hangovers on other occasions have denied my ability to review a roast dinner –
and it isn’t exactly as if I can go for a Sunday roast on a Thursday evening
several hours before I desired, though also before my hangover had kicked in so
I span my imaginary compass and headed west towards Theale. Or is it Burghfield?
book a table – it was fairly busy though I am sure they would have been able to
seat me without the advance reservation.
close enough to local villages of Theale and Burghfield to keep it busy. Clean and tidy inside, with slightly-rustic
tables – plenty of outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi – important when one is
dining by oneself (I was hesitant to arrange to meet anyone for a roast in case
given the anticipated hangover). Plenty
of seating outside too for pleasant summer drinking.
the drinks – little is more disappointing than turning up to a pub and finding
out that they sell nothing more adventurous than Carling/Strongbow, etc. This wasn’t the case – the drinks available
were of good quality – I had a very nice country cider which I had not had
before – I cannot recall the brand but let’s face it, the only liquid of real
interest here is gravy.
way had turned my mind to beef so that was an easy choice. I waited 15-20 minutes for it to arrive which
is what one would prefer – it is always wondrously concerning when a roast
dinner arrives just 5 minutes after ordering, like it did at The Cunning Man.
part of the roast – the vegetable bowls being larger the more populated your
table was. Overall the presentation was
good – not enough gravy for my northern-tastes but this was soon resolved with
a request for extra gravy. And I approved of the carrots standing up. And if the Moderation chef is reading – more than 2 carrots!
red variety. It was quite crunchy and
made an acceptable accomplice. The baby
carrots were good – perfectly cooked if a tad uninteresting. The final root-based offering was mashed parsnip. A pleasant taste but I would have much rather
have had whole roasted parsnips. Overall
not my favourite medley of vegetables but I did appreciate the effort to
albeit with soggy rather than crispy outsides.
outsides and delightfully large – probably the best Yorkshire pudding in the
reviews so far.
was two pleasingly large slices of an average depth – one assumes topside of
beef. It had an outer rim of fat
alongside one edge – not to everyone’s liking but always to mine. It was good but nothing special.
the gravy. It was normal beef
gravy. No strange taste. Like the rest of the roast dinner it was
decent but unremarkable. Nowhere near as
thick as I would prefer but one has to remember that I was having a roast in
Burghfield – not Bradford.
unremarkable was most welcome.
for a Yorkshire man to leave a tip.
2:30pm. They advised booking in advance but as I mentioned, I am not sure it is necessary.
The Crown in Playhatch – which really still stands out as the best in the local
area and is clearly going to take some beating.