Renegade Urban Winery, Walthamstow

It was time to get all rebellious and have a roast dinner in a winery – Renegade Urban Winery in Walthamstow.

Yeah, we all rebels now. I should be making TikTok videos with me dancing around a Sunday roast with my hand down my pants, or at least posting on Instagrim occasionally, but no, I rebel like a roast dinner renegade and write a blog…actual words. Albeit I’m still on Elon Musk’s conspiracy theory espousing platform, though whether I give up in shame before it goes bankrupt is under question.

I mean, he’s such a fuckwit that he’s even made Louise Mensch look intellectual:

Remember her? No, fine, but she was the newest new Thatcher pre-Truss after one appearance on Question Time when it was still vaguely watchable.

Speaking of people you won’t remember in a year’s time, this week saw Robert Renegade Jenegade Jenrick resign. Who? I had him down as one of the loathsome Tories, rather than one of the evil loathsome Tories (I guess there are still some decent ones hidden away but that doesn’t make a good sentence, and neither does this qualifier, even though it is in curly brackets) but anyway I was a little surprised to find out he was on the evil loathsome side who thinks the Rwanda policy, whatever the fuck that is nowadays, is not evil enough.

I guess I’m not paying enough attention, though I am at the point of despair…and to think we could be a whole year away until Putin and his bots finally get their first chance to interfere in a British election…hang on…whoa breaking news this week, apparently Putin has been trying to interfere with UK elections. Unsuccessfully, of course. Hey, Arron Banks – you still around?

Rebel With A Cause – Decent Roast Potatoes For All

Ahhh just be thankful you only get one roast dinner review a week from me. Though if the Tories sped up their leadership selection process, perhaps they could offer us a different Prime Minister every week – I’m not sure Rishi Sunak will make it to Christmas. Christmas 2023.

So I finally made it away from Costa Del Croydon, into an area of London that doesn’t require quite the same level of bravery – hell, even The Daily Telegraph wrote about how Walthamstow is up-and-coming earlier this year, and that is a fine editorial establishment that we can all fully trust, that will shortly be owned by one of those journalist-loving Middle Eastern countries of which we fund by driving cars everywhere.

Jeez I’m on one this week. Quick…give me some ketamine:

Yeah, I’m not about to boycott Twitter, am I?

Anyway. Renegade Urban Winery in Walthamstow – one of the many fun boxes in the industrial estate on Blackhorse Road, which also features delights such as Exale Brewing, Hackney Brewery and Pretty Decent Beer Co – it is a bloody good area for drinking. Even better than Croydon’s High Street. Serious.

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Of course, it is on an industrial estate – and it was a notably bleak afternoon when we walked along – unsurprisingly nobody sat outside. On one side there was a bespoke stone supplies warehouse, on the other side a stack of Calor gas canisters being stored. Yet here – a winery. Yes, they make their own wine right here. Albeit not with grapes from Walthamstow Wetlands. I’m not sure where their grapes are from – maybe book a wine tour if you need to know.

Rebel With A Need For Beer

The warehouse inside is split-level (gosh he’s writing about the venue…yeah well its not your identikit pub with teal painted walls and exposed brickwork). Downstairs houses the wine-making stuff – tanks and that kind of thing, though there is a bar also – closed for our visit.

Upstairs is quite delightful – yellow painted walls, with cute decorations, lights, a Christmas tree replete with corks and small photographs of people. Renegade Urban Winery is a me kinda place.

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Well, except that their beer selection was fairly basic – just a lager and a pale ale, from Two Tribes.

Yes, I wanted a beer in a winery. We are all rebels, yo.

You could have wine – and I did later, including English wine. I tried the English Pinot Noir – it was a bit too light and airy for my preferences, but it was perfectly drinkable.

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Rebel Without a Roast Dinner

I’d unwisely forgotten to have breakfast before I left, and this proved even less wise when they forgot to bring our roast dinners. We noticed the table next to us, who ordered a good 10 or so minutes after us, get their roasts first. Maybe they were staff, I thought, or regulars – so maybe they got priority. Then another table near us, that ordered after us, received their roasts.

I would have quite happily sat there for 2 hours staring at them, writing my upcoming rant over and over in my head until they realised – however my accomplice is more proactive, and doesn’t have a blog, so asked them.

The till had errored and our order hadn’t gone through.

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As well as the wine, we both ordered beef sirloin roasts – priced at £23.00. Our roasts arrived not long after – they offered us our drinks for free, and then also offered us desserts for free too – more than they needed to. Sure I’d taken offence at people inadvertently pushing into the roast queue, but a 40 minute wait isn’t a crime – one free drink would have sufficed, not a whole carafe of wine and desserts. We declined the offer of a free dessert. OMG you’re so kind, Lord Gravy. Also we weren’t hungry after our roasts.

I guess you want to know what the roast looked like:

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Just think, if we had a different Prime Minister every week, maybe eventually the Tories would find one we liked enough, maybe that is their theory.

Without quite realising that perhaps we’ve just had enough of them. Even I have, and I have a life-sizes cardboard cut-out of Margaret Thatcher in my storage cupboard. Also – we had to put the roast together ourselves.

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Rebel With A Late-Arriving Train Roast

There was a bit of inventiveness in the vegetables this week – firstly with the root vegetable mash, of which swede and carrot were clear to make out, but perhaps there was some tomato, onion and maybe even something like star anise mixed in – I thought I detected something a little like star anise or tarragon at one point anyway,

Then we had sprout tops – which I barely knew were a thing, and is a new one for Roast Dinners in London. The stalks were tender, and the leaves reminded us of spinach.

Finally for the vegetables, there was red cabbage – which wasn’t too bad, there wasn’t much in the way of an attempt to make it taste like mulled wine, it didn’t pollute the gravy, and generally I didn’t mind it.

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A credible effort on the roast potatoes – some evidence of crispy sides, they were soft inside – and actually tasted of potato – it felt like they’d used good quality potatoes here, which definitely is not always the case. Deep fried? Perhaps, but still enjoyable is so. My accomplice even had what she described as a perfect roast potato – mine were just a little too large for that.

It does feel like the standard of roast potatoes has gone up in 2023 – maybe people are finally understanding my mission? Maybe people are hearing my message, even more than they are hearing Kier Starmer’s message? Granted I’m not sure he has a message.

Oh, but we still have a Yorkshire pudding problem:

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It will be sad if Renegade Urban Winery gets the award of the worst Yorkshire pudding of the year when I eventually get around to writing my annual awards some time in summer 2024 – as they should be getting more plaudits, but this was a real duffer. I don’t know what week this was cooked in, and it had quite possibly been cooked for a week too. Even the bottom part was burnt.

Thankfully back on form with the beef sirloin, which was a good quality cut of meat, had a little ribbon of fat around the edge, and was broadly medium-rare. A couple of bites were especially tasty…I really did quite rate this.

And finally, the gravy, which was quite rich but not overpowering, definitely homemade, had some consistency but also a slight twang. I didn’t love it, but it worked.

Rebel With A Review Of Renegade Urban Winery

This was the first roast dinner for 7 weeks that wasn’t on the Costa Del Sol or Costa Del Croydon. And the best I’ve had since that goodbye roast at The Baring in Islington. Gosh I do miss the warm sunshine. Every day. Confirm that my morning walk in Croydon isn’t quite the same as my morning walks along the beach in Spain.

Renegade Urban Winery is very much my kind of place, and I think you could have a proper Sunday Funday around here – visit a couple of breweries, then come here for some English wine and a pretty damn good roast dinner.

Sure, there were two fuck-ups – the till not working and our roasts therefore not appearing, though they were apologetic and over-compensated us. And that Yorkshire pudding. That needs sorting.

But on the flip side, really good beef, roast potatoes on the verge of excellence and inventive vegetables – not to mention a gorgeously quirky venue, along with it being an unusual and unassuming place for a roast dinner.

My accomplice scored it an 8.40 out of 10 – and would have scored it a 9 were it not for the obnoxious Yorkshire pudding.

I’m scoring it a hearty 7.70 out of 10. The kitchen is fairly new there, and they seem to care, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they improve further.

Next Sunday is the last roast dinner before Christmas. And possibly of the year – for finding a roast dinner on New Year’s Eve which fits all our criteria is a bit of a struggle so far – table for 7, central/north London, one vegan, one only eats chicken, not too expensive, likely to be good, and actually doing roast dinners on NYE. It’s not easy.

And yes, that’s what you get for not sharing my blog more often. Ass.

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Renegade Urban Winery, Walthamstow

Station: Blackhorse Road

Tube Lines: Victoria

Fare Zone: Zone 3

Price: £23.00

Rating: 7.70

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Really good beef, roast potatoes on the verge of excellence and inventive vegetables - not to mention a gorgeously quirky venue, along with it being an unusual and unassuming place for a roast dinner.

Loathed: There were two fuck-ups - the till not working and our roasts therefore not appearing, though they were apologetic and over-compensated us. And that Yorkshire pudding. That needs sorting.

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