Beef @ Plough And Harrow, Warfield 31/01/2016

Another week, another roast. This week I was quite looking forward to the random number generator’s choice, however I called in the morning to book a table – and it was fully booked. I guess it must be good.

I span again and was chosen a place in Warfield – the Plough And Harrow. I called and booked a table for one – he laughed when I said for one. Is it that weird to eat in a pub by oneself?

The pub is a short walk north of Bracknell, just off Osborne Lane – assumedly renamed in celebration of our great chancellor – who by the way, will not be the next Conservative leader. Not a chance.

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Anyway, back to Roast Dinners Around Bracknell.

Talking about doing weird things in a pub, I ordered a J2O. I am on detox until early March – no booze, no caffeine, no bacon – not even any crack cocaine. It does feel quite weird sitting in a pub by oneself drinking a non-alcoholic drink. It wasn’t helped by the drink being warm either – until I had the brilliant idea of asking for some ice. Genius.

Nearly as brilliant an idea as offering the chance to go on a date with me on Valentine’s Day. I have about as many applications as I expected so far – there is definitely room for more. If you need a reminder of the application criteria – check last week’s review.

After a short wait at an unoccupied bar, the assumed landlady warmly greeted me, offered me a choice of pork or beef, darling – it had to be the beef given how often I’ve had pork of late, darling. Yes, everything was darling, darling. I do like the warmth of darling. I’m guessing the meal was around £12.50 but I forgot to check the price, darling.

The pub itself, darling, was quite small and cosy, though with annoyingly light blue pastel walls. It looked a tad naff in places – the toilets reminding me of an old football ground toilets, but nothing was amiss – although why I used a pub toilet on detox is another matter – I guess I could have snorted some gravy powder. Darling.

It did seem to be a locals pub – though delightfully, they advertise on their website that they had parking for horses. How do you park a horse?

Sadly I am too horseless to be able to test that.

10-15 minutes passed and my roast dinner arrived. It looked decent enough, and came with a side bowl of gravy without me even needing to ask.

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There were a generous four vegetable offerings. Three of them were fairly innocuous – the standard carrot batons were ordinary – the large head of broccoli was pleasant yet undistinct.

The sizeable dollop of mashed swede was fairly pointless, like Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast. It was somewhat fruity, slightly nutty – it didn’t have the strongest taste to it, though I’m not generally keen anyway. Swedish ladies on the other hand…

Finally, for vegetables (unless you count potatoes), there was a little cauliflower cheese. More cream than cheese – in fact no evidence of cheese at all, from what I could taste. The cauliflower itself was on the soft side, as was the broccoli, but not too much so – it held its shape without having any crunch.

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Moving on to the roast potatoes, and I was hopeful from looking at them as they looked roasted. They had crispy outsides, albeit finely bobbled – though inside was slightly more solid than one would expect. Not overly so, but enough to detract slightly. They also tasted and felt like they had been in a deep fat fryer – I hope I am not being unfair as these were reasonable roast potatoes. Regular readers will know how much difficulty there is in finding good roast potatoes.

Oh wait a minute – a fifth vegetable! I nearly forgot the parsnips. They were small, sweet and succulent – and roasted too.

There were two slices of beef, around 3mm thick, and 12cm in diameter. Whilst the beef was good quality topside, it was overcooked with just an inkling of pink in the middle. A shame but still a nice piece of beef.

Then there was a proper homemade Yorkshire pudding, verging on a medium size and in terms of texture and taste, it was pretty close to perfect.

The gravy was an average meat-stock based affair – rather on the watery side too.

Overall it was a decent enough roast dinner. Nothing particularly to complain about – but likewise nothing especially stood out, bar the excellent Yorkshire pudding, which was my highlight. I guess the watery gravy was the lowlight, but as I said, nothing was overly bad. Bingham.

A solid unspectacular roast that gets a solid 6.7 out of 10. Definitely nothing weird about it at all, except that guy in the corner by himself.

Next Sunday there is a plan to go to a pub which used to have a bit of a reputation for parties around 10 years ago. I don’t have high expectations. But that plan could change, especially if there is nowhere to park my horse, darling.

Neeeeeeiiiiiiggggghhhhh. Roast me up, darling.

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