The Islington Town House

I’m back! I hope you haven’t missed me too much. I’ve been in Spain, pretending that I’m still able to get an erection whilst listening to Spanish women going “drrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrrdrdrdrrdrdrdrrdr”. There is nothing sexier than the sound of Spanish women rolling their r’s. A couple of my friends keep trying to persuade me to go to Torture Garden – I’m probably a bit too sexually conservative for it, but if they tied me up, kidnapped me and had Spanish women rolling their r’s at me, I’d be there.

In leather pants.

Yeah, this is going well, isn’t it?

Oh what to do now. So I went to Madrid last weekend to stare at hot Spanish women paid for by my parents and therefore there was no roast dinner review. Soz. I didn’t even have a roast dinner in Spain. All those Irish pubs and we insisted on eating patatas bravas that was even more under-cooked than many of the roast potatoes I’ve eaten in London.

Hang on.

You need some music.



That’s better. Turn it up. Tell me you are getting into it.

So the random number generator picked The Islington Town House in…Islington. One of my compadres managed to take himself to Islington Town Hall instead, however he eventually made it in the correct direction.

Although not especially excited, I was quite looking forward to going here. I’ve been here a few times and had some very nice beer – they have a blonde lager on tap which kind of reminds me of a banana-flavoured version of Leffe that doesn’t taste of banana to anyone but me. A whole weekend in Madrid and I didn’t have one single beer anywhere approaching as nice as this.

However, a whole weekend in Madrid and I didn’t hear anywhere near as bad English as some of the clientele in The Islington Town House. Yeah I’m a snob, I’m one of those people that will now refuse to shop in Sainsbury’s (or Sainsburys’ ?) as they are now going to be merging with Asda. It isn’t just a food quality thing – some of the clientele in The Islington Town House, who were discussing current and upcoming convictions, managed to teach me whole new ways to abbreviate sentences. And I’m from Hull, the English capital of not being able to speak English.

Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí.

Go on, imagine me in that short black dress, cleavage just poking out, wiggling my bum, crossing my arms. I think it’s time to start the track again.

Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí. I wonder what it means? I’ve never come across any of those words on Duolingo. Except ‘de’. Which means ‘from’.

Anyway, we arrived and found our table ourselves. There was nobody to show us to our table – just one guy valiantly working behind the bar, trying to serve people in the order that they queued dispite the marauding masses from the second floor trying to push in.

As I attempted to suggest earlier, I do (did?) rather like The Islington Town House. 3 floors with very good beers – a ground floor vuagely sdhouwing the footbakk…what the fuck was that spelling about? I mean the ground f;loor was vauguely showing the football. The dground floor was vaguely showing the football. The fttoung floor was vaguely showing he fotbball. he ground floor was vaguely showing the footbvall.

I give up tryng to spell. I’ve had a few beewrs [written when I got home from the roast]. Time to press rewind. Fucking 3 minute songs. My spellchecker has completely given up on the last paragraph and isn’t even giving suggestions.

DO IT! Fucking play Las Ketchup. This doesn’t make sense otherwise, y la baila, y la goza, y la canta.

WHat the fuck am I on about? Roast dinners. I am Lord Gravy, playing sexy feeling hotter, and I bring to you Roast Dinners in London (you sang that, si?). So we were hidden on the 1st floor of the Islington Townhouse, out the back on our own table, with nobody else in the whole area of the pub. Thankfully nobody from upstairs, who were overheard discussing about defence lawyers…an de bugui an de buididipí.

Look, if you haven’t already pressed play, this is really going to help.

It could be worse – I could have played the Macarena to you.

With the magic in his eyes, I looked at the menu and found a pretty different menu to what was on-line. Y la baila, y la cansa. Did you sing that along? One day I’m going to go on a date with a Spanish woman and ask her to dance to this for me.

This is really dreadful, isn’t it? RE-RE-WIND, when the crowd says roast selector.

So, the menu had beef rump, half a chicken and pork belly on it. I considered the beef, until I realised that I had it last time. Two weeks ago is a long time, especially when you have spent a weekend drinking beer, staring at hot Spanish women and going, aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí.

If you are even vaguely considering vegetarian then fuck off. No seriously, there was no vegetarian roast, and only one vaguely plausible vegetarian meal on the menu.

The roasts were priced between £14 and £16.50 – quite cheap for Islington standards. As I had had beef the previous time, I thought I’d order pork belly. Pork belly can easily go wrong, but if the restaurant gets it right, it can be amazing.

Dinner took around 20-30 minutes to arrive and my first reaction was, “something smells burnt”.

Everything looked normal, except the gravy, which looked unusually black. Now, I have black friends so I’m clearly not racist. Well, one black friend. He gets hold of drugs for me. Except I don’t do drugs. And yes he supports Arsenal. One or more of those facts may be Russian facts. But black gravy?

I tasted a little on my knife hesitantly and thought, “hmmm, that’s erm, different”.

And the comments around the table were pleasant, but along the lines of “the gravy is unusual”, or “the gravy is a bit strange”.

I had a mouthful of carrot and proclaimed, “the gravy is disgusting”.

That’s a pretty heavy hint of what is to come, and a whole pack of mints and several beers later, I can still taste the disgusting gravy. But lets try to concentrate on the rest of the food. You’ll have worked out by now that this ain’t an 8 out of 10. Fucking hell, they actually brought out a whole album. Two albums!

I’m pretty sure it is time for you to rewind.

Look – I’ve listened to it on repeat whilst I’ve been writing this shite, so it is the least you can do. And share. And retweet. And like me. And give your hot Spanish friend my number…aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí. I’ll dress up as a Ketchup Girl and do that dance for her. On the second date, not first.


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So the carrots had probably been roasted – nicely, a good consistency, yet they were ruined by the disgusting gravy. I was still at the point of questioning whether I was being too harsh as none of my 3 accomplices had condemned it in the same way that I had, but I was already struggling.

There was also some cabbage, but unfortunately it was wrapped up in the “gravy”, and therefore tasted repugnant. I would have enjoyed the cabbage, it seemed nicely done, but it was completely destroyed in a lets play the Ketchup Girls during an underground techno night kind of way.

The dinner also came with peas, but I was wise enough to check beforehand, and my plate was free of peas. Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí. Small mercies, and all.

There were 5 roast potatoes. Amazing. Except none of them were roasted. They were similar to undercooked new potatoes, except covered in this horrible tar-like substance that passed for gravy and were therefore absolutely fucking disgusting. I left 2 and I don’t leave food.

They are not actually as good looking as I remembered. Except the darkie. I mean, the young lady with dark hair. Fuck I sound like my grandmother. Did that really come out of my fingers? Is this a good time to introduce you to 23 Ass-Eating Tips From People Who Have Seen Some Shit?

Speaking of shit (how about that for a seque…I’ll be on BBC Breakfast before you know it), aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí…I’m still playing it. You are too, aren’t you? So the Yorkshire pudding. It was over-cooked and probably cooked a long time ago. They didn’t exactly have many tables to serve, although service was exceptionally minimal and I’m surprised anyone even took our order – they were too busy, sorry, he was too busy trying to cope with those from upstairs, who were discussing, and I quote (and rewind…it seems to think I want to listen to Ricky fucking Martin next…huh?), “you can’t go around sayin’ ahhm not eating sweets when you go araaahnd eating bumhole”.

The Yorkshire pudding was crap. Except the vaguely soggy bit in the bottom, except that was totally ruined by the abomination that was the gravy.



Oh shit you don’t want that version – they are wearing jeans. Sorry.

Now the pork belly was a real shame, as it was one of the best cooked bits of pork belly that I’ve ever had. The contextual mix between juicy fat, crispy crackling and chunky, sublimely tasty pork was close to perfection – this could have been dream-worthy. But, try as hard as I could, I couldn’t get the disgusting tar-like substance away from the meat, and whilst I knew it was gorgeous, I was increasingly approaching the point where I wanted to vomit – and it could be a decade since I last vomited. Seriously, I wanted to vomit, it was that bad.

So. The gravy.

The bit you have all being waiting for. But first I have a surprise. Yes, Las Ketchup in 2016!



OK, one hasn’t aged well and looks like she belonged on the second floor of the Islington Townhouse (I had some really flabby butt crack flashed at me on a few occasions), but the other two are hotter than ever.

When a northerner is desperately trying to remove gravy from food, you know that you have a problem. The gravy was the most disgusting thing I have possibly tasted since I ate a roll of cheese that erm, someone had allegedly snorted ketamine through. It took a while to work it out, but you know when you try to caramelise sugar, and you do it for too long and it goes black? And it takes weeks to clean the pan? That is what it tasted like. There is no way that any chef, manager or waiting staff, or non-British customer tasting that, would have allowed that to go out to customers. It was seriously disgusting.

To the point where when the one member of service staff miraculously passed by and asked how it was, and instead of saying fine like a normal British gentleman would, I actually told him how bad it was. Curiously, the music volume was shortly turned up and we barely saw him for another hour.

During the meal, I had a homosexual with me…not literally…he doesn’t…aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí…but he advised in sincerity that he had tasted nicer arsehole.

The gravy ruined the whole dinner. I mean, the roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding were shit anyway, but the veg was good and the pork belly gorgeous. But the gravy was so disgusting that I can still taste it several hours later as I write this [and the next morning], and I am still trying to take the pain away through this bottle of Spanish wine and Las Ketchup on repeat. Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí.

It really would have been far better with…you know what I’m gonna saaaayyyah.

KETCHUP.

One theory I have was that it was quite possible the gravy was some form of assassination attempt on the upper floor.

Thinking about it, the Spanish haven’t really contributed to music, have they? Macarena. Las Ketchup. Is Ricky Martin Spanish? Even their most famous nightclub is only really known for confetti cannons. Too busy having 25 bank holidays a year.

So, scores on the doors.

I could legitimately give it a 0 out of 10. But I gave Wetherspoons a 0.9 out of 10 in a past life, and if it was possible to wipe the gravy off the food, it would have been nowhere near that bad. Alas, there was not only enough gravy, but we even ordered more.

We were so annoyed with the dinner that we actually considered walking out without paying. In the end, after an hour or so, I finally saw our service staff member, who had been very polite and diligent and is probably now planning his instant return to France, and told him what I thought of the meal, and that we shouldn’t really be paying for something so disgusting. In a civilised, British manner.

He came back a while later, a fair while later, at least two or three plays of Las Ketchup later (yes I am still playing it on repeat despite slowly sobering up), offering 25% off.

I requested instead to speak to the manager.

He came upstairs, roughly….shit get Ricky Martin off, phew, roughly one Las Ketchup later, and offered 50% off. He hadn’t tasted the road resurfacing tar that was masquerading as gravy, and therefore couldn’t quite understand our loathing – annoyingly Donna Summer’s I Feel Love was playing out of the speakers at the same time, so was persuaded away from aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí…erm…arguing any further.

So our service guy went downstairs and brought up the card machine for the first payment of £7.12. And then went downstairs.

One Las Ketchup later, he came upstairs with the card machine to take another amount of £7.12. And then went aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí.

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi

Ande bugui ande güididipi

Fuck Ricky Martin again! Quick rewind. Amazingly there are only two flamenco videos on Pornhub.

We asked him to come back with one amount of £14.24 for the next time for the final two roast dinners as we were ready to go do the Macarena. Or at least go get another beer.

Fuck. I’ve just realised something. Aserejé, ja deje tejebe tude jebere sebiunouba majabi an de bugui an de buididipí – it’s not fucking real Spanish. I’ve been conned. You’ve been conned. We’ve all been conned. And there I was thinking that the Spanish were corruption-free.

So, with that all over there is only one more thing to do…after a rewind, of course. Score it. The roast, not Las Ketchup. I’m going to give it a 1.60 out of 10. It was that bad. The gravy is even on my white t-shirt that I had shipped over from California which will now probably never come clean. The only thing that could possibly compensate for how disgustingly shite this meal was would be if I could be the fourth ketchup girl, in that cutaway where they are in short black dresses, having a lesbian threesome without the one that became ugly, although I’d still have my small nob.

I’m not getting a column in the Guardian any time soon, am I?

Next Sunday I intend on being off my tits before the average person has even had breakfast, so whether I make it for a roast dinner is very much up for question.

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi

Ande bugui ande güididipi

Ana nana nana nana na
Ana nana nana nau
Ana nana nana nana na
Ana nanaeo

Ana nana nana nana na
Ana nana nana nau
Ana nana nana nana na
Ana nanaeo

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

Aserejé ja deje
Dejebe tu dejebe
Sebi unuova majabi
Ande bugui ande güididipi

2 Comments

  1. Two things. One – too much deviation. I know that’s your forte, being deviant, but overdone on this occasion methinks. Others may disagree, as do you.
    Two – how times have changed, with you swanning off to sup Spanish ales in Madrid for a weekend. I’m older than you (I know that because I’m older than most people) and I remember going from London to spend an entire week at Southend with my mummy. Nowadays it is considered normal to swan off to Madrid just for a weekend. But then, I once whisked myself off to Hamburg for an afternoon to conduct an interview. On that basis, Southend is now worth no more than 10 minutes. About the time it takes to read one of your reviews (without playing the videos).
    Toodle-pip.

    • I think you might have a point…I was quite drunk when I wrote it and even then I was wondering if I overdid it! Southend seems a proper mission.

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