Thank You & Goodbye

Yes, it is me, Roast Dinners Around Reading.

Believe it or not, after I was cruelly murdered, some genius decided to freeze my body in the realisation that in a future year, I would be thought of with the same veneration as the likes of William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Robert Maxwell, for my exceptional writing talents.

In the year 2245, the technology to cryogenically recreate me was finally approved and released.  But I couldn’t take the fame.  They actually unfroze me before they unfroze Donald Trump, despite him apparently being the best US president ever.  I bet you didn’t foresee that one, did you?

Oh shit, I’m not supposed to talk about the future.  You’ve probably worked out that time travel exists by the year 2245.  I had to escape the pressure of the fame so came back to a time when I was simply adored by hundreds instead of hundreds of millions.

I thought about coming back to live in Reading, but instead I realised that I could follow my dreams – I could do anything.  So I have decided to live my post-death time-travel life in London instead.

I also thought about restarting the reviews, but now is a good time to stop them – my number one fan is no longer following me, like a lover spurned.  So what is the point?  I think he/she was so upset by my death, that they had to unfollow me to stop being reminded of my wonderful existence.  Apparently they thought I faked my death.  WTF?!

I started Roast Dinners Around Reading in 2011 as I was fed up of trying to find a good roast dinner after a heavy weekend on the crystal meth.  And then I realised that I couldn’t be the only one.  So I started a blog.  Reviewed one place and then didn’t bother reviewing anywhere else for 18 months.  It was very intermittent at first.

Come autumn 2014, I decided that I would make more of an effort and it became weekly.  I became quite addicted.  At first I enjoyed the eating, then it became more about the adventure around Berkshire, and towards the end more about enjoying the writing.  Because I was fucking bored of eating roast dinners, especially the sub-standard ones.

One of my first reviews was The Crown in Playhatch.  Nowhere reached that standard after that.  Not even The Crown when I went back.  There were other great roast dinners too – Crooked Billet, The Packhorse, The Black Boy, The Bulls in both Sonning and Wargrave, Castle Inn, Cau, The Newbury, The Plowden Arms and The Greyhound.

None were ever truly exceptional, none came close to perfect – an 8.8 out of 10 was the highest rating I gave.  I can make better roast dinners than every single roast that I ate out, and I know someone who can make the perfect roast dinner (no, mum, sorry it isn’t you).

There were some abominable roast dinners too.  The Stag, Oakford Social Club, Peacock Farm, The Running Horse, The Pheasant Hotel and, of course, the Back of Beyond.  *shudder*

Peak Roast Dinners Around Reading was when Get Reading would pay for my roast dinners (no drinks, no travel expenses), but not only did I get paid for doing what I enjoyed, I also used to get a bit of abuse on the Get Reading comments on Facebook.  One incident really does stick in the mind!  I used to love the abuse.

Towards the end I was struggling to think of new ways to describe roast dinners, and tried to make it a must-read through attempts at humour, vulgarity, shock and abuse (now I know where Donald Trump got his inspiration from).  I did use to get quite excited when writing it which I honestly did not do on a Monday morning when I should have been working.

Introductory blurb out of the way, I shall get onto the main point.  And that is to thank everyone for reading.  For if there were no readers, the blog would have died long ago.

Special thanks to those that shared it, invited friends to read, talked about it, etc etc.  Special thanks to Edible Reading, despite not loving me any more, he/she always promoted my work.  And to Get Reading for the wonderful opportunity to spread my efforts further.  And to Lynda for the Pride of Reading nomination – though there was not even a posthumous invite to the awards ceremony.

Oh yeah and thank you to all the pubs and chefs out there that made this happen.  If you didn’t get an 8 out of 10, I hope that you took notice of where you could improve – because those with high scores that I have spoken to have seen a significant increase in business.  If you were offended by what I wrote – a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Part of my mission was to try to get an improvement in standards.  Whether that actually happened, or will happen, I am not entirely convinced.  The other part of my mission was to ensure those with higher quality standards had a bit of free publicity.

And those serving watery gravy and cold roasties got what they deserved.

This blog will stay open until it is no longer relevant, certainly a couple of years.  I might come out of retirement for an annual special roast review.  I will at some point finish updating the league table.  And I will occasionally post roast dinner related stuff on Facebook/Twitter.  Any ideas for tidying it or expanding the content are welcomed.

I might at some point try to code some kind of public reports section where people can post their brief reviews/news of roast dinners, though I’m not entirely sure how popular that would be.  And I haven’t got the time at the moment to do it.

There is an inevitability of a Roast Dinners in London blog.  Probably just monthly at first due to funds – a pay cut and significantly higher living costs make a weekly blog prohibitive (unless I can get Time Out to pay?!).  I actually went 2 months without a proper roast dinner (obviously because I was murdered and didn’t go back to that point in time in my time machine).  I still haven’t eaten one out.  I also saw some art boob on a train station poster today.

For now, if you miss my writing style, you can sign up for when I launch Can I Put Gravy With That.  It is going to be a culinary education page, and part of my next steps to worldwide literacy fame.  The blog page is here.  Bookmark it now.  I will launch it at some point this year.

All I have left to say is thank you and goodbye.

Lord Gravy xx

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