Ladywell Tavern, Ladywell

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Well, I’ve reviewed too many central London roast dinners recently so I decided to venture further afield this Sunday gone, with a trip to Ladywell Tavern, in a place called Ladywell, in Wales.

I lie. Ladywell is actually in London. Nope, I’ve never heard of it either. Except for the fact that it has been on my to-do list for nearly as long as planning reform has been on our government’s to-do list.

By the way, does Wales count as “the world”? As in, is it another country – does it count as Roast Dinners Around The World? Asking for a me.

I’ve also booked a trip to Paris with my 21 year’s worth of Nectar points funding some of the Eurostar, and yes, there will be a roast dinner review replete with rosbif jokes. I know, I’m spending money like there is no tomorrow, but who knows how long I’ve got before AI takes my job?

And who knows how long before AI writes roast dinner reviews?

AI telling me that rice should go on a roast dinner.

“Rice is a common side dish for roast dinners”? OK, let’s just stick to who knows how long I’ve got before AI takes my job. Gosh the AI future could be bleak – rice on a fucking roast dinner.

Ladies And Gentlemen

It’s bad enough to contemplate that my career that I’ve spent 13 years trying to master is about to be conquered by AI, let alone that AI thinks, sorry, will be putting rice on a roast dinner.

Though after spending 10 minutes at London Bridge earlier watching a self-driving cleaning vehicle do very little but shuffle for 5 minutes, before wandering past me, maybe we’ll still need humans to plate up food. It did amuse everyone though.

I have a back-up plan anyway. I’m just going to write lot of content for this website and charge people for the extra posts. AI has written me a list of blog posts that I should write:

AI telling me which blog posts to write.

Roast dinners: Expectations vs reality – well there’s a topic that could cover a whole post. Will roast dinner ever rule the world? Well…perhaps slightly less likely than AI.

Never worry about roast dinners again. Indeed – you have my blog! Roast dinners will change your life – a bit of a stretch but they’ve changed mine – Lord Gravy is London’s number one expert on roast dinners.

The next big thing in roast dinner…hang on…fucking rice, right?

7 top books about roast dinners. This is the thing. This is my real back-up plan – apart from opening a 24/7 roast dinner restaurant – to write a book about roast dinners. At least 3 people would buy it, which will be enough to pay my future mortgage, right?

Ladies, Gentlemen And Some More Genders Just To Upset Ann Widdecombe And Those That Wank Off Over Ann Widdecombe

Lady. Well. Lord. Well. Gravy. I guess I should talk about our current reality. Sunshine!

It was actually a sunny Sunday, and you could book a table in the garden at the Ladywell Tavern – secret garden apparently, except for the fact that there are photographs of it online, along with instructions for booking the table. About as secret a secret garden as their roast potatoes were roasted, but I’ll come onto that.

There were around 8-10 picnic benches, painted blue and pink. I checked, and our AI overlords think this colour scheme is acceptable and so does Lord Gravy. It definitely had a slight playful nature at the Ladywell Tavern.

For a pub who’s wi-fi password exclaims their love of craft beer, you might think that they’d extend further than Beavertown and Laine Brewery, though the latter did provide a decent hazy IPA at not too strong a volume.

Speaking of hazy IPAs, I was merrily drinking one in my driveway on Saturday and my neighbour insisted on giving me a can of beer. So I then had to politely and not so merrily drink a can of Stella. Not even a small one – a pint-sized can.

Ladywell Tavern, roast dinner menu

Behold the roast dinners under £20! I’m paying under £20 for the first time since Suella Braverman was having a great time in Rwanda laughing about all the asylum seekers that she’s been sending there for the past year (still zero) whilst we take back control. All the control. So much control. I’m informed that Brexit hasn’t been implemented correctly. Aha.

It was a very close call between half a chicken at £18.50 and pork belly at £19.00 – but I plumped for the latter from the vegetarian barmaid’s advice. Beef topside was £21.00 – but topside is just a meh cut, and seems to be everywhere this year, I guess because of food inflation. Which is nothing to do with Brexit. Well, a third of the food inflation is due to Brexit. Sunlit uplands coming soon, don’t worry. Or a new fucking government, perhaps.

Ladyboy From Thailand

Ladywell Tavern, Pork Belly roast dinner

So the carrots were totally fine, softly roasted, sliced vertically.

Alas, the spring greens/cabbage strands were not so fine – kind of raw and undercooked in places, a couple of bits were kind of gristle-ish. I ate them, because food waste and that is the same reason why I ate 10 sandwiches on Friday at the corporate shindig as I didn’t want to waste them, not to mention all the free beer I had to drink. Some seasoning might have helped here.

And the two parsnips were again back to being totally fine, again softly roasted (I guess together with the carrots).

There are some light-coloured things on the plate:

Ladywell Tavern, Pork Belly Sunday roast

Which hopefully you can see despite the shadows. Damn you summer. So two of the light-coloured things were slices of apple. Apple. AI? What you doing now? I wasn’t offended. Much.

My accomplice thought that the roast potatoes, the other light-coloured thing, were great, but he voted for Brexit and still believes it was the right thing to do.

Only 31% of Britons think Brexit was right.

The roast potatoes were undercooked, they had no crispy sides or edges, but they were at least soft inside and edible. Which is a bit like the British economy after Brexit – everyone that can be arsed to work has a job, but we are all poorer.

Or maybe you could argue that sitting around under a heatlamp, drying out, is a better analogy – a bit like the Yorkshire pudding. Now it hadn’t been sat under a heatlamp all day, the edges were just about edible, though verging on quaver territory, the bottom had some aged softness – though mostly because I soaked it in gravy.

And no, our future overlords won’t be leaving Yorkshire puddings under a heatlamp:

AI telling me not to put Yorkshire puddings under a heat lamp.

By some way, the pork belly was the highlight of the meal, though a bit of me was jealous of my accomplice’s half a chicken, which looked fully plump and juicy – with crispy skin.

My pork belly was sufficient in volume, had a glorious amount of belly fat, a hint of crispness and just felt right.

I wasn’t a massive fan of the gravy – homemade, and I believe it. It had a hint of trying to be a jus, in terms of flavour, but sufficient enough in volume and viscosity to be gravy. Some tones of red wine, I thought. A bit like the roast itself – I’ve had worse, I’ve had better.

Ladywell Tavern

The Ladywell Tavern seems to be a good little neighbourhood pub – I would be happy if my area of Harrow had something like this.

However, the roast dinner was pretty average. Only the pork belly stood out – which was really good.

The yorkie was a bit heat-lamped, the roast potatoes undercooked on the outside, the spring greens meh. Unless you live in the local area with one train every 30 minutes to London, I sadly cannot imagine this being too much of a draw. But hopefully, as it is a cute and friendly pub, with cheerful staff, it is sufficient to keep the Ladywell Tavern going for locals. If I lived nearby, I would definitely visit again. And again. Their secret garden is quite the sun trap too.

My accomplice actually liked the roast much more than I did, and scored it a 7.87 out of 10.

I’m scoring it a 6.67 out of 10. Time to think about what other new posts AI is recommending to me:

AI telling me which blog posts to write, part 2.

How to simplify your life with roast dinners? Hmmm. Not sure going to Ladywell is simplifying my life.

What is a roast dinner? Yep…some chefs need to learn this.

How to start a blog about roast dinners? Erm…don’t even think about it. There’s only room for one such literary genius in London.

I’ll be back next weekend. A friend is having a birthday and they have the temerity to organise it somewhere not on my to-do list. Pah. Sorry, I mean we’ll be back next weekend. They’ll be back next weekend.

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Ladywell Tavern, Ladywell

Station: Ladywell

Tube Lines: National Rail

Fare Zone: Zone 3

Price: £19.00

Rating: 6.67

Loved & Loathed

Loved: Pork belly had a glorious amount of belly fat, a hint of crispness and just felt right. Nice sun trap of a garden, cute pub, friendly staff.

Loathed: Yorkie was somewhat heat-lamped, roast potatoes undercooked on the outside, cabbage pretty crap.

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