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 love it.