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?

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Lamb Shank @ Waggon & Horses, Twyford 07/02/2016

I haven’t reviewed anywhere in Twyford to this point so I was excited to be planning to go to The Golden Cross – home of legendary parties called Sticky Wicket that neither you or I were ever cool enough to know about.

Until we called (yes “we”, I do occasionally manage to drag someone out with me) in advance and found out that they are no longer doing food.

Not to worry, we set upon the Waggon & Horses instead. Three options on the menu – beef or pork for £10.95, or a lamb shank for £12.95. I love a good shank so I plumped for that. And I don’t mean the Urban Dictionary definition of shank. Not the one about stabbing people, or golf, but the one about, erm, how do I putt this…erm about slipping out and accidentally going up the back passage.

Erm. Yeah. Anyone putting gravy on their pancakes this week?

Oooh that’s a thought, and an excellent way to change the subject. Lent starts this week. What are you going to give up?

I welcome your suggestions as to what I give up. In previous years, I have given up paper clips, zebra crossings and French swear words. All more difficult that you would expect.

The only thing I can think of right now is black socks. The detox means that I haven’t been smoking drugs recently so I’m really struggling for my usual creative inspiration.

Hi Dad, happy birthday!

So after a 10 or so minute wait with Rick Astley’s radio show in our ears, the dinner arrived.

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Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots.
Carrots. Carrots.
Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots.
Carrots. Carrots.
Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. Carrots. I must smoke some acid. Hi mum.

That is all I have to say on that subject. There wasn’t much to say about the broccoli either – it was fine. Don’t worry, my mum doesn’t read this. Though my dad occasionally reads it out to my grandma.

There was a little pile of cabbage which was seemingly blanched enough. It was again fairly bland but edible.

It wasn’t all this uninspiring though. There was also a yellowish mashed pile of something, I think swede, although I’m used to it being orange, which was quite succulently buttery. Best swede ever?

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A whole four roast potatoes accompanied dinner, and they were on the large size too. And, guess what? They were crispy on some of the sides. These could have been the best roast potatoes that I’ve been served for a while but sadly they were somewhat uncooked on the inside.

The YP was just one of those standard manufactured affairs bought in the thousands and stuck in the oven for 4 minutes.

As I suspect, was the lamb shank. Firstly, it was suspiciously hot. You don’t get it that hot from having freshly oven-cooked it. It had been in the microwave. And I wonder if it was one of those pre-prepared affairs that simply need microwaving? Secondly, it tasted odd, too. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but it really was not what I was expecting.

At least the gravy was a reasonable home-made affair with enough consistency to be acceptable.

Am I done? I think so. Actually, I swapped some lamb for some beef with my accomplice, and the beef was much nicer than the lamb. Tender, juicy and quite pink in the middle.

Now I’m done. The highlight was, oddly, the swede. The lowlight was the odd lamb shank. It gets an Aberystwyth. Oooh just one letter out from spelling it without the spellchecker.

Overall another so-so affair that leaves me questioning why I bother. I’m going to give it a 5.9 out of 10. Had I had the beef instead, it would have scored a bit higher – I really wasn’t keen on the lamb. It just seemed so factory. And I’m not talking The Hit Factory.


Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down,
Never gonna change the blog and eat desserts, you,
Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye,
But I might have to stop reviewing roast dinners.

Next week is my romantic Valentine’s roast dinner. Or I might just shank myself due to overwhelming misery.

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