roast dinner there.

Next weekend I am going to the new centre of minimal techno – Bucharest. I do get back on the Sunday evening but I’m more likely to put on a dress and give you a lap dance than be able to eat a roast dinner.

Don’t worry though – I do have a super special special feature lined up for you.

By the way I didn’t even get a look from the tranny, let alone a dance.

Beef @ The Royal Stag, Datchet 10/04/2016

This is for you.

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Yes, it is a toilet. But not just any toilet. It is a toilet in the Houses Of Parliament. I took this photograph especially for you, my dear readers.

Sadly they don’t seem to do roast dinners but they do offer excellent tours.

Speaking of toilets, I went to Datchet for the first time ever on Sunday. Actually it isn’t a toilet but they do seem to have an obsession with weddings, with two wedding dress shops, one formal clothing shop for men and a cake shop which seemed to specialise in wedding cakes, all on my 2 minute walk from the train station to The Royal Stag. And weddings are crap. Although the last time I was forced to go to a wedding, we were served a roast dinner. Yes, it was in Hull.

The Royal Stag was recommended to me so I was expecting a good roast dinner. Despite it being some years after the invention of the telegraph, there was no website – when I called (second time around as the first time they hung up and when I dialled back I just received the engaged tone – the kind of thing I do at work when I don’t want to speak to customers), they advised that they do roast dinners until roughly 7pm, however they also added that the roast dinners often run out, so I reserved a beef.

When I arrived at 4pm, the roast dinners had indeed run out – but mine was happily awaiting my arrival – hopefully not literally sat there waiting.

The other choices available were chicken, pork and lamb – all priced between £10.95 and £13.95.

Having initially been directed to the wrong table, I had a cosy table for one in a corner. I like corners, especially at after-parties. Nothing quite like sitting in a corner and inhaling nitrous oxide. Or gravy. The pub itself was quite cosy, though in places probably could do with a little care and attention. It seemed like a pub for locals – and I suspected that they had good reasons for repeated visits.

Dinner took somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes to arrive.

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A vegetable medley was supplied, with green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, chanteys carrots and mange tout.

There wasn’t enough of each of them to make it worthy of a sentence for each – just one lump of cauliflower and broccoli for example – all were on the crunchy side but not too much so and all had taste. If you like your chocolate on a biscuit vegetables crunchy, you’d be impressed.

The Chantilly carrots still had their skin on to give them that edge – and the inclusion of 6 mange tout (yes I counted) provided a bonus fraction of a point as mange tout put all other beans to shame.

Totally unsurprisingly there were 3 roast potatoes, though they were large – you could even call them very large. And they were fluffy on the inside. Totally unsurprisingly you couldn’t call them crispy on the outside – they did have a touch of having been laid around for a while but not disastrously so. I was at least content with them.

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I was more than content with the Yorkshire pudding which was close to perfection. The size of a babies face to quote my recommender (whom I randomly bumped into outside), it was soft on the bottom, yet held the gravy without going soggy and had crispy edges. Hats off to the chef for one of the best yorkies for some time.

For the beef there were two 2mm slices – folded to make it look like there was more than there actually was. You may have noticed an almost complete lack of complaints, for my standards anyway, but for £13.95 I’d expect at least a third slice of beef – it did seem a tad stingy.

Thankfully the beef was very nice, quite pink so on the medium-rare shelf, and particularly juicy too.

And guess what else happened? I received thick gravy. Well – not as thick as cement, as I prefer, but thick gravy as more normal people would enjoy. There was a very slight hint of something about it, perhaps red wine, I’m not entirely sure, but a good THICK meat-stock gravy. I was happy.

But. Oh yeah there’s a but. Quite a big but too – bigger than mine after all the roast dinners I’ve had. Now, I asked for extra gravy. I probably could have survived without as there was just about enough on the plate, but I’m northern and we like our food to be swimming in gravy. In fact, I dream of a swimming pool of gravy. Can you swim in gravy?

More was forthcoming but when I received the bill at the end I’d been charged £1 for what to a northerner is a basic human right. At no point had I been advised of this.

It does have to be taken into context of what was good gravy on a good roast dinner. But it stops me giving them an 8 out of 10 – an 8 probably being harder to achieve than a Michelin Star and they were so close.

Butt I enjoyed my visit. It was a very good roast. The Yorkshire pudding was my favourite part – the lowlights are relatively minor gripes, particularly just two slices of beef.

I’m going to give it a 7.9 out of 10. If you go and I hope that you do, don’t forget to order in advance if you want to guarantee a roast! Oh yeah – it’s a Macclesfield on the Yorkshire-Surrey scale.

I considered staying for dessert, but no dessert menu was offered to me – maybe they didn’t proffer any sweets. But I suspect that like their lack of website, they are simply missing their opportunities.

I enjoyed my visit, so hopefully this review will raise awareness of a good little pub.

Next Sunday I’m going up in the world. In theory it should be the best roast dinner I’ve ever had. In practice it may just be some overpriced poncey crap with jus.

By the way, I do think myself more suitable for the House Of Lords than the House Of Commons. Lord Gravy of Bracknell. I am normal.