The Old Brewery, Greenwich

Sometimes I like to make an entrance. I like people to know that I have arrived, or that I am coming. Spread a little warmth, spread a little humour and spread a little love (or I would if the only girls that found me sexy were not on a lifelong audition for the part of a beached whale).

By the way, did anyone see that video of the girl being pulled into the water by a sea lion? How hilarious was that?

I hope they send it into You’ve Been Framed.

Anyway, so I booked a table at The Old Brewery, in Greenwich, just around the corner from some boat called the Cutty Sark.

And in the additional information section, I announced myself:

GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY. GRAVY.

I may not have remembered exactly how many times I put gravy down, so do forgive me. The above is not an exact replication.

Apparently this had them in stitches, and the little blackboard on our table said “Betty loves gravy” (not my real name).

A nice touch – I felt very welcomed. Plus the waitress blew me a kiss and called me ‘darling’. I was enchanted. Feeling the love – or maybe it was just the sunshine. Let’s give them a 9.9 out of 10 and be done with it. Have a good day – see you next week.

Yeah, as if a tight bastard northerner would give someone a score over 9.

There was a bit of an odd moment when ordering, when my accomplice tried asking for a Pimm’s. She was informed that they don’t sell it, even though the outside bar was specifically advertising it. The waitress then advised her to go outside to buy it. Hmmm. Not quite what you would imagine waitress service to be – though her supervisor overheard and a glass of Pimm’s was brought over.

Now I accept that northerners should not be drinking southern trash like Pimm’s, and were my accomplice not my most reliable roast dinner partner, then I may have disowned her for southernising too much. But still, it was an odd moment in what was, overall, very good service.

I guess I should talk about the venue. The restaurant part was impressive – huge ceilings giving this open, expansive feel. There was a substantial outdoor seating area – much of which was covered by umbrellas because, obviously, they don’t want to scare their customers away with that horrid sunshine thing in the sky. A beer in the sun? Not me, I’m British, give me some shade now. Why the hell do pubs insist on hiding the sun from their customers – aaaaarrrrgggh. There were no seats outside anyway so we sat inside. But in a city generally lacking in beer gardens – Greenwich has plenty – let it be noted.

Oh yeah, and if you are a woman and are a fan of urinating – this is probably not the venue for you. Just two ladies’ toilets. Two. Maybe they had some more hidden away, but there was a permanent queue and it wasn’t mega-busy.

The menu offered beef at £18, chicken or pork belly at £16, or the vegetarian Wellington at £14. I chose the pork belly – partly because it seems that anything other than chicken or beef is classed as an exotic meat in London. And partly because I love pork belly – when done right!

It took around 25 minutes or so to arrive – longer than normal but that suggests a freshly cooked roast. It was quite impressively presented too – but presentation means jack.

Firstly I tucked into the carrot and swede mini-cubes. It was a touch mushy and I thought more could have been done in terms of flavour, but overly a positive vibe.

There was just one fairly small floret of broccoli. Cannot really enlighten any more upon this.

The cabbage was perfectly cooked – a little crunch but not too much – this was spot on.

Then the roast potatoes. Only two, but on the large size, both cooked in goose fat and on the face of it, really quite tasty. However, it was a tale of two spuds – one good, one bad. The good spud was more rubbery than crispy on the outside, and a little too al dente on the inside, but was enjoyable due to being roasted in goose fat. The bad spud was rubbery on the outside, and tough – even a little cool, on the inside. There was a hint of rosemary, which always goes down well.

The Yorkshire pudding was on the large size, soft-bottomed and crispy on the outside. The double egg did give it slightly more a taste of a pancake – this was a good Yorkie.

So onto the pork belly. I had 4 slices of juicy, plump pork, with the fat on top. It actually seemed like pork loin to me – which is what the online menu states – but I swear it was pork belly on the menu. Hmmm. No crackling though. But the pork was definitely good quality.

Finally the gravy, which was rather thin and oily. In terms of texture, it wasn’t my favourite, but it was a meat-stock based gravy. But oily.

In fact, there really was quite an oily aftertaste.

This was a good experience overall. A great venue, good outdoor area, good though occasionally imperfect food, good service – and we left with a smile on our faces. There are better roast dinners out there, but I think you’d be very happy if you had a roast here.

I’m giving it a respectable 7.25 out of 10. My accomplice was even more satisfied than myself – with excellent beef and no dodgy spud, and she rated it an 8 out of 10.

We continued our cultural exchange afterwards, with a pleasant walk along the Thames Path and past this wonderful industrial building – they don’t construct buildings like this nowadays.

Then through an estate, down some main roads before coming out into Greenwich Village fete – and spent the next few hours admiring the colour-coordination of these pastel cranes. And maybe a drink. Or three. Oops.

I’ve had easier Mondays.

Next week I’m off to see Sharon and Tracey.