Clapton Country Club, Clapton

It’s time to go real crazy with a roast dinner review of Clapton Country Club in…Clapton. Don’t worry – there’s no tap dancing.

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It’s been a crazy week – one of our most unhinged-ever politicians that resigned with immediate effect over two months ago has finally tendered her resignation letter – the wannabe-lover of Boris Johnson accused Rishi Sunak of “demeaning his office”.

Aha. Apparently history will not judge him kindly. Perhaps true, bar defenestrating Johnson. And history will judge Dorries kindly?

Apparently Sunak was to blame for whipping up a public frenzy against her, which will be nothing to do with her being paid £145,000 by the taxpayer whilst doing absolutely fuck all in parliament, because clearly the public are more energised by Rishi Sunak’s mild words than being scammed by their politicians.

And then we have Braverman now threatening to electronically tag asylum seekers, assumedly so they will drown when they try to swim back to France having had enough misery.

Or we could talk about one of the original dark knights of government, Iain Duncan-Smith who seemingly now condones criminal activity if it involves vandalising ULEZ cameras.

And if you thought that was crazy, bear in mind the politicians have been on their summer holidays.

Crazy For Lord Gravy

My mother thought her Uber driver was crazy when she was driven down a ten foot (alley to you) in Clapton to head to Clapton Country Club. Being from Hull, she’d also like to know who that Ten Foot person is, who seems to be rather well-appreciated around public transportation in London.

You wouldn’t necessarily expect this small brick alley to be host to a restaurant that ONLY SELLS SUNDAY ROASTS. Only. Sells. Sunday. Roasts. What a genius idea.

Don’t get excited – it is only open as a restaurant on a Sunday, as the rest of the time, Clapton Country Club operates as a wedding reception, or studio.

Inside Clapton Country Club
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It has an industrial feel of sorts, with a particularly delightful ceiling that gazes back to times when being a nutcase wasn’t a guaranteed 5-figure annual salary on social media, or even a 2-figure salary as a Town Cryer.

Apparently the building used to be a tram shed, now functioning as a large room with decent tables, foliage, lights and a large mirror-ball. It both says, “I can take mum here” and “I can have party here”. But does it say “I can have good roast here”?

Clapton Country Club isn’t the cheapest place, especially given the non-glamourous area. Mayfair this ain’t.

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Sunshine though…

Crazy For Roundabouts

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Yep, the cheapest roast was £22.80, which was the chicken, rising to £24.80 for the pork belly and £26.80 for the beef. At least you cannot see the roundabout from your table. You cannot even imagine the roundabout, especially with the live jazz. Oh yeah…warning…there’s live jazz. High price and live jazz – I’m not selling it, am I?

Crazily, there are three vegetarian/vegan options.

Before we talk roast, it did seem a tad ambitious to try to fit 6 people around our table, which seemed better suited for 4 people – I took the compliment, knowing that they clearly assumed that we were all tap-dancers and therefore rather on the skinny side. Also – musicals – how the hell do the girls smile that long? 5 seconds of half-smiling for a photograph is enough for me – it looks even more painful than ballet shoes.

Also worth noting about Clapton Country Club is that the pale ale was really tasty, and the wine was alright – a Spanish red, a bit too on the juicy side for my preferences. I think a bottle was £36 – a medium-sized glass £10. I don’t remember seeing a price for the beer.

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Three roasted carrots were supplied – more softly roasted than deeply roasted, if that makes sense. Some accomplices thought they tasted of fennel, though I thought they were crazy – seemed more tarragon to me.

The parsnips were really good, and had the slightly burnt edges that I desired for the carrots.

Crazy For Writing Reviews

Whilst we are talking crazy…

“Oh it must be racist”.

Gosh imagine if I had done that at school every time someone told me off. Granted there was a total of 3 non-white people at my school, so might have been confusing. I wonder what my English teacher would think now, if she could see me as a famous food critic. OK, a guy in his bedroom writing a blog about roast dinners.

I do admire the response from the venue (and possibly fear any response if they read my review)

Y’all still up for reading even more words?

The cavelo nero was a tad undercooked, a bit more chewy than it could have been, and possibly racist too.

On the flip side, the creamed leeks were a delight – creamy (well, doh) and arguably rather sweetly so.

Crazy For Gravy?

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Four roast potatoes were supplied, which perhaps goes a little towards the higher price of this roast. They were all reasonably fresh, but also on the soft side – no evidence of crispy edges, but they were fluffy inside. In the grand scheme of London roasts, these were certainly above-average.

The Yorkshire pudding was again, above-average for London. Fairly soft with only a tad of cooked-earlier about it.

The advantage of going out with my mother, is that I always get her leftover meat (and hence I always try to remember to order different meals to her). For my tastes, the beef was overcooked and coarse – though the three that ordered the beef were highly in praise. Make of that what you will.

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My pork belly was quite thinly-sliced and soft – with some herbs stuffed in the middle, a la porchetta style. It did seem a tad cooked-earlier also, especially the crackling which was a bit rubbery. Overall good enough, but nothing special.

Compliments also came from those eating the chicken and the vegetarian offering – the chicken was “lovely” and the aubergine was “moist”.

There was actually enough gravy on the plate…but we explained that most of us were northern and this happened:

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Dear London. This is a gravy jug.

The gravy itself was thankfully enjoyable, especially considering there was pressure on us to eat so much. A reasonable consistency, a red wine flavour that appealed and improved the roast, and very much a moreish gravy. Phew.

Crazy For Clapton Country Club?

Well I’ve managed not to write Clapham or Clacton, and they managed to provide more than enough gravy.

We all enjoyed our dinners, along with the general ambience – even I, who find jazz an ear-perforating irritant on the level of Janice from Friends giving an hour-long speech on the benefits of Brexit, coped. One day there will be a venue playing minimal techno music whilst serving roasts.

Service was really good – attentive, there was always someone there to help, bring drinks, pour drinks, ask if we wanted drinks, providing proper amounts of gravy, etc etc.

The gravy and creamed leeks were my highlights – and nothing was really bad per se, not even the roast potatoes – though certainly improvements were available – crispy edges on roast potatoes for example, or crackling being less rubbery.

Scores around the table either fitted into the impressed zone, or the very impressed zone – two 8.00’s, two 8.80’s and an 8.90 out of 10.

I’m certainly not in the wow zone, but a score of 8.15 feels about right for me – which makes it the second best roast dinner in East London, only bettered by Blacklock Shoreditch. Perhaps that says slightly more about roast dinners further east, but if you are looking for a really good roast dinner in east London, and don’t mind paying a bit more than normal – this is your spot.

And if you are a hot Spanish young lady, looking to get married to an ugly English roast dinner reviewer, then we may have our venue.

No plan for the coming Sunday…but there will be a roast. Heatwave don’t stop the roasts.

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Clapton Country Club, Clapton

Station: Clapton

Tube Lines: Overground

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £24.80

Rating: 8.15

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Great venue, friendly staff, red wine gravy plentiful and tasty, creamed leeks and parsnips also particularly good.

Loathed: Jazz music. There's imperfections like roasties not being crispy on the outside, or crackling being a bit rubbery, but nothing to loathe per se. Cavelo nero was a tad chewy.

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